Murderer IDed by Dying Man's Blinks Gets 36 Years
Ricardo Woods sentenced to 36 years to life in prison
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 20, 2013 12:37 PM CDT
This undated photo provided by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department shows Ricardo Woods.   (AP Photo/Hamilton County Sheriff's Department)

(Newser) – The man convicted in a murder trial that hinged on a paralyzed victim blinking his eyes to identify his shooter was sentenced today to 36 years to life in prison. A jury last month convicted Ricardo Woods, 35, of murder and felonious assault in the death of David Chandler, who was shot in the head and neck on Oct. 28, 2010, as he sat in a car. Woods still maintains his innocence, and his attorney has said there will be an appeal.

Police interviewed Chandler in the hospital, and he was able to communicate only with his eyes. He died about two weeks later. During the trial, jurors viewed the videotaped police interview that prosecutors say showed Chandler blinked three times for "yes" to identify a photo of Woods as his shooter. The defense had tried to block the video, saying Chandler's blinks were inconsistent and unreliable, but a doctor who treated Chandler testified that Chandler was able to communicate clearly about his condition.

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Jun 22, 2013 3:04 PM CDT
A guy shot in the head lying in a hospital identifying a photo is reliable? I hate to say it but I am not a reliable eyewitness. I am seldom, if ever, certain what I have seen after the passage of any time. I am not good at describing people in any way I believe narrows it down. Does anyone know if he was shown more than one photo because just one is suggestive and unreliable. Anyone can see the idea should be to test the reliability by giving the witness some chance to pick a photo that is not a suspected person like photos of a few people similar in appearance already serving prison terms on the date of the crime. Not too difficult but oh so important. It would be troublesome enough if the deceased had verbally stated "yes that is the man who assaulted me", but here the jury had to also consider another layer of evidence that was mere opinion: that of a doctor! Troublesome!
Jun 21, 2013 3:11 AM CDT
yeah, and he had something in his eye all during the questioning!
Jun 20, 2013 1:51 PM CDT
I am struggling with this. The accused should be able to cross examine any witness because eyewitnesses can be really unreliable. Who else was in the room to make sure the "eye blinks" were what they say. The police are notoriously reliable for running with any scrap of information that they can twist. I would hate to have a murderer go free, but I am really torn on this.