An Ohio judge has allowed blinking testimony from a paralyzed victim. Judge Beth Myers of Hamilton County, Ohio, has denied the defense’s request to ban the testimony. The victim, David Chandler, age 35, was left paralyzed after being shot. His only method of communication was blinking his eyes.
Chandler later died of his injuries, but police interviewing the victim recorded a video of the questioning. By blinking three times for “yes” and two times for “no,” Chandler reportedly identified Ricardo Woods as the shooter.
As reported by Yahoo News, Woods has been charged with murder in Chandler’s subsequent death. Defense attorney Kory Jackson asserts that the blinking testimony is unreliable, as the blinking was inconsistent and the victim was only shown one picture.
Jackson further contends that Ohio law prohibits suggestive line-up or photo identification. Experts with the Innocence Project agree. In addition to working to free wrongfully accused prison inmates, they are committed to preventing wrongful convictions.
Karen Newirth of the Innocence Project submitted a brief in support of the defense’s objection to the blinking testimony. She states that the defendant is in danger of wrongful conviction, as police failed to follow proper procedure.
Judge Myers reviewed the information and decided to allow the blinking testimony from the paralyzed victim.
Attorney Jackson points out that the 17 minute video is the only evidence the prosecution has against his client. As reported by ABC News, he has stated that the state has “zero other corroborating evidence” of his client’s guilt.
Despite the protests of Chandler’s defense, the judge has ruled that jurors will be allowed to view the testimony. Prosecutors remain confident, as they have stated that they have further evidence against Woods, which has not been made public.
Woods is currently being held in the Hamilton County Jail. He has been charged with a weapons violation, felonious assault, and murder. The trial, which will include the blinking testimony of the paralyzed victim, is set to begin late this month.
[Image via Flickr]