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Published: Friday, 5/17/2013

‘Blinking’ case gets conviction

Killer in Cincinnati facing up to life in prison


CINCINNATI — An Ohio man was found guilty Thursday of fatally shooting a man who authorities say identified his assailant by blinking his eyes while paralyzed and hooked up to a ventilator.

A jury convicted Ricardo Woods, 35, of murder and felonious assault for the death of David Chandler, who was shot Oct. 28, 2010, sitting in a car in Cincinnati.

Police interviewed Mr. Chandler, 35, after he was shot in the head and neck. He was only able to communicate with his eyes and died about two weeks later.

Woods had no obvious reaction to the verdict on the third day of jury deliberations as it was read in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. But being led to jail, he said: “I’m innocent.”

Sentencing is June 20. He faces up to life in prison.

Jurors viewed the videotaped police interview that prosecutors say showed Mr. Chandler blinked three times for “yes” to identify a photo of Woods as his shooter.

The defense had tried to block the video, saying Mr. Chandler’s blinks were unreliable. Defense attorney Kory Jackson said there would be an appeal.

Jocelyn Chess, an assistant county prosecutor, said justice was served.

A jailhouse informant testified that Woods told him he shot at Mr. Chandler because he caught him buying drugs from someone else while still owing Woods money for drugs.

The defense argued that the informant, who faced armed robbery charges, was trying to use testimony against Woods to get a lighter sentence for himself.

The defense also said Mr. Chandler had stolen drugs from dealers, was considered a police “snitch,” and had many enemies.

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