Murder trial using victim's blinks as evidence set to begin

CINCINNATI - A murder trial that is set to use a victim's eye blinks as testimony started Monday with jury selection.

Ricardo Woods is charged with the fatal shooting of 35-year-old David Chandler that took place in October 2010. The long-delayed trial was set to begin January, but the introduction of new motions caused it to be set for a later date.

Chandler was shot in the head and neck as he sat in his car in a West End neighborhood. He was paralyzed and in the hospital when police interviewed him days before his death. He could only communicate by blinking, according to police.

Chandler was hooked up to a ventilator in the hospital when police questioned him about the person who shot him. They showed him Woods' photo and instructed him to blink three times for yes and twice for no as they videotaped his responses. Chandler didn't respond with blinks to every question in the 17-minute video and sometimes blinked one time, but triple blinks came in response to repeated questions asking if he knew the shooter and whether the person in the photo was the culprit. Chandler died 10 days after the interview.

During the interview, Chandler was also shown an alphabet and authorities went through the letters one by one and said that Chandler reacted to the letter "o" which prosecutors say is the street name that the victim knew the defendant by.

Woods was charged with murder, felonious assault and weapons counts.

A Cincinnati judged ruled that the 17-minute blinking video could be admitted as evidence in Ricardo's trial, but his attorney staunchly opposes the use of the video.

Defense attorneys for Woods argued the identification is unreliable and asked the video to be thrown out. The judge is allowing it.

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