Jury sees footage of man blinking to identify suspect

Ricardo Woods, accused of shooting 35-year-old David Chandler in 2010.
Ricardo Woods, accused of shooting 35-year-old David Chandler in 2010.

(FOX19) - A judge ruled in favor of playing some controversial video, which was shown in court on Tuesday.

Ricardo Woods is accused of shooting 35-year-old David Chandler in 2010. The shooting left Chandler paralyzed from the neck down and only able to communicate with his eyes. He later died about two weeks after the shooting.

Before his death, Chandler was able to blink his eyes to identify a photo of Woods as the man who shot him.

Both the prosecution and the defense went back and forth arguing their case as to why this video should be played in court or not. Ultimately, Judge Beth Myers decided it was evidence, and so the jurors had their first look at the footage on Tuesday.

"If this is the person who shot you, blink three times. If it's not, don't blink at all," Detective Howard Grant tells Chandler in a recorded video.

The prosecution previously pleaded that the video needed to be shown in court because it was Chandler's last rights, and he was expected to die. However, Woods' attorneys argue that Chandler's blinks were inconsistent and unreliable.

To make sure of what Chandler's answer was, Detective Howard Grant reiterated his question.

"You are sure this picture that I'm going to show you is the person who shot you while you were in your friends car, is that correct? Blink three times for yes," said Detective Grant.

Chandler proceeded with three strong blinks.

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard from a handful of witnesses including a jail informant named Jermain Beard, who also is Woods' former cell mate.

Beard testified that through conversations with woods, he admitted to being friends with Chandler, but also got in a dispute with him over money that was owed from a drug deal.

"It was like he was remorseful for doing what he did. He saw him and a couple of his friends in a car and he asked him where was his money at. Then he said that he blacked out. He said he didn't have to shoot him, he could have smacked him, he could have beat him up, he could have done anything else than what he did," said Beard.

"Did he say why he shot him?" asked the prosecution.

"Over the money, he didn't say how many times. He just said he owed him some money," answered Beard.

Beard is serving nearly 30 years for various crimes, and the defense responded by saying Beard is only testifying to try and reduce his jail time.

The trial resumes on Wednesday with the prosecution expected to finish up its case. The trial is expected to last as long as two more weeks.

If convicted, Woods could get up to life in prison.

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