Criminal Justice

Murder defendant identified through blinks of paralyzed victim gets minimum sentence of 36 years

An Ohio man identified through the blinks of a paralyzed shooting victim has been sentenced to 36 years to life in prison.

Ricardo Woods was sentenced in Hamilton County on Thursday, report the Associated Press and the Cincinnati Enquirer. Woods was convicted last month after prosecutors played a tape in which the now-deceased victim, David Chandler, blinked his eyes three times to identify his attacker.

The police had visited Chandler in the hospital to get the identification, according to the Enquirer account. They showed the victim the alphabet and asked him to blink three times when they showed him the correct letters. Chandler blinked three times at the letter “O,” which is Woods’ street name. AP says police showed Chandler a photo of Woods, and Chandler blinked three times.

A jailhouse informant also testified that Woods had confessed to him. The inmate said Woods had revealed he shot at Chandler to scare him into paying a $400 drug debt.

Woods had turned down a plea deal before trial that would have sent him to prison for only five years.

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