Dying Man's Blinks Are Key Evidence in Murder Trial

The blinks of a 35-year-old man, paralyzed and dying from a gunshot wound, may help convict his killer.

In a 17-minute video made by investigators, David Chandler answered questions about his attack by blinking. While Chandler didn't respond to every question, he blinked three times to indicate "yes" when asked if he knew the shooter, and when shown a photo of suspect Ricardo Woods.

The problem is, blinks are easy to misinterpret — although prosecutors are sure Chandler, who was shot in the head and neck, identified Woods, the defense says the blinks are unreliable.

There are times when detectives asked questions and he didn't blink at all, and other times there are too many blinks.

Jurors must decide if Chandler was aware of the questions being asked and able to control his movements in response.

But cases like this one are rare, precisely because there's so much ambiguity. Blinks and other gestures are nowhere near as concrete as identifying a suspect by name.

On the one hand, it's nice to believe Chandler used his last bit of strength to help bring his killer to justice. On the other, it would be unfortunate to pin a murder on the wrong man because the victim had something in his eye.

[Image via Shutterstock]