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Court Rules Jury Won't See Video of Man Blinking to ID His Shooter

The unusual case weighed a suspect's right to face his accuser against the dying declaration of a crime victim.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo

A judge decided Thursday that video of a blink that reportedly identified a paralyzed man's shooter will not be shown to a Prince George’s County jury, according to the Washington Post.

Judge Leo E. Green Jr. barred the evidence from the upcoming trial, ruling that showing the video to jurors would have violated the defendant’s right to face his accuser, the newspaper said. Had the blink testimony been allowed, it would have been the first time such evidence appeared in a Maryland murder case.

Green ruled on whether video of Melvin Nathaniel Pate blinking at a photo lineup should be included in Jermaine Hailes’s murder trial, the Post said. Pate died in 2012, two years after the video was recorded.

The video shows police flashing photos to Pate after he was shot, the Post reports. He is asked to “blink hard” if a photo resembles the person who shot him. Pate blinks at Hailes’s picture.

Prosecutors argued the video should be considered a “dying declaration,” a circumstance under which such material could be allowed at a trial. But Pate's death after the video was made complicated whether his blink was a “dying” declaration.

Read the full story on the Washington Post website.

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