Maryland Jury Finds Man Guilty of Murder After Paralyzed Victim Blinks to Identify Shooter

© CBS Baltimore Jermaine Hailes
© CBS Baltimore Jermaine Hailes

A Prince George’s County, Maryland jury has found a man guilty of first-degree felony murder after the paralyzed victim identified his shooter by blinking.

Multiple news outlets report that the jury found 25-year-old Jermaine Hailes guilty of first-degree murder on Tuesday in the 2010 shooting of 29-year-old Melvin Pate, who died in 2012, reports the Washington Post.

Pate was left paralyzed from the chest down after the shooting. A video showed him identifying Hailes from a lineup by blinking at a photo of the shooter.

Pate died before Hailes went to trial, but police had recorded the photo lineup.

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that Pate’s blink was a dying declaration and allowed prosecutors to show the video during the trial.

Prosecutors believe the case is only the fourth time in U.S. history that a murder victim’s nonverbal identification has been used as evidence at trial, reports the Washington Post.

Hailes faces life in prison at a sentencing hearing set for Aug. 25.

Source: CBS News