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Victim’s Blinks Led to Killer’s Conviction

A Maryland jury has found a man guilty of murder after the paralyzed victim, who later died, identified the person who shot him by blinking. A Prince George’s County jury found 25-year-old Jermaine Hailes guilty of first-degree murder Tuesday in the 2010 shooting of 29-year-old Melvin Pate, the AP reports. Pate was paralyzed and unable to speak because of injuries from the shooting.

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A video recorded by police shows him identifying Hailes as the shooter by blinking at a photo in a lineup. Pate died before Hailes went to trial. The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that Pate’s blink was a dying declaration and allowed prosecutors to show the video during the trial. Hailes faces life in prison at a sentencing hearing set for Aug. 25.

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