MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Detective Wislyn Joseph broke down sobbing Thursday as he recalled the day he was allegedly robbed and shot by a then 19-year-old Willie Barney.
Barney is being retried for the robbery and shooting, after his first conviction was reversed due to an error in jury selection.
Twice before, the detective has described the robbery and shooting in open court with animation, but not emotion. That changed Thursday.
Joseph cried uncontrollably as he told jurors of Barney ripping a gold chain from his neck, a chain his grandmother gave him on her deathbed.
“It hurts to tell of that,” the detective said, tears flowing. “My Grandmother was on her hospital bed.”
Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat Called a recess, and then cautioned jurors not to base their conclusions on sympathy.
“You cannot feel sorry for him,” the judge said.
After composing himself, Detective Joseph went on to describe being accosted by Barney and two accomplices.
He said Barney, wielding a .45 caliber pistol, ripped the gold jewelry from his neck, wrists and fingers. Joseph said he had both arms are raised in the surrender when Barney shot him in the chest near point-blank range.
“Blood was gushing out heavily, the detective said. “I didn’t know if I was going to make it and I didn’t want to bleed to death.”
The detective made his own call to 911. From his hospital bed he immediately picked Barney and his alleged accomplices from three photo lineups.
Joseph said Barney was cold-blooded, and the shooting was senseless.
“He didn’t have to shoot me. I gave him all I had,” Joseph stated.
On cross-examination, the defense attacked the detective’s identification of Barney. The detective has previously described his attacker as being light skinned. Barney is quite darkly complected.
The state and defense rested their cases Thursday afternoon. Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday morning, and Willie Barney’s fate, for a second time, will be in the hands of a jury.