Detective-shooting suspect chooses not to defend self

Willie Barney charged with shooting Wislyn Joseph

Published On: Apr 25 2013 05:56:06 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 25 2013 06:48:37 PM EDT
MIAMI -

A 19-year-old accused of shooting a Miami-Dade police detective decided not to defend himself in court Thursday.

According to prosecutors, Willie Barney shot Det. Wislyn Joseph in the chest outside a church in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood on Sept. 22, 2012.

"What is your decision?" asked the judge.

"I'm not testifying," said Barney.

Barney had no discernible reaction when prosecutors showed the jury the .45 caliber Taurus semi-automatic, and the bullet that was allegedly shot into Joseph by Barney.

"I collected a firearm from inside the vehicle," said Miami-Dade Police Officer Yvonne Garcia. "He said he found the firearm lying in the back seat of the car."

Prosecutors had video of Barney in the back of the car and within arm's reach was the gun. The weapon was allegedly used in September while three young men staged a violent ambush for the detective's gold jewelry, as he volunteered at his church.

"Can you answer who touched that gun?" asked DNA expert Kulick.

"I cannot," Barney answered.

"Can you tell you did not?" asked Kulick.

"I can't," said Barney.

A DNA expert placed Barney's in a sampling from the officer's wrist, from which a bracelet was snatched. There was no sign of his DNA on the weapon, thought that's not unusual, said detectives, who are relying on Joseph's spot on ID of his attackers.

"It was almost instantaneous," said Anthony Ray of Miami-Dade Police Homicide. "As soon as he saw the photos, he pointed it out right away."

Prosecutors believe they have not only Joseph's attackers, but a trio of repeat gold-chain thieves who have murdered for their quest.

Barney's defense rests on his mother, who said he was home at the time.

"Did you go to the police?" asked Scruggs.

"No," answered Barney.

"You never went to the police, did you?" asked Scruggs. "So when did you come to the prosecutors' office and say, 'Hey, you made a big mistake?' You didn't come, did you?"

"No, I never did," said Barney.