Jurors heard opening statements Wednesday in the trial of a man accused of shooting a Miami-Dade police detective during a gold jewelry robbery.
Willie Barney shot Det. Wislyn Joseph in the chest outside a church in Liberty City on Sept. 22, 2012, according to prosecutors.
"He didn't go there armed with a Bible -- he went armed with a .45-caliber automatic weapon, and he went there to commit a crime," said prosecutor Dawn Kulick, "So while the defendant is pointing the gun at him and demanding his property, Detective Joseph begins to comply. He starts to remove a gold bracelet off of his wrist, but he wasn't moving fast enough for the defendant. The defendant took a couple steps back -- still only a few feet away from Wislyn Joseph, still having the gun raised at Wislyn Joseph's chest -- and he pulled the trigger."
Joseph survived the shooting and called 911, giving dispatchers a description of the suspects, police said.
It took two days to choose a jury. One of the six jurors told Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat Wednesday morning that he wasn't proficient enough in English to serve.
"Do you recall how many times we asked that question?" said Rodriguez-Chomat. "Or did you think we were playing a game in this case? Well, we think you were playing a game because, really, I mean I asked you seven or eight times, prosecution asked you, the state asked you, and you created a big mess now."
Rodriguez-Chomat dismissed the juror and replaced him with an alternate.