Trial for detective-shooting suspect begins

Willie Barney charged with shooting Wislyn Joseph

MIAMI - 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.

Barney is one of three men charged in the armed robbery. Investigators have linked them to several other violent robberies.

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.

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