Ex-Cop Tensing to Be Retried in Sam DuBose Killing
Ray Tensing, the White former University of Cincinnati policeman who was charged with the killing of African-American motorist Sam DuBose during a traffic stop will stand trial again after a jury found itself unable to come up with a verdict.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Tuesday he will again seek a murder conviction against Tensing, and wants to move the trial to a different venue so that the jury won’t feel fear and community pressure in the case.
“After careful consideration, I have decided that the Tensing case will be retried,” according to a statement released by Deters’ office. “This decision was made after review of the trial transcript, discussion with some of the jurors, and consultation with my staff. I am hopeful that a second jury will be able to reach a decision to bring justice in this case for the victim’s family and our community.”
A judge declared a mistrial Nov. 12, when jurors deadlocked after deliberating some 25 hours on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in the July 2015 shooting. Deters will retry him on both counts, but said the murder charge is appropriate.
“It’s my belief that Sam DuBose was murdered. Period,” Deters said.
Tensing’s attorney, Stewart Mathews, has asked the judge to acquit Tensing in the aftermath of the mistrial. He had asked to move the first trial because of pretrial publicity and comments by Deters and other local officials.
Mathews didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment Tuesday.
A hearing on the case is scheduled for Nov. 28 before Hamilton County Judge Megan Shanahan.
Tensing testified in his trial that he feared for his life when DuBose tried to drive away.
Deters repeated Tuesday that the shooting wasn’t justified, and that no one should be shot in the head for a traffic stop — DuBose was pulled over near the university campus for a missing front license plate.
“It troubles me deeply that this happened,” Deters said.
DuBose family members, the Cincinnati City Council and groups including faith leaders have pushed for a new murder trial.
Prosecutors said repeatedly during the trial the evidence contradicted Tensing’s story. Deters said after the mistrial the jury was leaning toward a conviction on voluntary manslaughter.
The jury of 10 whites and two blacks was seated Oct. 31 for the first trial.
To convict Tensing, now 27, of murder, jurors had to find he purposely killed the 43-year-old DuBose. The charge carries a possible sentence of 15 years to life in prison with conviction. The voluntary manslaughter charge means the killing happened during sudden passion or a fit of rage. That carries a possible sentence of three to 11 years.