CINCINNATI (AP/WDTN) — The Hamilton County Prosecutor said Tuesday his office will retry the former University of Cincinnati police officer after a jury couldn’t agree on a verdict in the fatal shooting of a black man during a traffic stop.
Joe Deters also said he will be asking for a change of venue. Deters said Tuesday he would be okay with Columbus or Cleveland. He also mentioned the media in Cincinnati saying he wants a jury that “won’t be afraid to come out of the jury room.” Deters quipped, “I’ll go to Hawaii and try it.”
Attorney Stewart Mathews who represents Ray Tensing, says he doesn’t have an immediate position, but would lean toward keeping Ray Tensing’s trial in Hamilton County. Mathews says there are various reasons, including an “extreme hardship” logistically and financially to have the trial in another county.
Mathews had asked for a change of venue before the first trial, but notes a jury was seated. He says he doesn’t think moving the trial would have a huge impact on the case outcome.
Deters said, “It is our belief that the public attention that’s been focused on the Tensing case could have in fact seeped into the jury room and we’re going to try to alleviate that by moving the trial.”
Deters said, “It’s very rare that we retry these kinds of cases.” He said it is his belief that “Sam DuBose was murdered. Period.” Deters said DuBose may have gotten in trouble a lot but that doesn’t make his life any less relevant. “In the country that I love you don’t get shot in the head at a traffic stop,” said Deters.
You can watch the Prosecutor’s full statement here:
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 of Sam DuBose.
Tensing’s attorney, Stewart Mathews, has asked the judge to acquit Tensing. He said Monday he expects Deters to retry Tensing on the same charges.
Tensing testified that he feared for his life when DuBose tried to drive away.
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 DuBose, 43. 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.
Deters had said immediately after the trial that he expected to make his decision by Nov. 28 on whether to retry Tensing. That’s the date the judge set for a hearing in the case.
The case is one of several across the country calling attention to how police deal with blacks.
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