Will cop face 3rd murder trial? Decision may come next week

Ray Tensing, the former University of Cincinnati police officer, testifies on the seventh day of his retrial in Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Leslie Ghiz's courtroom Friday, June 16, 2017, at the Hamilton County Courthouse in Cincinnati. Tensing, the former University of Cincinnati police officer, is charged with murdering Sam DuBose during a routine traffic stop on July 19, 2015. Tensing's lawyer, Stew Mathews, has said Tensing fired a single shot. (Cara Owsley/The Cincinnati Enquirer, via AP, Pool)

CINCINNATI (AP) — A prosecutor’s decision on whether to try a white police officer for a third time over the traffic stop shooting of an unarmed black man remains on hold, his office said Wednesday.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters won’t announce his decision this week but could do so next week, spokeswoman Julie Wilson said. The judge has scheduled a July 24 court meeting in the case. Defense attorney Stewart Mathews has asked her to dismiss the charges.

University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing, now 27, killed motorist Sam DuBose, 43, after pulling him over for a missing front license plate on July 19, 2015. Tensing testified in both trials he feared being killed by DuBose’s car when he tried to drive away.

Two juries have hung on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter.

There have been protests and demonstrations in Cincinnati, including outside Deters’ offices, in favor of a new trial. DuBose’s family also wants Tensing to be tried again.

However, some legal experts say the odds are against a conviction.

Deters last week told a WLW radio talk show that the likelihood of gaining a conviction would be the key factor for him.

“I’m going to do what I think is right,” Deters said.

Deters also said Tensing during the second trial rejected a plea to a lesser charge of reckless homicide.

While Tensing’s second trial that ended June 23 was still unfolding, juries in Minnesota and Wisconsin acquitted police officers for on-duty shootings. Just before it began in late May, an Oklahoma jury acquitted an officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.

Federal authorities announced Tuesday they have ended an investigation without pursuing any charges in the 2014 fatal police shooting of a black man who was holding an air rifle in a suburban Dayton Wal-Mart.

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