No Third Trial for Cincinnati Ex-Officer in Shooting Death

Two years ago today, University of Cincinnati police officer shot motorist Sam DuBose to death. After two mistrials, prosecutor Joe Deters says jurors convinced him “that we cannot win a trial in this case, with these facts.”

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters in Cincinnati said discussions with “multiple jurors” after two mistrials in the case against former University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing led him to not pursue a third trial in the shooting of Sam DuBose, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. “They have, to a person, said…that we will never get a conviction,” Deters said yesterday. Deters said he will dismiss the murder and voluntary manslaughter charges that Tensing has faced for nearly two years. Tensing’s attorney, Stew Mathews, said Deters did the right thing. Two mistrials have been declared after the juries could not agree on verdicts.

After the second trial ended last month with a deadlocked jury, Mathews said, “I was assured by those jurors that there would never be a unanimous decision in this case.” Tensing fatally shot DuBose on July 19, 2015 as he tried to drive away from an off-campus traffic stop. “In this case, we had jurors who would not vote to convict a police officer,” he said. “Now, after two trials and probably a million dollars… I have come to the conclusion that we cannot win a trial in this case, with these facts.” The case involved the killing of an unarmed African-American man by a white officer who said he feared for his life because he would be dragged under DuBose’s car. Tensing’s body camera showed much of what happened, but experts who testified on Tensing’s behalf said it gave an incomplete picture. A federal investigation of the case still is pending.