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Ohio cop to be retried in shooting death

Posted: 10:14 AM, Nov 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-22 15:58:39Z
Ohio cop to be retried in shooting death

Hamilton County, Ohio Prosecutor Joe Deters announced Tuesday that he will retry the case of police officer Ray Tensing, who is accused of the shooting death of Sam Dubose following a July 2015 traffic stop.

"We have determined there is a probability of success in a new trial and we will be doing that," Deters told the press. "If I thought we couldn't win this case, I wouldn't retry it,

Earlier this month, a jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on the murder and voluntary manslaughter charges against the former University of Cincinnati police officer, leading Judge Megan Shanahan to declare a hung jury and a mistrial.

Tensing was working as a University of Cincinnati police officers on July 19, 2016 when he stopped Dubose for a failure to display a license plate. The traffic stop was caught on Tensing's body camera and resulted in a single shot to Dubose's head, causing his death.

"I've never had a hung jury in my life. Ever," Deters said Tuesday. "Can't remember the last time I had a not guilty verdict. Maybe 30 years ago."

Before the start of the trial, Tensing's attorney Stew Mathews requested a change of venue; the request was denied.

Deters said he plans to request a change of venue for the trial, saying it would be very difficult to find an impartial jury in Hamilton County. A judge will need to grant the motion for a change of venue. He said "Columbus or Cleveland would be fine with me."

Deters said the jury's fear of being identified was a factor that worked against his case.

"We had a revolt in the jury room," Deters said. "The jurors were afraid people would learn their names."

He said the jury likely heard and discussed things that were not pertinent to the case.

"No question in my mind, issues were being discussed in the jury room that shouldn't have been discussed," Deters said. 

Deters will personally retry the case. He said he doesn't know of a case that was ever moved out of Hamilton County.

The prosecutor previously said he would bring the same charge(s) against Tensing, because they match "the facts." 

"I believe he intentionally shot Sam DuBose in the head and it wasn't justified, period," Deters said. "In the country I love, you don't get shot in the head for leaving a traffic stop."

Deters said he would expect the new trial, should it be moved, to begin around the spring of 2017.