CINCINNATI (FOX19) –
A mistrial has been declared in the murder trial of former University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing.
After about 24 hours of deliberating, the jury informed the judge Saturday morning that they were unable to come to a unanimous verdict.
Tensing was charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Samuel DuBose.
Deputies ushered Tensing out the back door of the courtroom after Hamilton County Judge Megan Shanahan announced the decision around 10:15 a.m.
The murder trial of the former white police officer who shot and killed a black man at a traffic stop lasted one week, but its impact will be measurably much longer.
The now-fired UC police officer shot DuBose after pulling him over on an off-campus street when he spotted the Honda Accord missing a front license plate on July 19, 2015. The entire exchange was caught on Tensing’s police body camera.
Four jury members wanted to convict Tensing of murder, according to Hamilton County Prosectuor Joe Deters. The remaining eight elected to acquit him on the murder. The majority of jurors, eight total, voted to convict Tensing of voluntary manslaughter. Four wanted to acquit on that charge.
Deters said his office will decide whether or not to retry Tensing by Nov. 28.
Two very different versions of what caused Tensing, 26, to fire his service weapon, killing DuBose,43, with a single bullet to the head, left 12 men and women considering Tensing’s guilt or innocence for three and a half days before deliberations resulted in a hung jury and mistrial Saturday.
Tensing said DuBose began to drive away and that he was being dragged by DuBose’s car. But prosecutors argued the shooting was purposeful and said body cam video proves the car was not in motion when Tensing fired the fatal shot.
During the trial, Tensing took the stand himself and testified that he fired his gun at DuBose because he thought DuBose was going to run him over with his car and kill him.
He became emotional on the stand at times. He cried, sighed, used a tissue and asked the judge “Can I have a minute?”
Tensing never wavered in his original story, but he did add under oath it was his “perception” he was being dragged and would be killed.
“I felt my body moving with his car, he was picking up speed, I remember hearing the RPMs climbing and his engine revving,” Tensing said.
“I was just thinking my legs are gonna get sucked into his car, he’s gonna run me over, I’m gonna die on this street today.”
His attorney, Stew Mathews, asked Tensing if he meant to kill DuBose.
“Were you mad at Sam DuBose or angry?”
“No, sir,” Tensing said.
“Was it your purpose to kill him?”
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters called Tensing’s version of events a “junk story” that “can’t stand up in the face of overwhelming evidence.”
“He says he had to stop the threat, there never was one,” Deters told jurors.
Deters also noted there wasn’t a single witness who saw Tensing dragged, including two of his UCPD colleagues who responded to the scene, and a motorist in front of DuBose’s car.
“The video is the ultimate witness. It doesn’t alter or change its story. It has no bias or prejudice. It consistently tells what it saw, whether it’s the first time or thousandth time.”
In evidence presented in court, it was revealed by the prosecution that Tensing wore a Smoky Mountains T-shirt that also had an image of the Confederate flag under his UCPD uniform the day of the shooting.
Tensing claimed it was an old t-shirt and that it “has no meaning to me.”
READ MORE: Cleveland19.com
Article Courtesy of WXIX-TV Cincinnati and WOIO Cleveland 19 News
Picture Courtesy of Mark Lyons and Getty Images
First Video Courtesy of WLWT-TV Cincinnati and YouTube
Second Video Courtesy of WCPO-TV Cincinnati and YouTube