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Crime

Ohio Judge Declares Mistrial in Case of Police Officer Who Shot and Killed an Unarmed Black Man

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John Minchillo/AP

The jury in a murder trial involving a former University of Cincinnati police officer shooting an unarmed black man has resulted in a mistrial, according to several reports.

On Saturday, Judge Megan Shanahan ordered a mistrial in the murder trial of Ray Tensing, a 26-year-old former police officer who shot 43-year-old Sam DuBose in the head after pulling him over for a missing front license plate in July 2015, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“It’s obvious to me you have made a sincere and contentious effort,” the judge told the jury, which had deliberated for approximately 24 hours, before setting a new hearing date for Nov. 28 to determine whether the case will be re-tried.

The 12 men and women in the jury had been sequestered in a hotel since Wednesday, when deliberations started, according to WLWT5.

The jury listened to about five days of testimony in Tensing’s trial, in which the former police officer was charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter, according to WLWT5. They were also instructed that Tensing had to be convicted of one or none of the charges — not both. The murder charge carried a possible sentence of 15 years to life in prison, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. But the jury told the court they could not make a unanimous decision on either count, according to WCPO.

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Tensing testified that he feared that DuBose was going to kill him, but prosecutors repeatedly argued the evidence contradicted his story, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Tensing cried during his testimony, and said his arm was stuck in DuBose’s car after he tried to stop him from driving away by grabbing his car keys.

“I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to run me over and he’s going to kill me,’ ” Tensing said, according to the newspaper.
Prosecutor Joe Deters said he was “obviously disappointed” with the results. During the trial, he argued that the prosecution’s frame-by-frame analysis of Tensing’s body camera video proved he had nothing to fear during his interaction with DuBose. Deters told WCPO he “would go through a process to analyze the probability of getting a conviction. If I believe we can win, I’ll retry the case.”
Deters added that he hoped to make a decision on retrying by the Nov. 28 hearing scheduled by the judge.