CINCINNATI – Nine white jurors and three black jurors were seated Wednesday in Cincinnati for the murder retrial of a fired white police officer in the 2015 death of a black unarmed motorist, averting the possibility it would need to be moved.
Judge Leslie Ghiz said jury selection in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court was "practically painless," after concerns over the effects of intense attention to the case of Ray Tensing, 27, the former University of Cincinnati officer whose first trial ended with a hung jury last fall. Both sides had asked for a change of venue, but Ghiz wanted to try to keep the case in Cincinnati.
She is in an ongoing legal battle with news organizations, including The Associated Press, over her restrictions on coverage.
Jurors will hear opening statements Thursday, followed by testimony from the first witnesses in a trial expected to last about two weeks.
Attorneys settled on the final panel Wednesday morning, in the fourth day of weeding out jurors with admitted or suspected biases and conflicts.
Tensing's first jury of six white men, four white women and two black women was unable to reach a unanimous decision in November. For his second trial, the jury includes a black man, two black women, two white men and seven white women.
He is also charged with voluntary manslaughter.
The retrial jurors traveled in a chartered bus to the Mount Auburn neighborhood where Tensing shot Sam DuBose, 43. The former officer, who testified in his own defense during his first trial, said he feared for his life when DuBose tried to drive away from a traffic stop. He's expected to take the stand again.
Jurors spent about 10 minutes at the scene as police cars blocked off streets.
Ghiz told jurors that viewing the scene shouldn't be considered evidence, but was intended "to help you understand the evidence as it is presented in the courtroom."
DuBose's sister, Terina DuBose-Allen, wept as she said she and other family members have been unable to attend court during the past few days because of a family tragedy. She didn't want to publicly disclose details.
Associated Press writer Dan Sewell in Cincinnati contributed to this report.