CINCINNATI – An Ohio prosecutor is holding off on commenting on his plans in the case of a white police officer whose retrial for the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist ended last week with a hung jury for the second time, his office said Tuesday.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters hasn't said whether he'll try the case for a third time, but he plans to comment during the week of July 10. Judge Leslie Ghiz scheduled a July 24 meeting with attorneys on both sides in the case.
A mistrial has been declared twice in the murder and voluntary manslaughter case of Ray Tensing, who was a University of Cincinnati police officer when he shot Sam DuBose during a 2015 traffic stop.
Tensing's attorney, Stewart Mathews, said he has been told that a majority of second-trial jurors voted to acquit on both charges. He declined Tuesday to comment further, saying he will wait to hear what Deters has to say.
After the first trial in November, Deters said a solid majority of jurors wanted to convict Tensing of voluntary manslaughter and that he continued to believe the shooting was a murder.
Tensing, 27, shot DuBose, 43, after pulling him over for a missing front license plate. Tensing testified he feared for his life as DuBose drove away while his arm was pinned inside the car.
The case is among several across the United States that have brought attention to how police deal with black people, and also to the challenges prosecutors face in gaining convictions against police for on-duty shootings.
DuBose's family and civil rights activists have called for a third trial.
Some veteran attorneys have said prosecutors should have brought lesser charges against Tensing. During the second trial, prosecutors asked Judge Ghiz to allow jurors to consider the lesser charge of reckless homicide. She rejected the request, saying prosecutors could have brought that before trial.
Deters also said after the first trial that he wanted the case moved away from intense local attention, but Ghiz said it should stay in Cincinnati.
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