Second mistrial declared for ex-cop Ray Tensing

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A second mistrial has been declared in the Ray Tensing trial after a jury could not reach a unanimous decision on charges against the former University of Cincinnati officer.

The Hamilton County jury deliberated for more than 31 hours over five days. They jurors told Judge Leslie Ghiz Friday that they were unable to reach a verdict in the trial of 27-year-old Tensing, who has been charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter for shooting unarmed black motorist Sam DuBose in the head after pulling him over for a missing front license plate on July 19, 2015.

Ghiz instructed the jurors to try again on Friday morning, asking them to re-examine their own views and listen to one another’s opinions.

“It is your duty to decide the case if you can conscientiously do so,” she said.

Four hours later, the deadlocked jury again told the judge they could not reach a decision. The judge then declared a mistrial.

Tensing’s first trial in late 2016 also ended in a mistrial after the jury deliberated 25 hours over four days without reaching a verdict.

It was also during that trial that Tensing testified in his own defense and explained that he feared he could be dragged or run over as DuBose tried to drive away.

“I meant to stop the threat,” he told jurors last week. “I didn’t shoot to kill him. I didn’t shoot to wound him. I shot to stop his actions.”

However, prosecutors argue that footage from his body-camera and other evidence contradict his decision to shoot DuBose at close range.

The judge set Tensing’s next court hearing for July 24 and told prosecutors to decide before that time whether they would try Tensing for a third time.

CBS News reports:

Ghiz continues to restrict media coverage. News organizations including The Associated Press have a pending lawsuit against her restrictions on the use of cellphones and other electronic devices.

To convict Tensing of murder, jurors had to find he purposely killed DuBose. The charge carries a possible sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

The voluntary manslaughter charge means killing during sudden passion or a fit of rage. That carries a possible sentence of three to 11 years.

The DuBose family released the following statement after a second hung jury was announced:

“The family commends the prosecutors for their strong presentation in this case but we are outraged that a second jury has now failed to convict Ray Tensing for the murder of our beloved Sam DuBose … We demand another retrial. We call on the community to join us in peaceful protest of this unjust result.”

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