Police: Sam DuBose had 4 bags, 1 jar of marijuana in his car when Ray Tensing stopped him

CINCINNATI – Sam DuBose had four bags and one jar of marijuana in his car when he was shot and killed by former University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Tensing, 25, pulled over DuBose in Mount Auburn on July 19 because DuBose was a missing front license plate, according to an incident report. Tensing drew his gun and shot DuBose in the head after reaching into the 43-year-old's vehicle and yelling "Stop!"

Tensing told officers at the scene he had been dragged by DuBose's vehicle before he opened fire. However, Tensing's body cam video told a different story, leading Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters to call Tensing a killer.

"I think (Tensing) lost his temper because Mr. DuBose would not get out of his car," Deters said at a news conference. "When you see (the video), you will not believe how quickly he pulled his gun and shot him in the head."


DuBose's car was towed to the Cincinnati Police Department’s District One garage after his death. A judge signed a warrant to search the vehicle two days later.

Police records indicate officers discovered two bags of marijuana in the center console, two bags of marijuana under the front passenger seat and a jar with marijuana on the floor behind the driver's seat. The documents did not specify how much marijuana was in the bags and jar.

"I don't think it affects the case, nor does it affect Tensing's murder of him," Mark O'Mara, the DuBose family attorney said. "It doesn't demean or diminish Sam's life in any way."

The search also turned up a red hat, according to the police search warrant inventory. There was no mention of any weapons.

Tensing is currently awaiting trial on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter stemming from the shooting.

Stew Mathews, the attorney representing Tensing, said the marijuana may have been the reason DuBose started his car's ignition moments before he was shot.

"He wasn't worried about the missing front license plate," Mathews said. "He was worried about the potential felony charges for having drugs in the car."

A gin bottle filled with air freshener, like the one DuBose handed Tensing shortly before the shooting, is often used as a ploy to throw off drug-sniffing dogs, according to Mathews.

"I will try to use this at trial," he said. "All the facts ought to come out. That's pretty important."

O'Mara said there was still no basis for an arrest.

"Tensing was over-reacting from moment one," he said. "Why he decided to take and hold onto the air freshener is yet to be seen. That was inappropriate, and why he took out his gun was completely inappropriate and why he shot him was without justification."

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