Ray Tensing trial recap: Everything you need to know from Day 3

Posted at 3:31 PM, Nov 03, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Day 3 in Ray Tensing's murder trial was centered around two videos: the body camera footage and Tensing's taped interview with Cincinnati police detectives two days after the shooting.

Jurors watched the body camera footage on Day 1, but a forensic analyst broke the video down frame-by-frame Thursday. The prosecution initially hinted at the taped interview during jury selection; the tape was seen publicly for the first time on Thursday.

Here are the major points of Thursday's testimony in the Tensing trial:

We saw Tensing's interview with CPD before he was arrested

The jury heard Tensing's voice for, possibly, the first time Thursday. Cincinnati Police Sgt. Shannon Heine explained the investigation into the shooting. Then, prosecutors shows the taped interview between Tensing, Heine and officer Terry McGuffey.

READ the transcript of Tensing's interviewhere.

In the video, Tensing is not under arrest and willingly answered questions for the detectives. His attorney (not Stew Mathews) was also present. Heine also explained that, per University of Cincinnati Police rules, Tensing was allowed to watch the body camera footage before his interview. That policy differs from Cincinnati Polce Department rules, Heine said.

Prosecutor Joe Deters referred to this video in opening statements when he said: "You'll get to hear, from Tensing's own mouth, that he meant to shoot (DuBose) in the head."

Tensing will testify in the trial, his attorney said, so the jury will hear Tensing's account of the shooting again.

WATCH this video below:




Tensing maintains he was dragged

Tensing describes, multiple times, during the taped interview how his arm was caught in DuBose's steering wheel and DuBose's acceleration caused him to be dragged alongside the car. This has been his defense for the past 16 months.

"My arm got caught or tangled up in the steering wheel as he's accelerating," Tensing said in the interview. "At this point, I lost my balance and fell against his car...(I) was hanging on the side of the car. As he continued to accelerate, my arm was still stuck at this point. I could not free it.

"I was thinking 'Oh my gosh, I'm getting dragged by this guy's car, I don't wanna' die today,'" he said.

"Stop the threat"

Also in the taped interview with detectives, Tensing repeated that he shot DuBose to "stop the threat."

"I'm in fear of (sic) my life. Thinking 'This guy's actively trying to kill me right now,'" Tensing said. "I don't wanna' die today on this street. So the only shot I could see that I could take to stop the threat was a head shot."

When asked by Heine, in the interview, what Tensing's intention was when he drew his weapon, he replied "It was to stop the threat. I believed, at that point, when I was getting dragged by his vehicle, that he was actively trying to kill me."

Analyst went through body camera footage frame-by-frame

Forensic analyst Grant Frederick was a highly-anticipated witness Thursday. He broke down Tensing's body camera footage frame-by-frame.

WATCH the video below:


The defense made an objection to Frederick's testimony when he began to say Tensing fired a shot before the car moved. Judge Megan Shanahan overruled the objection and said Frederick's testimony was valid as an expert opinion.

During cross-examination, Mathews focused on one point in the video -- less than 2/100 of a second -- where DuBose's car moves before Tensing fires his weapon. Frederick said he believed that indicated the car moved 1-2 feet, if at all.

Tensing was not dragged, expert said

The most definitive statement to come out of Frederick's analysis: He said Tensing was not dragged by the car.

"He was up and erect, and before he fired the shot the car moved no more than a couple of feet, if at all," he said. "No, he had not been dragged."

Frederick based his judgment on the motion -- or lack thereof -- of the car and Tensing's position relative to the car based on the background seen through the passenger-side window, the angle of the air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror and Tensing's reflection in the side of the car.

Tires did not squeal, expert said

On Wednesday, officers David Lindenschmidt and Phillip Kidd testified that they heard the squealing of tires, then a gunshot. Frederick analyzed the audio of the tape and replayed it in court. He said he heard no squealing of tires.

Tensing said a headshot was his best option

In the interview with detectives, Tensing said he shot DuBose in the head because it was the only shot he could take.

"As I pulled my gun out, and as I'm falling, I'm kinda' below the plane of his window," he said. "So the only shot I could see that I could take to stop the threat was a head shot."

In the body camera footage analysis, Frederick said it was impossible for Tensing's view to be so constricted.

"There's no possibility -- because there's no possibility his head was underneath the body camera," he said. Tensing's issued body camera is worn on the chest.

Replica car entered into evidence.

A retired transportation employee, Philip Kennedy, was the final witness Thursday. He made the life-size cardboard replica Honda that the prosecution entered into evidence.

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