Portion of jurors excused in Tensing case

Trial is expected to begin in less than two weeks
Posted at 8:01 AM, Oct 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 12:22:55-04

CINCINNATI -- After more than two hours of waiting, Ray Tensing's pre-trial hearing took only a few minutes Friday.

Tensing -- the former University of Cincinnati police officer charged in the shooting and killing of Sam DuBose in a traffic stop last year -- was due in court Friday at 9 a.m. It was the first time he's been required to appear for more than a year.

Tensing made an appearance in the courtroom shortly after 10 a.m., but went into a conference room with his attorney and the prosecution for more than an hour.

When they emerged, they told Judge Megan Shanahan that both sides of the court agreed to excuse specific jurors.

Of the 1,000 summons issued, 70 were excused because of business hardship, 54 were excused because of medical issues, 19 students were excused and 239 submitted optional excuses. In addition, 222 jury summons were sent and returned without issues, 91 were undeliverable and 99 requested postponement.


The last time Tensing was in court was July of 2015; he was wearing a grey, striped jumpsuit. He pleaded not guilty to murder and voluntary manslaughter and was released 24 hours after paying $100,000 (ten percent of his million dollar bond).

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Tensing's attorney previously expressed concern over finding and objective jury in Hamilton County.

"I want to know whether people have formed an opinion based on anything they've seen yet and whether that opinion is so ingrained in their minds that they're not going to change it no matter what the evidence is," said Stewart Mathews, Tensing's attorney.

Tensing has pleaded not guilty in the July 19 shooting in Cincinnati's Mount Auburn neighborhood. 

Mathews has said his client feared being dragged under the car as DuBose tried to drive away. He pulled DuBose over near campus for a missing front license plate.

The shooting came amid increased national attention on how police treat black suspects. DuBose was black; Tensing is white.

In January, DuBose’s family agreed to a settlement with the university for $4.85 million and free tuition for his children. A judge heard arguments in April on how to fairly distribute the proceeds of that settlement after nearly two-dozen people filed claims on the estate.

The next Tensing hearing is scheduled for next Friday at 9 a.m.