Investigation finds 'no violation' in sergeant's Tensing retrial testimony

Posted at 1:50 PM, Jul 21, 2017
and last updated 2019-01-04 16:48:39-05

CINCINNATI -- A review of testimony given by a police sergeant in the Ray Tensing retrial found nothing wrong with the sergeant's actions, officials announce Friday.

Sgt. Shannon Heine drew criticism from prosecutors after she testified during cross-examination, "I thought I was looking at an officer-involved shooting, where his actions may be determined to be justified, based on events surround the actual shooting and taking in consideration the information about the prior conduct of Mr. DuBose and Officer Tensing."

Heine was one of the Cincinnati Police Department homicide detectives who interviewed Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati office, two days after he shot and killed Sam DuBose.

Police investigated Heine's testimony after they received a complaint about it from the Cincinnati Black United Front. Investigators found Heine "had a legal obligation to answer the questions" and that "no violation occurred."

Prosecutor Seth Tieger had objected to the question that prompted the testimony from Heine. Later, Tieger said during closing arguments that the detectives gave Tensing preferential treatment and accused them of being part of the "good old boy network."

Investigators also looked into what contact Heine had with the prosecution and defense. She indicated she had never interacted with the defense team outside the court appearances. However, she had met with the prosecution ahead of the trial, answering their questions about her personal opinions.

"As a result of this review, the Department believes the prosecution team was fully aware of these opinions prior to presenting Sergeant Heine as a prosecution witness," officials wrote.

Officials said they planned to take no more action after the investigation.

The judge declared a mistrial after jurors were unable to reach a verdict. Prosecutor Joe Deters said he will not pursue a third trial for Tensing.

Read the summary of the review below:

201721 Heine Review by WCPO Web Team on Scribd