Tensing's attorney says Sam DuBose 'brought that on himself'

Posted at 12:24 AM, Jul 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-22 00:55:56-04

You can watch our full interview with Mathews on This Week in Cincinnati at 11 a.m. Sunday.

CINCINNATI -- Speaking the night before a planned Saturday rally for supporters of Sam DuBose, a black motorist shot and killed by ex-UC police officer Ray Tensing in 2015, Tensing's attorney Stew Mathews was blunt: He does not believe his client should apologize to DuBose's family.

"Ray feels terrible about what happened to Sam DuBose, but DuBose brought that on himself," Mathews said. "Ray was justified in what he did, and I don't think he has any reason to apologize."

Mathews defended Tensing against charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter through two nationally publicized trials, both of which ended with the jury unable to reach a verdict.

RELATED: Prosecutor Joe Deters decides not to try Ray Tensing third time in killing of Sam DuBose

Tensing, at the time a police officer for the University of Cincinnati, shot DuBose in the head during a July 2015 traffic stop in Mount Auburn. Tensing claimed DuBose tried to drive off from the stop, and that he feared for life because his arm was caught in the car.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, who prosecuted Tensing's first trial, announced Tuesday he would not seek a third because he did not believe there was a realistic chance of conviction.

He did, however, reiterate his belief in Tensing's guilt.

"I think Tensing murdered Sam DuBose, so it's not a pleasant outcome," he said in an interview with Tanya O'Rourke. Later, he added: "What I would love Ray Tensing to do would be for him to apologize to the DuBose family because he never has, ever, and it makes me sick to my stomach."

RELATED: Prosecutor Joe Deters challenges Ray Tensing to apologize to Sam DuBose's family

DuBose's sister, Terina Allen, had far stronger words for the situation.

"I'm going to be on Ray Tensing's back for the rest of his life," she said Tuesday after Deters announced his decision. "I'm going to make sure the whole world knows that he is a murderer. … He is going to suffer."

It's that impassioned speech that Mathews said caused genuine fear for Tensing's safety.

"I'd almost be afraid to put Ray Tensing anywhere near the DuBose family," Mathews said. "I've been notified by law enforcement that they are aware of threats that have been made to him and asked me to make him aware of that. And where he lives, the police agency there, I think, pays special attention to his place."

Many local groups, the Countdown to Conviction Coalition chief among them, have held marches and vigils in support of the DuBose family throughout the case's two-year (and counting) journey through the justice system. Allen and her family members have attended many of these.

Tensing and his family have been far more private, declining to speak to media outlets, and events expressing support for him have been far more scarce. However, supporters will gather on the Purple People Bridge Monday night for a vigil beginning at 6 p.m.

Although he will not face trial again in Hamilton County, Tensing's legal saga isn't over. The U.S. Attorney for Southwest Ohio, Benjamin Glassman, announced after Deters' decision that his office would review the case and determine whether Tensing might face federal charges of violating DuBose's civil rights.

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