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Will Tensing trial reach a verdict today?

Will Tensing trial reach a verdict today?
Posted at 1:18 AM, Nov 11, 2016

CINCINNATI -- Police officers lined the block outside the Hamilton County Courthouse at 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Demonstrators waited nearby. Sam DuBose’s family stood inside the courtroom in front of Judge Megan Shanahan.

All went home without the verdict they had expected -- without any verdict at all, in fact. The Tensing trial, Shanahan told the DuBose family, would continue for another day.

The jury will resume its deliberation in the trial at 8 a.m. Friday, and although police, protesters and family members will all return to the courthouse, they may be sent away a second time if the jury cannot reach a verdict by Friday evening.

The jurors in this case must decide if Ray Tensing, a white former UC police officer who shot and killed unarmed black motorist Sam DuBose during a traffic stop in 2015, is guilty of murder or voluntary manslaughter. The difference in this case, Shanahan told the jury, is that murder is a purposeful killing; voluntary manslaughter is committed in rage or passion when a person thinks he or she is in danger of death or serious bodily harm.

Voluntary manslaughter also carried a lesser sentence -- three to 11 years -- while a murder sentence can stretch from 15 years to life imprisonment.

The jury may also decide to acquit Tensing of both charges. According to Shanahan, the jurors Thursday evening requested to review the testimony of the two "use of force” experts called by the defense and prosecution.

The length of the deliberation set Reagan Brooks, DuBose’s daughter, on edge. She said she interpreted the extra day as a sign that her family won't get the justice it seeks -- namely, a guilty verdict.

"I know for a fact it's murder ... but I feel the worst they will give him is manslaughter, because if they weren't, they wouldn't need this long to say he's guilty," Brooks said.

No one can say for sure. Until Friday evening -- and maybe even after that -- all Cincinnati can do is wait for the jury to make its decision.