Judge says police murder retrial on course for May 25

Dan Sewell
Associated Press

Cincinnati — A judge said Monday the retrial of a white former University of Cincinnati police officer in the death of an unarmed black man is on course to begin May 25.

Hamilton County Judge Leslie Ghiz met with defense attorneys and prosecutors in the Ray Tensing case. She said after the closed-door session that they discussed logistics and other matters. She scheduled another meeting for April 4.

Tensing testified at his first murder trial that he feared for his life as Sam DuBose tried to drive away from a traffic stop in July 2015. He had pulled over DuBose for a missing front license plate. That trial ended with a hung jury on the murder and voluntary manslaughter counts, which Tensing again faces in the retrial.

The Ohio case is among several police shooting cases around the country that have increased attention on how police treat blacks.

Ghiz was assigned the case after the first trial judge recused herself after the November mistrial, saying a new trial should be conducted “with a blank slate.”

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said after the mistrial in Cincinnati that he’d like to retry the former officer in another city so jurors would be removed from the intense local attention that had been given the case.

But Ghiz has said her goal is to keep the second trial in Hamilton County, and she has imposed a gag order in an effort to lessen pretrial publicity.

Deters has revamped the prosecution team in the case. He and his two assistants in the first trial are handling a May resentencing in a multiple-murder case; assistant prosecutors Stacey DeGraffenreid and Seth Tieger are handling the Tensing retrial.