Ray Tensing Trial Verdict – Hung Jury, Mistrial Declared
If you’re unfamiliar with the case, please see coverage of the trial at this link.
The jury of 10 Whites and 2 Blacks deadlocked. The decision came on the fourth day of deliberations.
Ohio Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan accepted the jury’s deadlock Saturday morning. The case is now back in the hands of prosecutors who must decide whether they will retry the case or dismiss it. Ray Tensing remains free on a $1 million bond.
Cincinnati.com reports that after the judge lifted the gag order, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters revealed the jury voted eight to four in favor of a voluntary manslaughter conviction. Three jurors were willing to find Tensing guilty of murder.
The deadlocked jury is not rare in cases involving police officer shootings of unarmed citizens. The jury deadlocked in the trial of Charlotte, North Carolina police officer Randall Kerrick for killing unarmed Jonathan Ferrell. The jury deadlocked in the trial of Baltimore police officer William Porter, in the death of Freddie Gray. In New Mexico, two officers stood trial for the killing of James Boyd, a White homeless man. The jury deadlocked. Richmond police officer David L. Cobb was put on trial for killing of 18-year-old Paterson Brown Jr. The jury deadlocked.
In the Ray Tensing trial, the defense said Dubose used his car as a weapon, and Tensing pulled his gun when he feared for his life as he was dragged. Prosecutors maintained that Tensing was not dragged. They presented bodycam footage and frame-by-frame photos showing that Tensing shot Dubose in the head before Dubose’s car moved.
Yesterday, the jury had a question about the meaning of arrest. It shows how juries go beyond testimony and evidence presented at trial and in this case, in what appears to hold the victim at fault, justifying death. No where on the video does Tensing tell Dubose he is under arrest. Additionally, the jury instructions included that officers cannot use deadly force on fleeing suspects.