Ex-officer appears in court
CINCINNATI — A white former police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate returned to court briefly Friday for a pretrial hearing.
Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan met in chambers with attorneys for both sides to discuss jury selection and other issues in Ray Tensing’s case, scheduled for trial Oct. 25. Tensing, 26, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of Sam DuBose.
Tensing pulled the 43-year-old DuBose over near the University of Cincinnati campus for a missing front license plate on July 19, 2015.
Much of the trial is expected to revolve around bodycam video that showed the encounter that ended with Tensing shooting DuBose in the head. Tensing’s attorney, Stewart Mathews, has said his client feared being dragged under the car as DuBose tried to drive away.
Tensing, free on $1 million bond, hadn’t been in court in more than a year. With security beefed up for the hearing, spectators stayed in the courtroom until after Tensing, wearing a dark suit and tie, had left.
The university fired him last year and has restructured its police.
Shanahan set another hearing for Oct. 21. She excused Tensing from attending that one.
Several of DuBose’s 13 children were in the courtroom but declined to comment afterward.
Earlier this week, his mother voiced her frustration during a community educational forum sponsored by the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati.
“Why is there even a trial?” Audrey DuBose asked. “This was a cold-blooded murder.”
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that legal experts explained trial procedures at the Wednesday evening forum.