Could Tensing Retrial Be Dismissed?

May 24, 2017

The attorney for Ray Tensing is asking Hamilton County Judge Leslie Ghiz to dismiss the case against his client claiming the county prosecutor violated a gag order.

Attorney Stew Mathews alleges in his filing that Prosecutor Joe Deters violated an order not to talk about the case by giving an interview to WCPO-TV. The motion states that WCPO-TV posted an online article Wednesday in which Deters talks about the upcoming trial.

A screen grab of the article to which Tensing's attorney objects.
Credit WCPO.com

The trial is scheduled to begin Thursday, May 25.

"In the article Deters made factual misstatements and speculated as to what this Court might do with regard to adding lesser charges for the jury's consideration," the motion states. "His violation of the gag order is a blatant attempt to influence and bias prospective jurors on the eve of their reporting date."

In the WCPO-TV article, Deters speculates about whether Judge Ghiz might add lesser charges for jurors to consider.

"And I suspect she will," Deters is quoted as saying.

Mathews, in his motion, also suggests this isn't the first time Deters has violated the gag order put in place by Ghiz in December after she took over the retrial.

"He has violated the gag order previously and been admonished for it to no avail."

The motion continues that the "bell cannot be unrung" and the only way to move forward is for the judge to dismiss the charges against Tensing "with prejudice," meaning permanently.

Tensing, a former UC police officer, is charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of motorist Sam DuBose during a 2015 off-campus traffic stop.

The first trial ended in a hung jury late last year.

More than 200 potential jurors are expected to fill out jury questionnaires Thursday. A blank version of the questionnaire won't be released until next week. The document last time was 25 pages long and included questions about a person's views on police use of force and Black Lives Matter.

Jury selection is slated to begin Tuesday, May 30.