Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing will be retried on murder and voluntary manslaughter, charges Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced Tuesday.
A mistrial on the same charges was declared Nov. 12 after the jury spent 25 hours in deliberations, but could not come to a unanimous decision on either charge.
"After careful consideration, I have decided that the Tensing case will be retried," Deters said in a news release. "This decision was made after review of the trial transcript, discussion with some of the jurors, and consultation with my staff. I am hopeful that a second jury will be able to reach a decision to bring justice in this case for the victim's family and our community."
During a Tuesday morning press release, Deters said he would be asking for a change of venue, pointing to Cleveland or Columbus as potential destinations for the new trial.
Deters said the jury of six white men, four white women and two black women ended up 8-4 on the voluntary manslaughter charge, the lesser of the two charges presented during the trial.
In an early straw poll, jurors thought Tensing was guilty of murder, but when it came down to an official vote, only “three or four” cast their vote for the charge, which carries a life prison term, Deters has revealed in recent days.
Tensing, a white officer, fatally shot Sam DuBose, an unarmed black man, during a traffic stop in Mount Auburn in July of 2015.
It’s difficult to convict a police officer on a charge of murder because jurors understand lethal force is part of the job. Tensing testified DuBose was trying to flee, that it was his perception that he was being dragged and he feared for his life. The only way to "stop the threat" was to take the fatal shot, Tensing said. A video expert, testifying on behalf of the prosecutor’s office, said DuBose moved a couple of feet, but was not being dragged.
The trial was filled with bombshell testimony: The day of the shooting, Tensing was wearing a T-shirt depicting an image of the Confederate Flag, an eyewitness testified and the public heard from Tensing himself for the first time in his recorded police interview and on the stand.
Deters’ other options included dismissing the charges, prosecuting only on the lesser charge or re-presenting the case to the grand jury seeking a different charges.