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Tensing Pleads Not Guilty In DuBose Murder; Hit With $1 Million Bond

Tana Weingartner

A hand-cuffed Ray Tensing appeared in a Hamilton County Common Pleas courtroom Thursday morning and entered a not guilty plea to a charge of murder and was slapped by the judge with a $1 million bond.

The 25-year-old Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati police officer, is accused of murder in the July 19 shooting death of 43-year-old Samuel DuBose, whom Tensing had pulled over for a traffic stop.

Tensing’s lawyer, Stew Mathews, argued for a low bail for Tensing, saying he was not a flight risk. But Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier asked Judge Megan Shanahan for $1 million bail, which he described as the standard for a murder case.

Shanahan’s bailiff told WVXU that Tensing could be released from the Hamilton County Justice Center if he were to post 10 percent, or $100,000, in cash, property or surety bonds.

DuBose’s family and friends were in the courtroom when Tensing was arraigned Thursday morning; and a cheer went up from the gallery when Shanahan ordered the $1 million bond.

Shanahan admonished the cheering spectators, telling them they would act appropriately in her courtroom.

The judge set a hearing on the Tensing case for Aug. 19. 

Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
Tensing spoke only to answer, "Yes, your honor," when asked if he understood the charges against him.

Tensing was indicted by a Hamilton County grand jury Wednesday. He was indicted on the basis of a body cam video which showed the entire incident. DuBose was pulled over because his car did not have a front license plate as required in Ohio.

Hamilton County prosecutor Joseph T. Deters said in a Wednesday press conference announcing the grand jury decision that it was the most “asinine” and “senseless” act he has ever seen a police officer commit.

“It was the purposeful killing of a person,’’ Deters said. “That’s what makes it murder.”

Outside the courtroom Thursday morning, Tensing’s lawyer said that his client is “extremely depressed” over the indictment.

“He was in fear for his life when this happened,’’ Mathews said.