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Judge Dismisses Request To Dismiss Tensing Retrial

Prosecutor Joe Deters, left, during jury selection for the first trial.

Hamilton County Judge Leslie Ghiz is dismissing a motion asking for her to dismiss the charges against Ray Tensing, the former UC police officer charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of Sam DuBose during a 2015 traffic stop.Tensing attorney Stew Mathews filed a motion Wednesday requesting the dismissal. He argued Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters violated a gag order by speaking about the retrial with WCPO-TV.

Mathews told the judge Thursday he was "incensed." He argued that Deters' actions were a "blatant attempt" to influence the jury.

"This jury pool is poisoned," Mathews said.

The motion was filed following an online article Wednesday in which Deters talked about the upcoming trial.

"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.

In court Thursday, Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier apologized to the judge "for any violation of the gag order."

Journalists in the courtroom report Judge Ghiz was "very mad" about the situation. If it happens again, Ghiz said, she will hold Deters in contempt.

However, she declined to dismiss the case saying that would not be in anyone's interest, save for the defense.

Court administration reports 243 people are in the potential jury pool. Of the 243, 63 were excused for various reasons ranging from work hardships to previously scheduled vacations. They are spending Thursday filling out questionnaires and undergoing orientation.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.