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Jury Selection Begins In Tensing Retrial


Jury selection began Friday in the retrial of former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing.

After dismissing around 60 potential jurors for various reasons including vacations, family concerns, and health issues, the potential pool stands at 107 people. Courtroom observers estimate there are approximately 17 African-Americans remaining in that group.

Judge Leslie Ghiz says she expects to continue the selection process on Monday.

The defense on Friday joined with the prosecution in requesting a change of venue. The judge is waiting to rule on that until it's clear whether a jury can be seated. She did refuse to release the parties from a gag order and said she's looking into barring others like the DuBose family's civil attorney and attorneys for the media from talking to the media.

She began proceedings Friday by blasting media outlets for filling a protest with an appeals court over restrictive public access rules. "I think the media thinks that it is their duty to walk in and voir dire or to question this jury panel as if they were conducting voir dire, and it's offensive."

She also threatened to bar media from all proceedings if any jurors' images are shown.

Attorneys for local media, including WVXU, filed early Friday morning with the appeals court objecting to the judge's ban on electronic devices and failure to discuss whether she'll release completed juror questionnaires, redacted or otherwise.

Ghiz says her goal is to protect the identities of potential jurors. WVXU does not publish juror names or images.

When jurors were not in the courtroom, observers report witnessing an interesting interaction between the woman who identifies herself as Ray Tensing's mother and Audrey DuBose, Sam DuBose's mother. Witnesses say Tensing's mother approached DuBose and had a short conversation while wiping at what looked to be tears in her eyes. The brief interaction concluded in a quick embrace. Later, as DuBose was leaving the courtroom, she approached Tensing's mother and the two hugged briefly again.

Tensing is charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter for the July 2015 shooting of Sam DuBose during a traffic stop.

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.