DuBose Family Asks For Third Trial
The family of Sam DuBose is asking the Hamilton County Prosecutor to retry Ray Tensing a third time. Flanked by her mother and sister Tuesday afternoon, DuBose's sister Terina Allen said the family wants the Department of Justice to investigate as well.
"I want Tensing convicted in the state of Ohio for killing my brother and then I want him convicted by the federal government for violating his civil rights," Allen told reporters during a news conference.
Allen says the family also wants an investigation related to the testimony of Cincinnati Police officer Sgt. Shannon Heine. A prosecution witness, Heine testified during cross-examination that she thought the officer-involved shooting was likely justified. The prosecution objected before and after Heine's statement - she wasn't certified as an expert witness - but Judge Leslie Ghiz let it stand.
She later drew a parallel between her brother's death and that of Wyoming graduate Otto Warmbier, who died last week after being held in North Korea for 18 months.
"It's not like we're saying Sam wasn't doing anything wrong. We're saying that his punishment was outrageous. People can see that when we're talking about Otto (Warmbier) but they don't see it when we're talking about Sam," Allen said. "Injustice is injustice. It can't be injustice when North Korea does it to an American but not be injustice when a law enforcement officer in the United States of America does it to an American citizen."
Allen started her remarks by describing her brother as protective, a comedian, and someone with a big heart. She talked about speaking with him by phone the Sunday before he was fatally shot by then-U.C. police officer Ray Tensing during a traffic stop.
"The next Sunday, exactly a week later," Allen said through tears, "he was dead with a bullet in his head, and my whole world and my family's whole world has been irreversibly changed."
Tensing has maintained through two trials he shot DuBose because he feared being dragged and killed.
The DuBose family says they want Prosecutor Joe Deters to move forward with a third trial on the same charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter "and if he wants to add additional charges like excessive force or reckless homicide - even though Tensing's lawyer said he purposely shot him in the head and there was literally "nothing reckless" about what he did that day - we can go with that."
Allen added, "That's a sign of where we are in this country."
Audrey DuBose, Sam's mother, thanked people who are planning to rally Wednesday evening and encouraged them to remain peaceful.
She was also asked about a moment during jury selection when she was approached by Tensing's mother, Amy. DuBose didn't say much about the moment, which court observers note ended in a hug, other than to say "She's crying out for her son just like I'm crying out for mine. I can understand that. She's afraid of her son going to jail. My son is already dead and buried."
While Allen and the DuBose family praised the support they've received from the county prosecutor's office, she criticized Judge Leslie Ghiz, suggesting the judge acted as a "second attorney for Tensing." Allen was upset about the judge not allowing Tensing's confederate flag t-shirt or arrest record, among several grievances.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters says he'll announce the week of July 10 whether he'll retry Tensing. Last week a jury was unable to come to a consensus on murder and manslaughter charges and Judge Ghiz declared a mistrial.