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Charges Against Ray Tensing Dismissed

Cara Owsley
Ray Tensing seated beside FOP attorney Gwen Callender on the first day of his retrial on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

A judge Monday formally dismissed the charges against former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing. He was charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter for the July 2015 shooting death of Sam DuBose during a traffic stop.Hamilton County Judge Leslie Ghiz dismissed the charges "with prejudice," meaning Tensing can't be tried for them again in Ohio.

Tensing's attorney, Stew Mathews, requested Tensing be acquitted since two juries failed to find him guilty, but Ghiz denied that motion.

The U.S. Attorney's office is investigating whether federal charges should be brought for civil rights violations.

For now, Tensing is a free man and could return to police work. His attorney, Stew Mathews, says he thinks Tensing would make a good officer.

"A lot of people might disagree with me, but I think absolutely he could," Mathews said outside the courtroom Monday. "I think he did what probably 99 percent of police officers who were faced with that situation would've done. Ray had absolutely no disciplinary record at UC. He had lots of training. I think absolutely he was a good police officer and he'd make an excellent officer for any department that wanted to take a chance on him."

Tensing maintains he feared for his life during the July 19, 2015 traffic stop. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, at the time, called the shooting "senseless" and "asinine." Deters said last week while announcing he wouldn't seek a third trial that he still believes Tensing is guilty of murder. However, two juries have deadlocked on the issue, with jurors telling prosecutors they'd likely never get a conviction.

Tensing was fired from UC shortly after the shooting. Days later he filed a grievance through the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) arguing he was dismissed without due process, a violation of his labor contract.

That matter remains unsettled.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.