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Tensing Trial: Was Tensing in fear for his life or did he lie to save himself?

Ray Tensing, the former University of Cincinnati police officer, listens to Stew Mathews present closing arguments on the eighth day of Raymond Tensing?s retrial in Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Leslie Ghiz?s courtroom Monday, June 19, 2017. Tensing, the former University of Cincinnati police officer, is charged with murdering Sam DuBose during a routine traffic stop on July 19, 2015. Tensing's lawyer, Stew Mathews, has said Tensing fired a single shot.

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The jury in the Ray Tensing trial must now decide whether Ray Tensing was in fear for his life and justified in shooting and killing Sam DuBose during a traffic stop or whether he made crucial mistakes and lied to save himself. Jury deliberations began Monday afternoon at about 12:45 p.m.

Defense attorney Stew Mathews admitted the shooting of DuBose was a tragedy for all involved. Mathews said DuBose was at fault. "I hate to go back through all the facts but I feel my obligation to Ray Tensing is to look at it through Sam DuBose."

DuBose didn't want to give Tensing his state ID, which would have shown he didn't have a license. DuBose had enough marijuana for a felony and a lot of cash.

"Something was wrong with Sam," said Mathews, citing his prescriptions and his homeopathic remedies found in his car. Could have been charged with OVI? We don't know but Mathews said you can safely conclude DuBose had a motive for getting away.


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Mathews admitted Tensing made a mistake by reaching into DuBose's car, "No doubt about it". But, he says officers do it all the time.

The defense attorney maintained DuBose's car did move and Tensing ended up some 20 feet up the street. He didn't shoot to kill Sam DuBose, said Mathews, he shot to stop the threat. "If breaking down a video millisecond by millisecond isn't 20/20 hindsight, I don't know what is".

Assistant prosecutor Seth Tieger said with no body cam video, Tensing wouldn't have been charged. "Through the miracle of video, the ultimate witness, that video has no lies and it led to the case before the jury."

Tieger said Sam DuBose didn't drag Tensing but "Sam DuBose was dragged through the mud during this trial. This is typical of every murder and every rape to blame the victim."

Tieger said there was no danger to Tensing when he went for his gun. He said the video showed the car only moved slightly when Tensing fired the shot and he wasn't being dragged. Tensing had a choice to make that evening after the serious tactical error of reaching into the car. "Do I disengage as DuBose tries to get away or do I kill him?"

The defense would say non-compliance by DuBose means not guilty. Tieger admits if DuBose complied he probably wouldn't be dead. But Tensing should have done what every other officer would have done, and that's disengage.


At the scene, there's no regard for DuBose by Tensing. "He wasn't treated as a person, he was treated as a crime scene."

He didn't cry during his testimony for Sam DuBose said Tieger, he cried for himself.


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