On Thursday, Former University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing pled not guilty to charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter in the July 19 shooting of Samuel DuBose. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced the charges at a news conference this week and also released several videos of Tensing’s body camera.
On July 30, 2015, I appeared on The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson #TheRealStory on the Fox News network with Gretchen Carlson (@GretchenCarlson) to discuss the fatal shooting of #SamDubose by Officer Tensing.
On the appearance, we viewed and discussed the body camera video that depicts the roadside stop and the events leading up to the shooting. The video is very evidential, persuasive, and objective. This is yet another example of how video cameras and/or body cameras are changing the face of investigations. Here, we have objective evidence of what occurred before, during, and after the fatal shooting of Dubose.
This video is critical, especially in light of the officer’s statements and the officer’s police report alleging that he was dragged by the victim’s vehicle prior to firing the fatal shot.
Accordingly, as Tensing’s attorney has already stated, they will argue self-defense. Self-defense exists when the defendant reasonably believes that such force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the use of unlawful force by another person. Tensing’s attorney will alternatively argue for manslaughter, which is a lesser included offense which may apply if the jury finds that Tensing acted recklessly instead of purposefully.
However, as I discussed in this appearance, we are a long way from a conviction in this case. This officer has the same constitutional rights as any other defendant accused in the country. Tensing is presumed innocent and the Prosecutor must prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt. His attorney will have every opportunity to argue self-defense or that Tensing didn’t have the purpose or knowledge to kill Dubose.
If convicted of murder, Tensing would face 15 years to life. The sentencing range for manslaughter is 3 -10 years.
Finally, while Ohio is a state that has the death penalty, Prosecutor Deters has elected not to present special circumstances to the grand jury and, accordingly, will not seek the death penalty.