CINCINNATI (AP) — The judge who has taken over the case of a white former University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot a black motorist during a traffic stop emphasized Monday that she is focused on keeping his murder retrial in Cincinnati.
Hamilton County Judge Leslie Ghiz said that’s why she earlier imposed a gag order against trial participants discussing the Ray Tensing case publicly.
“It’s not to keep people in the dark. It’s simply to make sure that we can seat a jury in Hamilton County,” Ghiz said in court after meeting with attorneys for both sides. “And that’s my No. 1 concern right now. And I will do everything I can to make sure that happens for the interests of all parties.”
After a November mistrial because of a hung jury, prosecutor Joe Deters said he wanted the new trial moved to another Ohio city, away from intense local attention. But Ghiz, who replaced the first trial judge, said it should stay in Hamilton County.
Deters recently revamped the prosecution team, with himself and his two assistants in the first trial moving to a May resentencing in a multiple-murder case and assistant prosecutors Stacey DeGraffenreid and Seth Tieger taking over the Tensing prosecution.
Ghiz said the new trial remains on track to begin May 25. She asked the attorneys to report back to her Feb. 27.
Tensing, fired by the University of Cincinnati after his indictment, testified in his first trial that he pulled Sam DuBose over in July 2015 for a missing front license plate and then feared he could be run over when DuBose tried to drive away.
It’s among fatal shootings by police around the country that have raised attention on how police deal with blacks.
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