Prosecutor will retry ex-University of Cincinnati officer for murder, will request change of venue

Posted at 10:16 AM, Nov 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-22 10:47:02-05

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters will try ex-police officer Ray Tensing for murder and voluntary manslaughter, he announced Tuesday. The big difference this time around, Deters hopes, will be a change of venue.

Earlier this month, a jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on the murder and voluntary manslaughter charges against the former University of Cincinnati police officer, leading Judge Megan Shanahan to declare a hung jury and a mistrial.

"If I thought we couldn't win this case, I wouldn't retry it," Deters said Tuesday.

Before the start of the trial, Tensing's attorney Stew Mathews requested a change of venue; the request was denied.

Deters said he plans to request a change of venue for the trial, saying it would be very difficult to find an impartial jury in Hamilton County. A judge will need to grant the motion for a change of venue. He said "Columbus or Cleveland would be fine with me."

Deters said the jury's fear of being identified was a factor that worked against his case.

"We had a revolt in the jury room," Deters said. "The jurors were afraid people would learn their names."

He said the jury likely heard and discussed things that were not pertinent to the case.

"No question in my mind, issues were being discussed in the jury room that shouldn't have been discussed," Deters said.

Deters will personally retry the case. He said he doesn't know of a case that was ever moved out of Hamilton County.