Next steps for prosecutor after Tensing mistrial

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has several options after Ray Tensing's trial ended Saturday with jurors hung on both charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter and the judge declaring a mistrial.

Deters said his office will re-examine the case and decide whether or not to retry the former University of Cincinnati police officer by Nov. 28.

Four jury members wanted to convict Tensing, 27, of murder, Deters said.

The remaining eight elected to acquit him on the murder.

The majority of jurors, eight total, voted to convict Tensing of voluntary manslaughter.

Four wanted to acquit on that charge.

A former assistant prosecutor who is now a FOX19 NOW legal expert, Mark Krumbein, gave some insight into how he would handle this going forward.

"(Deters) wants to consult with his prosecution team. See if they maybe think there is other things that they could have played up more or maybe they should have not emphasized as much. There will be some strategic thinking then. I'm sure he'll consult with other attorneys in his office," Krumbein said.

Deters' options include:

  • Re-try Tensing on the current charges. Murder is punishable 15 years to life in prison. Voluntary Manslaughter carries a three to 11-year prison sentence.
  • Drop the murder charge and retry him on the lesser one or drop both charges and ask a new grand jury to consider other lesser charges such as reckless homicide or negligent homicide.
  • Offer a plea deal on lesser charges.
  • No retrial

There is no end to the amount of times the case could go through retrial if the result continues to be a retrial, according to another FOX19 NOW legal expert, Mike Allen.

Black pastors along with fellow clergy and congregants plan to hold a rally and press conference Monday to demand Deters re-try Tensing.

Pastor Ennis Tait of the Church of the Living God in Avondale said the noon event will take place outside the prosecutor's office Downtown at 230 E. Ninth St.

Black Lives Matter Cincinnati also indicated on its Facebook page they plan to picket outside the office until a retrial is set.

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