Tensing's Confederate flag shirt barred from retrial - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Tensing's Confederate flag shirt barred from retrial

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Ray Tensing (Cincinnati Enquirer) Ray Tensing (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Samuel DuBose Samuel DuBose
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

The judge overseeing the Ray Tensing murder retrial ruled that a controversial T-shirt will not be shown to jurors.

Tensing's defense argued Friday to keep the prosecution from showing jurors the "Great Smokey Mountains" T-shirt depicting the Confederate flag Tensing wore under his University of Cincinnati police uniform the day he shot and killed Samuel DuBose at a 2015 traffic stop.

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UC police were required to wear their own black T-shirts under their uniforms.

Prosecutors showed it to jurors during Tensing's first trial, which ended in a hung jury and mistrial last fall.

Tensing’s attorneys contended the T-shirt “contains nothing of evidentiary value, is irrelevant and highly inflammatory," court records show.

Showing it to the jury would "unduly arouse the passions of the jury, rendering them unable to perform their duties as an impartial fact-finder," they wrote in court records.

“In order to preserve (Tensing’s) constitutionally guaranteed rights of due process a fair trial and an impartial jury, any evidence related to the T-shirt should be excluded.”

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Leslie Ghiz also ruled on a few other motions.

Tensing's attorneys are questioning the qualifications of the prosecution's star witness in the first trial, forensic video expert Grant Fredericks. He will be permitted to testify.

During the first trial, Fredericks testified Tensing's own body camera video shows Tensing drew gun and pointed it at DuBose’s head after DuBose restarted his car, but before it moved.

Tensing initially told investigators he pulled his service weapon because he was being dragged by the car and feared for his life. He testified at trial it was his "perception" he was being dragged.

Fredericks told jurors the video shows Tensing shot DuBose before DuBose's car barely moved.

The defense asked to add Scott Roder to their witness list to provide video analysis of the body cam footage.

He will be allowed to testify, but his video animations will not be permitted. He will only be allowed to use the body cam video.

Jury selection is underway and expected to finish Tuesday.

Tensing, 27, is charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter. 

He faces 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted of the murder charge.

The lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 11 years.

Full coverage: Ray Tensing Retrial

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