REVEALED: What the Tensing lawyers, judge discussed in secret - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

REVEALED: What the Tensing lawyers, judge discussed in secret

Ray Tensing in court with his lawyer, Stew Mathews. (FOX19 NOW/file) Ray Tensing in court with his lawyer, Stew Mathews. (FOX19 NOW/file)
Judge Leslie Ghiz (FOX19 NOW) Judge Leslie Ghiz (FOX19 NOW)
Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Seth Tieger. (FOX19 NOW/file) Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Seth Tieger. (FOX19 NOW/file)
CINCINNATI (FOX19) -

New documents from the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court provide never-before-seen insight into the trial of Ray Tensing.

28 pages of unsealed transcripts detail the 13 sidebar conversations that the judge, prosecutor, and defense did not want jurors to hear.

The subject matter had been secret from the jurors and public until Tuesday.

[Judge formally drops charges against Ray Tensing]

The first sidebar shows Prosecutor Seth Tieger’s concern over the number of minorities dismissed by the defense during jury questioning.

The transcripts reveal disputes over the relevancy of certain evidence in the case, including the marijuana and other drugs in Sam DuBose’s system when he died.

An autopsy found an anti-fungal drug, an antibiotic and marijuana in DuBose’s system, Tieger revealed in the eleventh sidebar conversation. He argued there was no scientific way to determine the amount of marijuana in DuBose's system and whether he was impaired during the fatal traffic stop.

The judge barred jurors from hearing about DuBose’s medical history and criminal recorded, which included several arrests for marijuana-related offenses. 

Stew Mathews, Attorney for Ray Tensing: I’m not trying to prove that there was impairment. I’m just trying to prove there was marijuana in his system.

Tieger: I don’t see the relevance of that, Judge.

Court: Well, it could affect his judgment.

Tieger: Well, no, because it wouldn’t, because nobody could say that it would have had an effect because the blood was taken too long after his death. And I also ask to exclude the antibiotic and anti-fungal medication.

The transcript release comes one day after Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Leslie Ghiz permanently dismissed the state’s case against the former police officer.

Two sidebar conversation reviewed whether jurors should see photos of DuBose’s body and bullet wound.  

“Explain to me the understanding of his body being covered laying outside the car and his face being all bloodied, I mean, what does that show with regard to that testimony?” Ghiz asked the prosecution.

She ultimately excluded photos of DuBose’s body at the crime scene but briefly allowed jurors to see images from his autopsy report.

Three sidebar conversations were in regard to witnesses to not wanting to be shown on camera. The judge permitted those requests. 

Murder and voluntary manslaughter charges were formally dropped Monday against the former University of Cincinnati police officer in the fatal shooting of a DuBose during a 2015 traffic stop.

The first two trials ended in deadlocked juries and mistrials.

The Department of Justice is now reviewing all evidence, including some not permitted in court, to see if they will pursue a civil rights violation case against Tensing.

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