Prosecution rests in Ray Tensing murder trial

Prosecution rests in Ray Tensing murder trial
FOX19 NOW/Jody Barr
FOX19 NOW/Jody Barr

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The state of Ohio called its last witness Monday in the murder trial of former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing.

The testimony finished around 12:15 p.m. and the defense called four witnesses to the stand.

One of the four alternate jurors serving in the trial quit over privacy concerns, the judge announced before testimony began Monday.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Megan Shanahan started court Monday by announcing the female juror left after safety concerns arose Friday.

The judge told the jury before court began Friday the Cincinnati Enquirer requested the juror's 25-page questionnaires and she would release them after redacting their personal information.

Later in the morning, a juror raised concerns over privacy and the media obtaining the questionnaires. A 90-minute delay ensued with attorneys going in and out of the judge's chambers.

The Enquirer then dropped their public records request, saying their reporting would not have identified anyone but they didn't want to do anything to get in the way of the trial proceeding.

Court ended for the day with the judge issuing a gag order that prevents attorneys from talking about the case.

The newspaper, which is FOX19 NOW's media partner, was seeking the questionnaires to learn more about the men and women who will determine the outcome of one of the most important murder trials in Hamilton County in years.

It's common for media outlets to request juror questionnaires, which include details about jurors' backgrounds and their view of the justice system.

FOX19 NOW would never publicize the identity of the jurors in this case or in any other case unless the jurors themselves want to come forward after the case.

But now, the questionnaires may never see the light of day.

On Monday, the judge announced another media outlet was still requesting the public records, and she is now working to prevent the questionnaires from being released, even after the trial is over.

Live blog: Ray Tensing trial

After the judge's remarks, testimony began Monday as the prosecution wraps up its case.

Tensing, 26, a former University of Cincinnati police officer, is on trial for murder and voluntary manslaughter in DuBose's July 19, 2015 shooting death during a traffic stop near campus.

Tensing said he was in fear of his life from being dragged when DuBose tried to drive off in his Honda Accord.

He has pleaded not guilty and remains free after posting 10 percent of his $1 million bond.

Mike Trimpe from the Hamilton County Coroner's Office, testified first on Monday.

He said he found no abrasions on Tensing's boots to indicate he was dragged the day he he fatally shot Samuel DuBose during a traffic stop off campus in Mt. Auburn.

Cincinnati Police Criminologist Martin Odom took the stand next. He said Tensing seemed "nervous or afraid" at the hospital after the shooting when Odom arrived to photograph Tensing's possible injuries.

Odom testified that Tensing had a couple scrapes and bruising, but there were no injuries on his back.

His testimony was followed by Brian Scowden, chief drug analyst at the Hamilton County Coroner's Office.

"Plant material" found in DuBose's car turned out to be marijuana, he said, and perfume/air freshener was found in a gin bottle also in the vehicle.

Edward Klein Lattyak,a firearms instructor with the coroner's office, testified fourth.

He examined Tensing's UCPD-issued service weapon that killed DuBose. Lattyak test fired the .40-caliber handgun several times and said it operated normally.

After the prosecution rests, the defense will put on its case.

The star witness is expected to be Tensing himself testifying on his own behalf.

The defense likely will wrap up by the end of the week.

Closing arguments could take place as soon as next Monday, Nov. 14.

In evidence presented in court last week, it was revealed that Tensing wore a Smoky Mountains T-shirt that also had an image of the Confederate flag under his UC police uniform the day of the shooting.

A police expert testifying for the prosecution said Tensing's use of force was "unreasonable" in the "unjustified" shooting of DuBose.

The use of force expert,Scot Haug, also said Tensing made "tactically unsound" decisions that set off events leading to DuBose's death.

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