Ray Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati police officer, is charged with murder in the shooting death of a motorist he pulled over. Photo courtesy Hamilton County Justice Center
CINCINNATI, July 30 (UPI) -- Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing was released from jail on bond Thursday after pleading not guilty to murder in the shooting death of a motorist he stopped for a missing front license plate.
Tensing, 25, pleaded not guilty in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court on Thursday morning. Applause erupted in the courtroom when the judge set a bond amount of $1 million. A 10 percent bond deposit was posted and Tensing was released from jail around 6:25 p.m. local time, NBC News reported.
Outside the courtroom, Sam DuBose's family and friends demanded a conviction. Tensing faces at least 15 years in prison or a possible life sentence in DuBose's death. He is also charged with voluntary manslaughter, which could bring another 11 years.
"If this man doesn't get convicted, they can shoot me in the head, too," said Kimberly Thomas, a friend of DuBose's.
On July 19, Tensing pulled over DuBose, 43, for a missing front license plate. Video from Tensing's body camera shows the officer struggling with DuBose after he failed to provide a driver's license and refused to get out of the car. On the video, Tensing can be heard saying he was pulled by DuBose's vehicle. DuBose was shot once in the head before his vehicle moves down the street.
Footage from body camera on from two other officers on the scene was released Thursday. One video shows officer David Lindenschmidt getting out of his vehicle and running toward DuBose's vehicle after it movies away from Tensing. Tensing can be seen on the ground, getting to his feet and also running after DuBose's vehicle.
It's not clear from the video whether Tensing was dragged as he claimed, though Lindenschmidt corroborated his story.
"They had a traffic stop, the guy took off on him, the officer got caught in his arm, cause the guy reached for something he thought, so he grabbed on the car, that officer went down when he got tangled in the car, and fired," Lindenschmidt says.
Tensing was charged Wednesday after a grand jury indictment.
"This is the most asinine act I've ever seen a police officer make," Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said. "It was senseless. It's just horrible."
Tensing turned himself in to police shortly after the indictment was announced. Mike Robison, spokesman for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, said Tensing was placed in an individual cell. He was fired from his job with the university.