The 12 jurors in the trial of former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing initially were unanimous in believing him to be guilty of murder, but several changed their minds after deliberation, the prosecutor said. A mistrial was later declared due to a hung jury. Photo courtesy Hamilton County Justice Center
CINCINNATI, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- The prosecutor in Hamilton County, Ohio, said the 12 jurors in the trial of former police officer Ray Tensing initially took a poll which showed they were unanimous in believing that Tensing should be found guilty of murder in the death of 43-year-old Sam DuBose.
A mistrial was declared on Saturday in Tensing's murder trial after the announcement of a hung jury after 25 hours of deliberation.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said on Thursday that he spoke with a juror who said an initial poll found Tensing unanimously guilty.
"The juror we talked to yesterday mentioned that they decided just to take a straw vote right out of the gate, and it kind of surprised us because we had a hung jury ultimately, but she said that the vote was 12 to nothing to convict for murder," Deters said. "They did it to take everybody's temperature. They shouldn't have done that. I don't know why they did."
Deters said that after deliberations, four jurors wanted a murder conviction, four wanted an acquittal and four wanted a voluntary manslaughter conviction.
"Obviously people moved around on their vote," Deters added.
Tensing, 26, was patrolling near the University of Cincinnati campus when he pulled over DuBose's vehicle for failing to display a front license plate. Tensing asked DuBose for his driver's license, but DuBose said he didn't have it.
Tensing opened DuBose's driver's side door after asking "are you suspended?" and asked DuBose to step out of the vehicle. At that point, DuBose shut the door, started the ignition and prepared to drive away.
According to the video, Tensing tried to reach in to turn the ignition off while removing the handgun from his holster. He fired one shot that struck DuBose in the head.
Tensing, who pleaded not guilty, claimed DuBose began driving and that he was dragged for several feet. Tensing's claim was called into question by a forensic video analyst who testified that Tensing was not dragged by the vehicle.
The death of DuBose, who was unarmed and black, led to an outcry from the community and prompted the university's police department to investigate and ultimately fire Tensing.
Doug G. Ware contributed to this report.