Ray Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati police officer, will not receive a third trial in the shooting death of a motorist he pulled over two years ago. Photo courtesy of Hamilton County Justice Center
July 18 (UPI) -- A Cincinnati prosecutor announced Tuesday he will not seek a third trial for former police officer Ray Tensing, who shot a motorist to death two years ago.
In late June, jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict on murder or voluntary manslaughter charges against Ray Tensing in the death of Sam DuBose. Tensing's first trial also ended in a deadlocked jury in November.
Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters said he didn't feel he would be able to convict Tensing.
"After discussing this matter with multiple jurors -- both black and white -- they have, to a person, said to us that we will never be able to get a conviction in this case," Deters told NBC News. "I have an ethical duty as prosecuting attorney of this county, if we believe we cannot be successful at trial we have that duty not to proceed."
Deter said he remained convinced the white officer committed a crime against the black driver.
"My opinion of this case has not changed as of two years tomorrow, and it is not going to change," Deters told The Cincinnati Enquirer.
"We left nothing on the table. It's incredibly disappointing, professionally. It's disappointing personally. My heart breaks for the DuBose family."
Also Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman announced his office is reviewing the case to determine whether to pursue federal civil rights charges against Tensing.
"I think there's a much better chance for conviction than for us on the evidentiary rules that we got," Deters told WCPO-TV.
Judge Leslie Ghiz banned potential racial bias evidence in the second trial: The Confederate flag T-shirt that Tensing wore under his uniform when he shot DuBose and the fact that 83.5 percent of his tickets were issued to minority drivers.
Ten white jurors and two black jurors participated in the first Tensing trial, and the second trial had nine white jurors and three black jurors.
Because of the federal investigation, Tensing's attorney, Stew Mathews, was tepid in his comments. He said Tensing "is somewhat relieved he's not going to have to go this process again in Hamilton County. But it's still not over."
In the second case, Mathews said the jury voted 8-4 to acquit on murder and 7-5 to acquit on voluntary manslaughter. In the first case, that jury voted 8-4 to convict on the manslaughter charge, Deters said.
Tensing, a former officer in the University of Cincinnati Police Department, shot DuBose on July 19, 2015, after a traffic stop turned confrontational. DuBose attempted to drive away when Tensing asked whether he had a valid driver's license. The entire incident was recorded on Tensing's body camera.
Tensing, 27, has claimed that he feared for his safety when DuBose, 43, tried to drive off and the officer's arm was caught inside the vehicle. Prosecutors argued that deadly force wasn't unnecessary.
Terina Allen, DuBose's sister, read from a letter the family delivered to Deters: "Tensing should never walk free again. And Tensing should know, we ain't done with you."