CINCINNATI (AP) — An October trial date has been scheduled for a former University of Cincinnati police officer charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a motorist after a traffic stop.
Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan said Thursday in a brief court session that the trial will begin Oct. 24 and that both sides will return April 6 for a pretrial hearing. Ray Tensing, also charged with voluntary manslaughter, was released last year on $1 million bond and wasn't in the courtroom.
His attorney, Stewart Mathews, has said Tensing, then 25, feared being dragged under the car as motorist Samuel DuBose, 43, tried to drive away July 19. Tensing had pulled over DuBose near campus for a missing front license plate.
The university fired Tensing and restructured its public safety leadership. UC and DuBose's family recently reached a $5.3 million settlement that includes free undergraduate tuition for DuBose's 12 children.
The shooting came amid increased attention nationally to how police treat blacks. Tensing is white. DuBose was black.
The judge said that the two sides plan to use "multiple experts" to testify; the need to exchange expert testimony plans had led to earlier delays in setting a trial date.
DuBose's fiancee, DaShonda Reid, was in court and afterward expressed some frustration.
"Wow," Reid said of the October date. "We'll just take it from there and see what happens."
Family friend Kelli Prather said the family is unhappy that Tensing has remained free.
"If the shoe were on the other foot, a black man would be incarcerated," said Prather, a Cincinnati health care professional making a longshot bid for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination. "DuBose would be incarcerated. But he's dead."
Mathews has asked to move the trial to another county. He contends Tensing can't get a fair trial in Hamilton County because of extensive pretrial publicity and what he says were prejudicial comments made by a county prosecutor and several city officials. He has said potential jurors will also be quizzed about whether the UC settlement would affect their ability to be fair and impartial.
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