A hearing is planned at 9:30 a.m. today in the murder re-trial of Ray Tensing. Tensing, a former university police officer, is accused of shooting and killing a suspect he pulled over during a routine traffic stop. Tensing’s first trial ended with a hung jury.
The hearing will attempt to resolve a series of restrictive orders on press coverage of the case. Judge Leslie Ghiz, who is handling the second trial of Tensing, has ordered that only five members of the press pool can be present in the courtroom. That includes a broadcast videographer and a still photographer. Local media outlets, therefore, would oftentimes not be able to have any staffers present in the courtroom daily, if ever. The judge ordered that a lottery system be set up to determine which publications and broadcast stations would be allowed into the courtroom.
Judge Ghiz also ordered that juror questionnaires would not be released, even with names and identifying information redacted, until after the trial was complete. She further ordered that all electronic devices, including phones and laptop computers, would be banned from the courtroom and, further, the entire floor of the courthouse where the trial was to be held.
The judge also restricted the families of both the victim and the defendant from being present during jury selection. Only one member of the victim’s family and only one member of the defendant’s family were allowed to be present under the judge’s original order.
The restrictions remained in place despite plenty of room being available in the courtroom.
Local media outlets appealed the restrictive order to the Ohio Court of Appeals. That court said the judge’s restrictions were unenforceable. Judge Ghiz vacated the restrictive order and promised an 11 a.m. hearing Thursday as to how to move forward.
Until the restrictions are settled, jury selection is on hold.
Tensing, a former University of Cincinnati police officer, is facing a re-trial for the death of Sam DuBose, a black motorist Tensing shot during a traffic stop on July 19, 2015.