Lawyer Wants Cincinnati Campus Cop’s Murder Trial Moved

27 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ex-UC police officer’s attorney files for change of venue.

The attorney for the former University of Cincinnati police officer charged with murder in the shooting of an unarmed motorist has asked a judge to move the trial to another county. The motion filed Wednesday by Stewart Mathews, attorney for Ray Tensing, comes less that a week after meeting with prosecutors and Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Meghan Shanahan. Tensing’s trial has been set for Nov. 16. “Defendant (Tensing) requests that the court change the venue (of the trial) to a location where defendant can receive a fair and impartial trial before a jury that has not been tainted by massive inflammatory, prejudicial and unfair pretrial publicity,” Mathews wrote in the motion.

Specifically, Mathews cited county Prosecutor Joe Deters’ comments during a July 29 press conference that was broadcast live and comments made by city of Cincinnati leaders. “At a press conference on July 29, 2015 … Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters made multiple inflammatory, derogatory and prejudicial statements about defendant declaring his guilty prior to a trial and these statements have lead to an overwhelming number of comments on social media, letters to the editor, and commentary in various forms of media that demonstrate that opinions of potential jurors have been galvanized,” Mathews wrote. The defense attorney added that several city leaders, including the mayor, city manager and police chief, “have made statements that are highly prejudicial to defendant and that have essentially pronounced him guilty of the charges in the indictment in the case without the benefit of a trial.” Mathews told the Journal-News last week that he was most concerned about jurors being influenced by the threat of riot in the city if they acquitted Tensing. In this case, as the prosecutor said, the truth turned out to be murder.” Mathews also takes issue with city officials and media outlets he said “promoted the idea” that there would be riots if Tensing had not been indicted or if he is not convicted. “This cloud of doom that has been created hovers over each and every potential juror in Hamilton County,” Mathews says. “These potential jurors will certainly be tempted to sacrifice (Tensing) … regardless of what the evidence is, in order to preserve peace in the streets and neighborhoods of the city of Cincinnati.”

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