Judge formally drops charges against Ray Tensing - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Judge formally drops charges against Ray Tensing

Ray Tensing and Stew Mathews during his second trial in June. (FOX19 NOW/file) Ray Tensing and Stew Mathews during his second trial in June. (FOX19 NOW/file)

Ray Tensing is free to go.

For now.

Murder and voluntary manslaughter charges were formally dropped Monday against the former University of Cincinnati police officer in the fatal shooting of a motorist during a 2015 traffic stop.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Leslie Ghiz dismissed the charges. She denied his lawyer's request for an acquittal.

The move comes less than a week after Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced his office would not seek a third trial against Tensing, 27, in the death of Samuel DuBose, 43. 

The first two trials ended in deadlocked juries and mistrials.

The Department of Justice is now reviewing all evidence, including some not permitted in court, to see if they will pursue a civil rights violation case against Tensing.

It's not clear how long that investigation could take, but it is not expected to be wrap up anytime soon.

By comparison, it took federal authorities three years to announce they ended their investigation into the fatal police shooting of a Fairfield man armed with an air rifle from a shelf at the Wal-Mart store in a Dayton suburb. They concluded there wasn't enough evidence to charge the officer who killed John Crawford III, 22.

Related story: No indictment for officers in Beavercreek Wal-Mart shooting

Meanwhile, a vigil and prayer walk in support of Tensing and his family is scheduled tonight.

"We will be meeting at Sawyer Point Pavillion on Monday July 24th @ 6 p.m. for a vigil walk across the Purple People Bridge to support the Tensing family. There will also be a prayer for both families. T-Shirts will be available to Support Tensing #TensingProud," organizers posted on the "Support Ray Tensing" Facebook page.

That event is expected to draw protests from DuBose's supporters.

Previous protests, including the recent one Saturday on Fountain Square, were peaceful with no arrests.

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