A judge set a $1 million bond on Thursday for former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, who was charged with murder and voluntary manslaughter for fatally shooting an unarmed black man, Samuel Dubose, earlier this month. Tensing pleaded not guilty at his arraignment hearing at the Hamilton County Court.
A grand jury indicted Tensing for murder Wednesday for shooting and killing Dubose during a traffic stop on July 19. If convicted of all charges, Tensing faces life in prison.
Tensing pulled over 43-year-old Dubose for a missing front license plate. After a brief struggle with the car door, it appeared that Dubose had started slowly rolling away when Tensing fatally shot the unarmed driver once in the head.
Dubose died instantly, in what Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters called a "totally unwarranted" act and a "tragedy." Deters also strongly criticized Tensing on Wednesday, saying, he committed the "most asinine act I've ever seen a police officer make."
Tensing's lawyer argued in court for a "reasonable" bond on the grounds that his client had "an exemplary record" with no prior criminal convictions and that he was a lifelong resident of Hamilton County.
He said that the 25-year-old was single with no children and lived with his father who was present in the courtroom. He also mentioned Tensing's education as a UC graduate with a bachelor of science degree and the fact that he was employed by the UC Police Department up until Wednesday. He also served with the Greenhills police department for four years, his lawyer said, adding there was "no reason" for him not to appear in court.
However, the state's attorney said he had never asked for less than $1 million in a murder case.
Judge Megan Shanahan granted the bond, saying, that as Tensing faced the possibility of life in prison, it was the court's duty to ensure he would appear in court.
As soon as the bond was set, members of Dubose's family who were in the gallery broke out in applause. Shanahan immediately admonished them to be quiet and to conduct themselves "appropriately at all times" in court.