Contentious testimony from defense video expert and motion denied in the Tensing retrial

Scott Roder, forensic video analyst expert, testifies on the sixth day of Raymond Tensing's retrial in Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Leslie Ghiz's courtroom Thursday, June 15, 2017. Roder has worked on more than 500 cases and of those more than 100 are police involved shootings. Roder built forensic animations based on Tensing's bodycam footage. Tensing, the former University of Cincinnati police officer, is charged with murdering Sam DuBose during a routine traffic stop on July 19, 2015. Tensing's lawyer, Stew Mathews, has said Tensing fired a single shot. (POOL, Cara Owsley/The Enquirer)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The defense's video expert in the Ray Tensing retrial made some points about taking in all the factors about the shooting and not just the body cam but the cross-examination with the prosecution became contentious. Scott Roder provided his own video analysis of the shooting of Sam DuBose.

Roder used audio to back his assertion that DuBose's car was already accelerating when Tensing shot him. He also cast doubt on the prosecution's video expert, Grant Fredericks, comments that some of the engine noise could have come from a car going the other direction.

Roder was adamant that Tensing was tethered to the car. He said Tensing could likely feel the vibrations from the car engine when it was turned on and feel the car move slightly as it was put in gear. He also said feeling the driver's side mirror at his back or shoulder would add to the feeling that he was in danger of being dragged.

When DeGraffenreid asked if inconsistent frame rates would it affect Roder's analysis, he didn't think it would. "This case happened in real time. We can look at a millisecond here, a millisecond there, but the bottom line is when you're standing on the ground and something happens in two seconds or three seconds, that's the standard we need to look at this and that's what I'm talking about, looking at it from a holistic approach. This was a fast, evolving event."

When challenged by Stacey DeGraffenreid often said he relied on common sense, the holistic view of the scene and his experience. "I'm perfectly qualified to do that", Roder said when asked about human factors. "I've been doing that for 20 years, this is what I do for a living. I don't have a side job, I don't have a paper route. This is my job, this is my profession and this is what I do."

Other officers were called to the stand for the defense. They were Cincinnati Police Department's Sgt. David Asbury, UC officer Jeffrey Van Pelt and retired UC supervising officer Richard Haas.

All three responded to the scene after the shooting. When questioned by Mathews, they all said Tensing looked shaken up and looked at his arm and his knee, both of which were hurt. All three were asked about being trained to "stop the threat", not shoot to kill.

The prosecution asked all three about reaching into cars and all said it was a bad idea. Sgt. Asbury was adamant he wouldn't with the exception of an incapacitated driver because of his training.

Van Pelt and Haas also testified about the policies of making traffic stops off-campus and how they were encouraged to do so by the chief at the time, Jason Goodrich. Haas questioned the increased stops but didn't challenge Goodrich. He also explained why UC officers don't carry stun guns.

Haas was Tensing's supervisor. He said Tensing was one of his lead officers.

The day began with the prosecution requesting that Judge Leslie Ghiz advise the jury that they could consider a lesser charge of reckless homicide. Assistant prosecutor Seth Tieger said having jury consider reckless homicide would prevent a hung jury and a "miscarriage of justice".

Stew Mathews fought against the motion. He said the prosecution has had this case since July of 2015 and could have added the charge at any time.

Judge Ghiz agreed with Mathews. She said she had already researched this, anticipating the request. She said she hasn't seen any testimony that would justify the lesser reckless manslaughter charge. He doesn't want the jury to reach a compromise verdict. She also said adding that charge wasn't up to the court. Tieger disagreed.

She said that Tieger can try again when the defense is finished presenting its case.

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