Review finds nothing wrong with Sgt. Heine's testimony in Tensing trial
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A review of a former homicide detective's testimony during the Ray Tensing trial is complete. The review found Sgt. Shannon Heine did nothing wrong and no action was required.
The Cincinnati Police Investigations Section was responding to a citizen complaint filed by attorney Al Gerhardstein on behalf of Cincinnati Black United Front.
The Investigations Section looked at Sgt. Heine's answers to defense attorney Stew Mathews questions to see if they lined up to the department's procedures, rules and regulations.
- Mathews: "When you complete your criminal investigation, do you make a recommendation as far as rather (sic) criminal charges are warranted?"
- Heine: "So, in homicide we in a regular murder investigation it usually pretty clear cut so we go ahead and sign the charge ourselves. Umm, officer involved shootings we confer with the prosecutor's office and in the end they determine legality of the actions taken by the officer."
- Mathews: "And do you give some input in that?"
- Heine: "Yes, sir."
- Mathews "Did you do that in this case?"
- Heine: "Umm, not too much."
- Mathews: "What does 'not too much' mean?"
- Heine: "From my prior experience in internal investigations, I thought I was looking at something."
- Tieger: "I'm going to object."
- Judge Ghiz "Overruled."
- Heine: "Based on my time and training with my internal investigations, I thought I was looking at an officer involved shooting, where his actions may be determined to be justified, based on the events surrounding the actual shooting and taking in consideration the information about the prior conduct of Mr. DuBose and Officer Tensing."
- Mathews: "It was your feelings that the officers' actions were justified?"
- Tieger: "Objection. I don't think anybody can ever express their opinions as to the ultimate issue in this case."
According to the review, Sgt. Heine was asked to summarize the interaction she may have had with the defense team ahead of her testimony. She emphatically indicated that she had none.
According to the memo to Chief Eliot Isaac, Sgt. Heine and other members of the police department met with the prosecution team for a pre-trial meeting on May 18, 2017. Sgt. Heine and the others responded to the prosecution team's questions. Knowing what she thought about the shooting, the prosecution still wanted her to appear as one of their witnesses. Referring to assistant prosecutor Seth Tieger's objections, the review found that it appeared the prosecution knew what her opinion was and what her answer would be.
The review also found that Sgt. Heine did not offer her personal feelings about the case inappropriately.