CONTACT:  Al Gerhardstein 513.659.4765

Cincinnati, Ohio, June 23, 2017.  Speaking for the family, Audrey DuBose mother of Sam DuBose states that, “the family sincerely thanks the community for all of their support during these difficult times. The family commends the prosecutors for their strong presentation in this case but we are outraged that a second jury has now failed to convict Ray Tensing for the murder of our beloved Sam DuBose. We stand with the families of Terrance Crutcher of Oklahoma, Philando Castile of Minnesota, Freddie Gray of Maryland, and Sylville Smith of Wisconsin and demand justice for all these men who have been murdered by police officers who have escaped guilty verdicts.  We demand another retrial.  We call on the community to join us in peaceful protest of this unjust result.”

Family attorney Al Gerhardstein ads that on behalf of the family he has called on Cincinnati police chief Eliot Isaac to investigate Sgt. Heine the lead investigator who surprised the prosecution with testimony she volunteered which helped Ray Tensing’s defense.  The full complaint, which was filed by email on June 21, 2017, follows:

Chief Isaac – I represent the Du Bose family.  On their behalf I request that an investigation be conducted of the testimony that Sgt Heine presented in the Tensing trial.  She was the state’s representative as lead homicide investigator on the case.  She undermined the prosecution case by testifying in response to a defense question that based on her experience, training and education she thought the shooting may have been justified.  She suggested that the prosecutor ignored her opinion.  This testimony clearly surprised the prosecutor who had to spend considerable time trying to offset it through later testimony and at closing.  An investigation should determine:

  1. Did Heine withhold her testimony from the prosecutor and surprise the State at trial
  2. Was her testimony a breach of her duty as part of the prosecution team
  3. Did Heine report to the prosecutor any conversations she had with defense counsel in which this opinion was voiced and the plan was made to elicit the opinion at trial
  4. Is the opinion expressed by Heine part of the homicide investigation file.  If not was it appropriate to offer a private opinion that she had not documented in the file
  5. Was Heine offering her opinion as a personal matter or as lead investigator
  6. Should Heine be disciplined

Please let me know promptly if this matter is being investigated.  This should be pursued regardless of the outcome of the trial as it raises issues central to the role of the homicide investigators who partner with the state in criminal trials.  Moreover the conduct of Sgt Heine opened the Cincinnati Police Department to the valid criticism that she was covering up for Tensing and not investigating the killing of Sam DuBose as she would other homicides that were not committed by police officers.  This severely undermines the public trust in the CPD. A thorough investigation is needed.  The DuBose family and the public deserve to know the answers to these questions and whether there will be consequences.

 

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