A judge in Ohio declared a mistrial in the case of former police officer, Ray Tensing, 26.
Tensing is the white University of Cincinnati police officer that shot and killed Samuel DuBose, 43, a black man, during a traffic stop.
Saturday the jury was unable to reach a verdict regarding the charge of murder or voluntary manslaughter reported the NY Times.
A murder conviction — which requires jurors to find that he had intentionally killed Mr. DuBose — carries a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.
A conviction on voluntary manslaughter — which requires them to find that he acted in a fit of rage or sudden passion — carries a sentence of up to five years.
DuBose, a father of 12 with a previous conviction for selling marijuana, was shot in the head. The authorities said that several bags of marijuana and more than $2,500 in cash were found in the car. His license had been suspended indefinitely months before.
Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan accepted the jury’s deadlock Saturday morning. The case is now back in the hands of prosecutors, who must decide whether they will retry the case or dismiss it.
In the meantime, Tensing, who was terminated after the shooting, remains free on a $1 million bond.
The Dubose family attorney, Al Gerhardstein, said they are “incredibly upset,” and will seek a new trial. “They are at their wit’s end. They have been on hold since Sam was killed,” he said after the verdict. “With the video evidence as clear as it was, [jurors] should not have been stuck,” Gerhardstein added.
The jury, which consisted of 10 white and two black jurors, deliberated four days before remaining deadlocked according to NBC. Details were undisclosed regarding the impasse.
Tensing’s defense insinuated that Dubose used his car as a weapon. Tensing pulled his weapon when he was dragged and believed his life was in danger.
In several chaotic seconds displayed on the body cam video, the engine can be heard revving, the officer reaches into the car with one hand, yells “stop” twice, and draws and fires his gun once with the other hand.
Conversely, prosecutors maintained he was not dragged — and body cam footage doesn’t show that key point, they argued.