Judge denies 'stand your ground' defense in movie theater shooting
- Author: Tracy Ferguson Mar 11, 2017,
Mar 11, 2017, 0:31
Judge Susan Barthle ordered that Curtis Reeves face prosecution in the case, which stems from the 2014 shooting at the Cobb Grove 16 Theater in the Tampa suburb of Wesley Chapel. Which begs the question, why did the defendant say he was hit in the left eye, to the point of being dazed, when the video images and basic physics indicate that he did not get hit in the left eye with anything?
The ruling clears the way for Reeves to face jury trial and a second-degree murder charge.
The judge said a videotape of the events captured that afternoon by a movie theater surveillance camera didn't support Reeves' testimony that he felt physically threatened. Oulson was texting his daughter's day care during the movie's previews, according to AP.
A judge denied his request to dismiss the charges against him under Florida's Stand Your Ground law. He is now free on bond. An instant later, Reeves pulled a gun from his pocket and fired. His wife, Nichole Oulson, sustained a hand injury from the same shot after she placed her hand on her husband during the confrontation. Reeves had invoked Florida's controversial "Stand your Ground" law, claiming he shot Oulson in self-defense. "The video evidence contradicts this assertion, clearly showing that there was no hit from a fist, and the item argued by the defense to be a cell phone was simply a reflection from the defendant's shoes", Barthle writes in her order. The judge concluded that the defense arguments are an attempt to "justify [Reeves'] actions after the fact".
"[The court] is not willing to come to the conclusion that these circumstances are those envisioned by the Legislature when the "stand your ground" law was enacted", she wrote in her decision. "Unfortunately, we expect the defense to appeal the ruling and know that this case will continue to drag on". Witnesses claimed to hear Reeves mutter something like, "Throw popcorn at me, will you?" before pulling the trigger, FOX 13 reported.
Turner told the court she heard Oulson say, 'I'm texting my daughter, ' seconds before a shot was sacked by Reeves.