Published: Sat, March 11, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

The 'Stand Your Ground' Defense Rejected In This High-Profile Shooting

The 'Stand Your Ground' Defense Rejected In This High-Profile Shooting

The former Florida police captain accused of killing a man in a movie theater during an argument over texting will have to stand trial after his Stand Your Ground motion was denied Friday morning.

The case has received much attention across the state and around the nation as a barometer of how the Stand Your Ground defense could be used - including by the Florida Legislature, where some lawmakers want to see changes made on both sides of the issue.

The judge will rule on Friday and the result could go one of two ways; that stand your ground is valid in the case, which means all charges against Curtis Reeves will be dropped and he walks a free man, or if the Judge does not believe Reeves was in fear of death or great bodily injury, then the case will move on to a murder trial. The defense also claimed Oulson threw his cell phone at Reeves, hitting him in the left eye, before throwing the popcorn, the Times reported.

Witnesses told investigators that Reeves, 74, had become increasingly agitated in the minutes leading up to the January 13, 2014, shooting - and at one point left the theater to complain about Oulson text messaging during movie previews.

Barthle ruled that surveillance video does not show that Oulson threw a phone at Reeves. The logical conclusion is that he was trying to justify his actions after the fact. Curtis Reeves testified in his own behalf, telling his version of the story.

During a court hearing last month, Vivian backed her husband up by testifying she was "horrified" and "scared" because of how Oulson was behaving.

Before the movie began, a dispute between Reeves and Oulson broke out over Oulson's cellphone use. In her order, Barthle said Reeves' "testimony was significantly at odds with the physical evidence and other witness testimony". "If I had to do it over again, it would have never happened".

Defense attorneys said they plan to appeal Barthle's ruling to the Second District Court of Appeals.

Oulson's widow Nicole, who was injured in the shooting, testified during the hearing. A date for the jury trial has not yet been set.

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