Pasco judge rules Curtis Reeves will stand trial for murder


Curtis Reeves, a retired Tampa police captain could walk free, or stand trial for murder.

"A Florida judge has denied a "'stand your ground" defense for a retired Florida police officer who fatally shot a man in a movie theater over texting.

Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Judge Susan Barthle disagreed in a two-page court order, denying his motion to dismiss the case in accordance with the state's "Stand Your Ground" law - the same statute utilized by defense attorneys following the 2013 slaying of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

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 added: "In addition, common sense and the credible testimony of the medical examiner casts grave doubt on the likelihood of anything hitting the defendant in the eye beneath his glasses in the manner the defendant described". The logical conclusion is that he was trying to justify his actions after the fact.

In her ruling Barthle said the evidence showed a different story that was Reeves testified. "He was no longer a loudmouth; he was a definite threat", Reeves testified last week in a two-week hearing.

Reeves also is charged with aggravated battery because the shot hit Oulson's wife in the finger. He began an argument with Oulson, prompting Oulson to stand up and eventually throw a bag of popcorn at Reeves, theater surveillance video showed.

After complaining to the theater manager about the man's cellphone use during the film screening, Reeves said something to Oulson that led to a physical altercation. I really feel this was a bastardization of the "stand your ground" law.

The 43-year-old walked down to the end of the theater aisle wounded, until he collapsed to his death.

"On the contrary, he is quite a large and robust man", Barthle wrote of Reeves.

"As soon as I pulled the trigger I said, 'Oh shoot, that was stupid.'" Reeves told detectives after the shooting. "Our study finds that, as a result, you get more of it". And it could be overturned on appeal.