Judge denies 'stand your ground' defense in theater shooting

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A Florida decide on Friday denied a “stand your floor” protection for a retired Florida police officer who fatally shot a person in a movie show over texting, which suggests the seventy four-yr-previous might stand trial on second-diploma homicide expenses.

Decide Susan Barthle dominated that Curtis Reeves is just not immune from prosecution within the demise of forty three-yr-previous Chad Oulson. The capturing occurred in a movie show in a suburb north of Tampa in January 2014 after the 2 males acquired into an argument as a result of Oulson was texting his daughter’s day care in the course of the film previews.

The 2 males and their wives have been seated close to one another throughout a displaying of the film “Lone Survivor.”

Reeves is free on bond.

Florida has been a pacesetter in giving residents immunity in instances of self-protection, with its stand-your-floor regulation serving as an emotional level of debate after a number of excessive-profile capturing deaths. That features the demise of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

Throughout a two-week listening to to find out whether or not Reeves must stand trial, Reeves testified he shot Oulson after he was both punched or hit within the face with a cellphone.

“I noticed I used to be in a life-or-dying wrestle. He was not a loudmouth; he was a particular menace,” Reeves stated in courtroom.  “He was reaching for me. … He was on the brink of punch me. I perceived that. That is when the pistol got here out.”

The decide stated a videotape of the occasions captured that afternoon by a movie show surveillance digital camera did not help Reeves’ testimony that he felt bodily threatened. The video did present Oulson throwing popcorn at Reeves. An on the spot later, Reeves pulled a gun from his pocket and fired. Oulson was shot within the chest.

“The bodily proof contradicts the defendant’s model of occasions,” the decide wrote in her ruling. She discovered that whereas Reeves testified he was hit within the outdoors nook of his left eye with a cellphone or a fist, “widespread sense and the credible testimony of the medical expert” casts doubt that he was hit within the eye beneath his glasses.

“The logical conclusion is that he was making an attempt to justify his actions after the very fact,” she stated.

Reeves is also charged with aggravated battery as a result of the shot hit Oulson’s spouse within the finger.

Dino Michaels, a Tampa lawyer who’s a member of the protection group, stated Friday that Reeves will attraction Decide Barthle’s ruling.

“We respect the choice of the courtroom,” Michaels stated. “I do not assume it is correct to touch upon the courtroom’s order at this level, and we’re taking the subsequent step obtainable for our shopper.”

The lawyer for Nicole Oulson, T.J. Grimaldi, informed The Related Press on Friday that he and his shopper are “thrilled” with the decide’s ruling.

Grimaldi stated they’re ready for an extended delay; if the appeals courtroom agrees with the decrease courtroom, Grimaldi stated a trial in all probability would not occur till subsequent yr.

“However that is surely excellent news,” Grimaldi stated. “In…

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