‘Stand Your Ground’ Hearing Due in FL Movie Shooting

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Curtis Reeves, the man accused in the fatal 2014 shooting in a Florida movie theater, is due in court today for a hearing to determine if he should be immune from prosecution under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Reeves, a retired Tampa police officer, has argued that he was defending himself when he fired the single shot that killed 43-year-old Chad Oulson. The confrontation began after Reeves asked Oulson to turn off his phone during previews before the movie Lone Survivor.

Reeves’ attorneys say Oulson had begun to attack Reeves before he pulled the gun. Circuit Judge Susan Barthle will begin weighing whether Reeves should be immune from prosecution under “stand your ground.” The law says a person has no duty to retreat when faced with a violent confrontation and can use deadly force if he or she fears death or great bodily harm. If the judge rules otherwise, Reeves will head toward trial on a second-degree murder charge. The court has set aside two weeks in which attorneys will present evidence and question experts.

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