Published: Sat, March 11, 2017
Science | By Guadalupe Butler

Judge rejects stand your ground defense in deadly shooting

Judge rejects stand your ground defense in deadly shooting

A retired Florida police captain who is accused of shooting and killing another man during an argument over texting in a movie theater will face a trial after a judge rejected his "stand your ground" defense.

The physical evidence contradicts the defendant's version of events. In her order, Barthle said Reeves' "testimony was significantly at odds with the physical evidence and other witness testimony".

During the recent two-week hearing, Reeves' defense claimed that Reeves feared that Oulson was about to punch him and that the defendant feared serious injury. The judge concluded that the defense arguments are an attempt to "justify [Reeves'] actions after the fact". The men again started arguing when Reeves returned, unsuccessful in his search for a manager.

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. I perceived that. That's when the pistol came out.At that point, it was his life or mine".

Judge Susan Barthle ruled Friday that 74-year-old Curtis Reeves did not have to use lethal force when he shot and killed 43-year-old Chad Oulson at the theater north of Tampa, according to NBC affiliate WFLA. Surveillance video shows Oulson throwing popcorn at Reeves.

Defense attorneys have also argued that Oulson was aggressively leaping over a seat and was "virtually on top of" Reeves when the shot was sacked. Furthermore, the defendant did not appear to be frail by any means; on the contrary he is quite a large and robust man. They believe Reeves simply allowed his anger to get the best of him during a heated confrontation - a textbook example of second-degree homicide.

The recent two-week long hearing put Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law in the national spotlight. Oulson's widow Nicole, who was wounded during the shooting, also testified. "Unfortunately, we expect the defense to appeal the ruling and know that this case will continue to drag on".

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