Trial Begins of Former Florida Cop Who Allegedly Shot a Man for Texting in a Movie Theatre – 8 Years Ago

Toby Hazlewood

He claimed it was self-defense

The trial began this week of a former Florida police captain, 79-year-old Curtis Reeves. It is alleged that in 2014 during a screening of the movie 'Lone Survivor', Reeves got into an argument with Chad Oulson who was texting while watching the movie at a theater outside Tampa.

When the argument escalated, Oulson apparently threw popcorn at Reeves.

Whether or not it was driven out of a fear of things escalating further, Reeves shot and killed Oulson as well as injuring Oulson's wife, Nicole.

According to Nicole Olson, her husband had been texting his daughter's babysitter during the trailers for the movie - this was the act that started the original argument.

Reeves claimed self-defense

At the time of his arrest, Reeves had claimed he acted in self defense, citing the state's controversial 'Stand Your Ground' law that Florida adopted in 2005.

This law extends a citizen's right to defend their home and their property, to apply the same right to self-defense into the wider world. After Florida adopted it into law, 30 other states followed suit.

Reeves' claim of self-defense was rejected at a pre-trial hearing in 2017, and he is charged with second-degree murder and aggravated battery.

The trial was delayed for years

For all involved, the delays in getting the trial underway have been incredibly frustrating and due to various legal processes and other factors including the pandemic which impacted on courts.

Commenting on the delays, an attorney for Nicole Oulson had this to say:

"The eight-year delay is, in my opinion, embarrassing and only benefited Curtis Reeves as it allowed him to contribute to be at home with his loved ones and spend time with his family, all while Ms. Oulson was stuck waiting for delay after delay to be resolved."

Reeves was initially held without bond, but later freed on a $150,000 bond and allowed to remain at home with a few exceptions granted for going to church and grocery shopping. With this in mind, the objections of Ms. Oulson's attorneys seem justified.

The trial of Reeves continues and it remains to be seen whether this will result in 'Stand Your Ground' laws being challenged once again.

What do you think about the 'Stand Your Ground' laws being used to justify acts of supposed self-defense? Do you think this law could be easily abused or is it reasonable? Let me know in the comments section below.

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