TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — News Channel 8 is continuing its live coverage of the Pasco theater shooting trial.
Retired Tampa police captain Curtis Reeves is standing trial for the 2014 shooting death of 43-year-old Chad Oulson.
The two men had been arguing over Oulson’s use of a cell phone in the theater. After Oulson threw popcorn in his face, Reeves pulled out a handgun and opened fire, killing him. A bullet also hit Oulson’s wife, Nicole.
Defense attorneys claim Reeves felt threatened enough by Oulson to fire in self-defense. But a judge ruled in 2017 that the “stand your ground” law was not applicable in this case.
On Thursday, the state rested its case after defense attorneys grilled retired Pasco County Detective Allen Proctor for the way he handled the investigation and the treatment of Curtis Reeves eight years ago.
Defense attorney Richard Escobar addressed Proctor in the witness stand saying,
” Now of importance was, Mr. Reeves disabilities right?” Proctor agreed, but Escobar pressed on saying,” He had to tell you he had arthritis, bad back, correct?” and Proctor agreed.
Then Escobar focused on the time record in the detective’s notes saying it appears he decided to arrest Reeves for murder based on a one-minute meeting with other detectives, the sheriff, and other leaders of the agency when they spoke outside of the theater on the day of the shooting.
“Tell me who you spoke to outside of the Cobb theater for a minute that gave you enough information for you to go back and tell Mr. Reeves that you were going to charge him with second-degree murder,” asked Escobar.
Proctor calmly looked at jurors and explained his decision was based on the evidence and statements made by other witnesses.
“They had said that no one had seen a punch being thrown and that no one had seen the suspect coming over the chair,” Proctor said who maintains his meeting with other detectives was longer than one minute, despite a time notation in his records of that day.
The state then called Mark Turner, a retired pilot who was also in the theater. His testimony matched that of other witnesses who saw the shooting.
“I saw Mr. Reeves’s arm come up from his side, extend, I saw a muzzle flash,” said Turner who maintains he never saw Chad Oulson punch Reeves or throw anything at him.
The testimony is important because after the state rested its case, the defense moved for an immediate acquittal.
The judge ruled she finds that multiple witnesses have contradicted Reeves’s version of the events and she finds there is cause to go on with the trial.
The defense is expected to call witnesses beginning Friday morning.