TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – After years of delays, the trial of retired Tampa Police Captain Curtis Reeves, 79, is finally set to begin on Monday.
It’s never been a question that the retired captain shot and killed Chad Oulson inside a Wesley Chapel movie theater in 2014. But now, a jury will finally hear the case and decide Reeves’ fate.
Reeves had his final pre-trial hearing today after years of delays because of defense motions, state motions, and even the pandemic and has become one of the longest criminal cases in U.S. history.
According to court testimony, Reeves and Oulson were arguing over the use of a cell phone as previews played before the movie “Lone Survivor.” Oulson, according to investigators, was sending text messages.
Reeves left the theater to find an employee to file a complaint, and when he couldn’t find anyone, he returned. That’s when the war of words continued.
Security camera video from inside the theater shows the younger Oulson standing in front of Reeves. The words said between the two men were not recorded but witnesses could hear them arguing.
At some point, Oulson threw some popcorn in Reeves’ face, and Reeves shot and killed Oulson. Reeves has never denied he killed Oulson, but he has always claimed it was an act of self-defense.
At one point, Reeves’ attorney used the ‘Stand Your Ground’ defense, citing Oulson’s age as a factor. However, that was rejected even though it went all the way to the state supreme court.
Attorneys for Chad Oulson’s widow have publicly accused Reeves’s lawyers of purposely dragging out the trial.
Jury selection begins Monday.