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Judge considers bond for accused movie theater shooter Curtis Reeves; video of shooting to be made public

10:33 PM, Feb 5, 2014   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Shooting at Wesley Chapel movie theater

Video: Judge considers bond for accused movie theater shooter

Video: Bond hearing in theater shooting to resume Friday

Curtis Reeves sits in court before the start of a bond hearing on February 5, 2014.

 


 


NEW PORT RICHEY, Florida -- A bond hearing for a former Tampa police captain charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of another man at a Wesley Chapel movie theater adjourned for the day around 6:40 p.m. Wednesday. The hearing will continue on Friday at 10 a.m. on whether to grant 71-year-old Curtis Reeves bail.

Reeves is accused of killing 43-year-old Chad Oulson after getting into an argument over texting in the Pasco County theater.

Before the bond hearing even began, the judge had to decide if surveillance video from the movie theater on the day of the shooting should be made public.

The video is dark, grainy and has no volume. There are gaps in the infrared images, which stop and start with motion detection. But witnesses say what's there accurately depicts what happened. An angry, agitated Curtis Reeves kicking seatbacks and grumbling over texting during the previews. Eventually, an argument escalates. Popcorn flies. Reeves pulls a gun and shoots 43 year-old Chad Oulson in the chest.

The defense requested a 60-day hold on releasing police reports, witness statements and other evidence in the Grove 16 movie theater shooting case to the public.

Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa agreed to allow the defense 30 days to review evidence before it's released, but the surveillance video from that day is not covered by the delay order.            

Judge Siracusa said that the public has the right to know what's going on in the courtroom.

"The legitimacy of our court system and the strength of our democracy is fostered when the public has broad access to court proceedings," said Siracusa. "[By] withholding this video from the public, you would only fuel speculation about what is on it."

The state called several witnesses Wednesday who were in the same theater that same day including an off-duty sheriff's deputy, an off-duty nurse, and Charles Cummings who says seconds after the shooting he heard Reeves mumble under his breath.

"He said something like - 'throw something in my face'," Cummings said.

Reeves' defense lawyers called long-time friends and coworkers to talk about the retired police captain including his training to react to perceived threats. But the 71 year-old defendant wiped away tears as his daughter, Jennifer Shaw, told the court about her father and that he would often carry a gun.

"It's not something we kinda grew up with. I just assumed he pretty much always had a firearm on him," Shaw testified.

10 News will be live streaming and covering this hearing here on wtsp.com, but in accordance with our Crime Coverage Guidelines, we will interrupt the stream and not show the video.

Link: 10 News Crime Guidelines

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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