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  1. #91
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    Uncertainty about 'stand your ground' law
    dismays judge in Pasco theater shooting case
    Aug. 5 2017

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    Remember the case of Curtis Reeves?
    Six months ago, the nation watched as he tried to fend off a murder charge for shooting a man in a Wesley Chapel movie theater by claiming immunity under Florida's "stand your ground" law.
    He was unsuccessful. But at a recent court appearance, his defense attorney raised the prospect that Reeves could get another chance, courtesy of the state Legislature and a recent tweak it made to the law.
    That dismayed Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Susan Barthle, who presided over the last "stand your ground" hearing for Reeves. It lasted 10 days.
    "Oh, Lord have mercy," she said Thursday in court. "If that's the case and we have to do this thing all over again just because of that — Lord have mercy. Oh boy."

    A repeat of the Reeves "stand your ground" hearing is far from a certainty. Whether the new version of the law applies retroactively to pending cases is still an open question for the courts, with local judges throughout the state issuing conflicting opinions.
    "I sort of expected this would happen when they made the change to the law," said Charles Rose, a professor at Stetson University College of Law. "These things are just now being generated at the circuit level. So right now it's a case of first impressions."
    The "stand your ground" law, on the books since 2005, says a person faced with a violent confrontation has no duty to retreat and can use deadly force if he or she fears death or great bodily harm. In such cases, the person who uses deadly force is immune from prosecution and civil liability.

    Previously, it was up to the defendant to prove that he or she was in fear and that immunity applied. But in June, Gov. Rick Scott signed a new version of the law, which shifts the burden of proof in "stand your ground" cases. Now, it is the prosecutors who must prove that a defendant was not in fear.
    In the weeks since, the state has seen a number of new "stand your ground" claims in cases that were ongoing before the new law's passage.

    Some judges have allowed those claims to proceed.
    Earlier this week, attorneys sparred in a "stand your ground" hearing in the case of Randolph Graham, who is accused of stabbing to death former University of South Florida football player Elkino Watson. After two days of arguments and testimony, Hillsborough Chief Judge Ronald Ficarrotta ruled the state had met its burden and denied Graham immunity.
    Yet, a few weeks earlier, Circuit Judge Tom Barber said that the state Constitution prohibits the new law from applying to pending cases. In a written ruling, Barber noted the inconsistencies between judges.
    "Hopefully, the District Courts of Appeal will act quickly to clarify the law so as to avoid unnecessary confusion, delay and waste of resources," Barber wrote.
    If the law is found to apply retroactively, that could prolong the case of Reeves, which has already been in court for more than three years.
    The retired Tampa police captain is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Chad Oulson

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  2. #92
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    Editorial: Stand your ground delays justice

    Friday, September 15, 2017 5:19pm

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    This is a legitimate concern when you consider the Wesley Chapel movie theater case. More than 44 months have passed since an unarmed man was shot and killed by a retired police officer, and there is still no trial in sight. Three years had already passed before the first hearing, where Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Susan Barthle rejected Curtis Reeves'

    claim for immunity under the "stand your ground'' law. Now Reeves' lawyers are contemplating a second "stand your ground'' attempt based on retroactively applying recent revisions made to the law that shifted the burden of proof to prosecutors to show defendants do not deserve "stand your ground'' protection rather than requiring the defendant's lawyers to demonstrate the defendant deserves it.

  3. #93
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    Pretrial set for Wesley Chapel movie theater shooting case
    Thursday, November 16, 2017, 8:47 AM EST

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    The pretrial for Curtis Reeves is set for Thursday at 9 a.m. Reeves is accused of fatally shooting Chad Oulsen at a Wesley Chapel movie theater three years ago.*
    Reeves tried to say he shot the victim out of fear for his own life, but a judge ruled otherwise.

    Reeves will go to trial on murder charges and cannot use 'stand your ground' as a defense.
    The attorney for Oulsen's widow said Nicole was relieved to hear the judges ruling.
    Reeves' attorney plans to appeal.
    If it doesn't go his way, a trial could be scheduled in a year or longer

  4. #94
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    Finally a trial date after all these years :::::



    The Trial Diaries
    2 hrs ·
    Trial date set in Curtis Reeves movie theater shooting case for Feb. 25, 2019.

  5. #95
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    February trial date set in Curtis Reeves theater-shooting case
    May 29, 2018

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    A judge has set a trial date of Feb. 25, 2019, in the case of Curtis Reeves, the retired Tampa police captain who claims he was acting in self-defense when he shot another man in a Wesley Chapel movie theater.
    Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Susan Barthle scheduled the trial at a hearing Tuesday, declining a defense attorney’s request to hold off.
    "I really don’t see any other option," Barthle said. "It’s time."
    Earlier this month, an appeals court upheld her decision to deny Reeves immunity from prosecution under the "stand your ground" self-defense law. Still unclear, though, is whether a new "stand your ground" hearing might be in order, due to recent changes to the law.
    Defense attorney Dino Michaels thinks so. At Tuesday’s hearing, he said the judge should wait until the Florida Supreme Court weighs in on the issue.
    "If we set a trial date, the defense would be forced to file a motion for a new hearing," Michaels said.
    But Assistant State Attorney Glenn Martin said the case has dragged long enough.
    "This is four years now in the making," he said. "Let’s get it done."
    Reeves, 75, is charged with second-degree murder in the Jan. 13, 2014, shooting of Chad Oulson inside the Cobb Grove 16 theaters. The two men argued over Oulson’s use of a cell phone during movie previews. Oulson approached Reeves and threw a bag of popcorn at him before Reeves drew a handgun and shot Oulson in the chest.

    In court, Reeves invoked "stand your ground," which says a person has no duty to retreat when faced with a violent confrontation and can use deadly force if faced with great bodily harm or death. His attorneys argued that Reeves feared Oulson was about to start beating him when he fired the fatal shot.
    The matter was the focus of a widely watched two-week hearing in spring 2017.
    Barthle rejected the defense argument. Reeves appealed, but the ruling was upheld.

  6. #96
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    Pasco movie theater gunman again tries to claim 'stand your ground' defense
    5:32 PM EDT August 8, 2018
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    Despite previous rulings denying it, the man accused of fatally shooting another moviegoer at a Pasco theater in 2014 will again try to claim the shooting was covered by Florida's "stand your ground" law.
    According to a court filing on July 24 by Curtis Reeves' attorney Richard Escobar, the defense is asking for the court to dismiss the case against him because he "had a reasonable belief that deadly force was necessary to prevent (Chad) Oulson from fully committing a forcible felony against him."

    Despite previous rulings denying it, the man accused of fatally shooting another moviegoer at a Pasco theater in 2014 will again try to claim the shooting was covered by Florida's "stand your ground" law.
    According to a court filing on July 24 by Curtis Reeves' attorney Richard Escobar, the defense is asking for the court to dismiss the case against him because he "had a reasonable belief that deadly force was necessary to prevent (Chad) Oulson from fully committing a forcible felony against him."

    The filing cites a law passed last year by Florida’s Legislature that shifts the burden of disproving "stand your ground" to the prosecution. Since then, two cases have gone to court ending with opposite rulings about whether the new law should be applied retroactively to cases like Reeves’.
    Reeves, who is now 75, is accused of shooting Oulson inside a Wesley Chapel movie theater where the two argued over Oulson using his cell phone and popcorn being thrown by Oulson at the former police captain.
    In May, an appeals court let alone a ruling that denied Reeves the "stand your ground" defense. A judge then set a February 2019 trial date, despite objections from the defense that the trial should await a decision from the Florida Supreme Court.
    The most recent filing came just a few days after the July 19 fatal Clearwater shooting that has reignited the debate over the "stand your ground" law.

  7. #97
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    The law changed recently, so he wants another bite of the apple? It has been my understandig that the rules/laws at the time of the crime are all that matter. It is Florida, so maybe I'm wrong. I just want this stupid ex-LE, who should have known better, to be tried and convicted for murdering an innocent husband an father.

  8. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jani [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    The law changed recently, so he wants another bite of the apple? It has been my understandig that the rules/laws at the time of the crime are all that matter. It is Florida, so maybe I'm wrong. I just want this stupid ex-LE, who should have known better, to be tried and convicted for murdering an innocent husband an father.
    Agree, Jani. I'm pretty sure the laws that were in effect at the time would stand for this crime (and it is a crime, IMO). He's grasping at straws.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by maryjane [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Agree, Jani. I'm pretty sure the laws that were in effect at the time would stand for this crime (and it is a crime, IMO). He's grasping at straws.

    The courts should not allow it. Hope it is dismissed sooner than later and on with the trial. It has been long enough. He needs to pay for his crime. Sure, likely a just sentence will be a death sentence at his age, but at his age and his LE history, he should not have been afraid of popcorn. I have no sympathy for him....none at all.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jani [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    The courts should not allow it. Hope it is dismissed sooner than later and on with the trial. It has been long enough. He needs to pay for his crime. Sure, likely a just sentence will be a death sentence at his age, but at his age and his LE history, he should not have been afraid of popcorn. I have no sympathy for him....none at all.
    Yep, it's a frivolous lawsuit, IMO, and I hope it's thrown out as such.

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