A day-long hearing to decide whether accused movie theater shooter Curtis Reeves will get bond ended Wednesday without a ruling. The hearing will start again at 10 a.m. Friday; the judge and attorneys indicated that they expect a full day of arguments.
The judge ruled earlier that he will allow video of the Wesley Chapel theater shooting to be played in court, and the media will be able to record it.
The video was the first of several issues being addressed at Wednesday's hearing in Dade City. And the man at the center of it all – accused shooter and former Tampa police captain Curtis Reeves – was in attendance.
It was his first public appearance since the days following that fatal shooting at the Cobb 16 Theater. In a white dress shirt and red sweater vest, Reeves sat quietly listening to attorneys on both sides argue several issues.
Reeves, who was not in handcuffs, officially issued his not guilty plea, and his defense team maintained that the fatal shooting of Chad Oulson was done so in self-defense.
One of the key pieces of evidence could be that video, though it remains unclear how much it shows. The judge said that he's watched the video at least 15 times and can't see anything definitive because of the grainy nature of it.
"I'm not sure I would have any better idea of what was happening," he said.
Still, attorneys had argued against its release to the media. Oulson's wife, Nicole, gave her OK to release it, and the judge agreed -- though it will be subject to the same 30-day hold that applies to the other discovery materials.
Prosecutors opened with saying that witnesses never said Oulson ever touched Reeves. The defense brought several character witnesses, including Reeves' 40-year-old daughter.
Jennifer Shaw testified that her father and mother are both in declining health. She broke down in tears -- as did Reeves himself -- while discussing her own 2-year-old daughter.
Later, a witness recalled the shooting. James Cummings testified that Reeves seemed very agitated after Chad Oulson told him that he was texting his young daughter.
"I saw popcorn going into the air but I could not tell you who threw the popcorn," he said. "It seemed like a very very short time after that, there was a bright flash and a gun went off."
After the shooting, Cummings said, Reeves had words for Oulson.
"Something like 'Throw something at MY face?'" Cummings recalled Reeves saying.
Later in the afternoon, the judge heard testimony from Sumter County Corporal Allen Hamilton, who was in the movie theater off duty when the shooting happened -- just a few seats away from Chad Oulson.
Hamilton's testimony included details about the conversation between Reeves and his wife after Oulson had been shot.
"He leaned toward his wife and made a comment, and she postured and said 'that was no cause to shoot anyone.' And then he leaned back around, stuck his finger out, as to scold her, and said 'you shut your f***in mouth and don't say another word.' Reeves gets up and goes down one chair and again postures, and the look on her face, she was P.O.ed at him."
Hamilton said Oulsen was the aggressor who was shouting and cursing at Reeves in the theater.
The hearing wrapped up just before 7 p.m.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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