After two full days of testimony, arguments, and evidence, a Pasco County judge has ruled that a former police officer will stay in jail until his trial for gunning down a fellow moviegoer during an argument over texting.
Cautioning that "this is not a verdict," Judge Pat Siracusa denied bond for Curtis Reeves, a 71-year-old retired Tampa police captain.
Most of the new details from the two-day hearing came from the post-shooting law enforcement interviews and surveillance video of what led up to the shooting, both of which were played in court.
As initially reported, Reeves told detectives in interviews that he believed he was hit with two objects: A popcorn bag and a cell phone.
His defense team has been trying to argue that the fatal shooting of Chad Oulson was out of fear. In interviews played Friday, Reeves told detectives that he thought Oulson was going to "beat the s**t out of" him.
Prosecutors, however, have already presented significant testimony countering claim, including several witnesses. When detectives interviewed Reeves' wife, Vivian, after the shooting, she denied ever hearing threats from Oulson.
In one interview with police, Reeves told detectives that Oulson swore at him when he asked him to stop texting in the movie previews.
"If it was any of your f****** business, I was texting my daughter," Oulson apparently told Reeves. "Stay the hell out of my face."
Reeves later claimed that Oulson was "practically on top of him," something Reeves' wife did not indicate in her separate interview with police.
"If I had to do it over again, it would never have happened, but you don't get do-overs," Reeves told detectives in his interviews.
The most dramatic moment in court was the playing of video taking inside the theater. The grainy infrared footage shows Reeves in the very corner of the frame. He is seen getting out of his seat, then returning.
Moments later, something comes at him from out of the frame. Then Reeves suddenly points something and others in the theater react to the apparent shooting.
The defense also introduced their own version of the video which, they claimed, showed a cell phone coming out of Oulson's hand and hitting Reeves.
Neither Reeves nor Oulson's wife Nicole showed much emotion when the videos were played.
Outside the courtroom after the ruling, Oulson expressed thanks to the prosecutors.
"I'm just very happy and relieved by the judge's ruling. I have no doubt in my mind this is the right decision," Nicole Oulson said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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