Curtis Reeves- Stand Your Ground Hearing

Hat tip to Yahtzeebutterfly for keeping up with this case.

Florida’s controversial stand your ground law came upfront when 17-year old, unarmed Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012.   The law allows people to use deadly force when they fear death or great bodily harm.  Stand your ground, if granted, gives the defendant immunity from being placed on trial for the results of using deadly force.   If the person who used deadly force was the initiator, they might not qualify for immunity under stand your ground.

That is part of the controversy with stand your ground law.  It depends on perception, and when the person is dead, they cannot testify of their perception.

You might have heard of the “popcorn murder.”  It is the Reeves’ case.  In January 2014, 71-year old Curtis Reeves shot Chad Oulson (43) to death in a movie theater over texting.  Reeves also wounded Oulson’s wife. Reeves is charged with second degree murder and he claims self-defense, alleging that Chad hit him with something so hard that it knocked his glasses off his face.

curtis-reeves-1Reeves’ defense is that at 71, and having health problems, he felt threatened enough to use deadly force when Chad threw a box of popcorn at him.  His stand your ground hearing started yesterday. The prosecutor said the 74-year-old Reeves provoked the confrontation. Reeves’ attorneys said Oulson’s actions made him think he was in danger of serious assault.

Pinellas-Pasco County Florida Circuit Judge Susan Barthle is hearing evidence.  There is no jury.  Judge Barthle will determine if Reeves should be immune from prosecution or stand trial for second-degree murder.

Assistant State Attorney Glenn Martin, in his opening statement, argued that video from the theater shows Reeves leaning forward, entering Oulson’s space for “nonconsensual contact” three separate times. It also shows Oulson backing away from Reeves after throwing the popcorn.

“Once the popcorn is tossed, it is over,” Martin said. “You can’t prevent that by shooting Mr. Oulson. “His conduct is nothing but retaliation for a former police officer who is used to having people do what he says.”


Chad Oulson with his daughter who is now 3 years old.

In January 2016, Chad Oulson’s wife, Nicole, filed a civil suit against the theater.

The court has set aside two weeks for the hearing.  Courtchatter is livestreaming the hearing.


Below is the video playlist.



Posted on 02/21/2017, in Cases, Chad Oulson, Trial Videos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. Florida has both crazy firearm laws and politicians. I know, I’m a Floridian. It’s crazy there, especially in North Florida. Extremely racist people.

    Liked by 5 people

    • The Warner, the first I heard of stand your ground was when Trayvon was killed. I don’t understand that law when most states have justifiable homicide. Having a stand your ground hearing is nothing more than a bench trial, so it doesn’t save the state nor the defendant money and time. It’s only purpose seems to be to not arrest those who claim self-defense in the first place.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Trust me, it’s a law that people try to abuse, even when it’s clear and visible ON VIDEO that they weren’t in danger. Zimmerman got off, but a lot of the people who have tried to use it haven’t.

        Liked by 3 people

        • The Warner,
          We’ve followed several cases here involving stand your ground, including Anita Smithey and Trevor Dooley. I’m blessed in living in a state that does not have that law, and I’m committed to never, ever, visiting a state that does.

          Liked by 4 people

  2. Dear Xena,

    Having popcorn thrown at you, is an action that would make someone angry, but not fearful for one’s life or serious bodily injury. .As an experienced former police officer, Curtis Reeves knew better and he also knows how to frame the “stand your ground” defense. I’m not buying it. But this is Florida.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 3 people

  3. yahtzeebutterfly

    “Defense, prosecution offer different perspectives in Pasco theater ‘stand your ground’ hearing”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. yahtzeebutterfly

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m watching the cross-examination of Mrs. Reeves. It looks like the theater had a sign that said not to bring guns inside. The state is asking her if the notice on the movie screen about shutting off cell phones was more important to her than the placard that says no guns.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. crustyolemothman

    These words from the daughter of the murderer should be brought out in the proper context! The Murderer has denied the family of the victim the opportunity to live to that point!

    “What I have observed is my parents have trouble functioning on everyday normal activities that you and I take for granted,” Shaw said.

    I would guess that the family of the man who Reeves murdered would like to have had the opportunity to observe his growing old!
    Has anyone heard any factual information about how this ex-cop performed his job and how many times was he accused of abuse of power while on the job? Some how I would suspect this manner of action was not new and had gone on for a long time but had been allowed to be ignored because of his status as a police officer!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. February 23, 2017
    Mrs. Oulson testified today, along with several deputies who were at the scene. Tomorrow, the court is taking a field trip to the theater. Reeves is expected to testify on Monday or Tuesday.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Liked by 2 people

  9. roderick2012

    The most disturbing aspect is that it’s taken three years for this case to come to trial.

    The same thing is happening in the death/trial of the cop who murdered Corey Jones.

    Of course the cop is under ‘house arrest’ while awaiting the trial.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Roderick,
      For sure. And, this is the stand your ground hearing. If the judge denies Reeves immunity, then trial is scheduled.

      Thanks for the hat tip regarding the killing of Corey Jones.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. February 27, 2017

    Remember Michael Knox? He testified at Reeves’ stand your ground hearing today. In case you don’t member Knox, here are LLMPapa’s video challenging what Knox concluded about the killing of Trayvon Martin.


  11. Like

  12. “Still, despite the permissive Florida law, which was dreamed up by gun-rights advocates, Reeves might have a hard time convincing the judge to toss the murder charge. Other moviegoers, including Sumter County Sheriff’s Sgt. Alan Hamilton, didn’t see Oulson climbing over his seat toward Reeves. They didn’t see Oulson throw a cellphone or strike Reeves. Just after the shooting, Hamilton heard Reeves’ own wife, Vivian, say, “That was no cause to shoot that man.” And Hamilton saw Reeves point his finger at his wife and warn her to “shut her mouth” and “not say another f—— word.”

    Read more here:

    Liked by 1 person

  13. On March 3, 2017, closing arguments were made in the Curtis Reeves’s stand your ground hearing. Here are the videos. The judge anticipates entering a decision in about a week.

    Prosecutor’s closing argument.

    Defense closing argument.

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3


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