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Ex-cop testifies at Fla. theater shooting hearing

Curtis Reeves, 71, is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 43-year-old Chad Oulson

By Tamara Lush
Associated Press

DADE CITY, Fla. — Witnesses were expected to testify Friday for the second day in a bond hearing for a retired Tampa police captain accused of shooting another man in a movie theater during an argument of texting.

Curtis Reeves, 71, is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 43-year-old Chad Oulson. Reeves pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a Pasco County Court.

The bond hearing began Wednesday. After nearly nine hours of testimony from Reeves’ friends and family, and from prosecution witnesses to the Jan. 13 shooting, Judge Pat Siracusa continued the hearing to a second day.

Siracusa said he wanted to give both sides ample time for testimony because state prosecutors are asking for Reeves, who has lived in the region his entire life, to be held without bail.

Pasco County Sheriff’s detectives said Reeves became upset when Oulson was texting during the movie previews.

In an interview this week on ABC’s “The View,” Nicole Oulson — who was with her husband when he was shot and was also wounded — said her husband was texting with their daughter’s baby sitter.

The two men got into a verbal argument and witnesses told officers Oulson threw popcorn at Reeves. Defense attorney Richard Escobar has said his client was in fear and defending himself.

Nicole Oulson said her husband had tried ignoring Reeves.

"(Reeves) had confronted my husband several times, which my husband ignored and ignored and ignored. And it just got to a point where my husband spoke up,” she said.

Oulson added that she thought Reeves became enraged because her husband didn’t defer to him.

“He’s been an authority figure all his life,” she said on the national TV program. “He’s used to telling people what to do, and they say ‘how high’ when he says ‘jump.’ He no longer has that control.”

Reeves has been in jail since the Jan. 13 incident. If convicted, he could face a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.

On Wednesday, Reeves’ attorney called four witnesses, including Reeves’ daughter, to testify that he does not have anger issues and that he would not be a risk to the public if the judge released him on bond.

Reeves is also charged with aggravated battery because authorities said that the bullet that killed Oulson also struck Nicole Oulson in the hand.

Nicole Oulson is scheduled to give a statement during the bond hearing, her attorneys said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press

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