Analysis: Movie theater shooting will be a 'Stand Your Ground' c - New York News

Analysis: Movie theater shooting will be a 'Stand Your Ground' case

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law allows a person to use deadly force to save his or her own life -- even if there is a chance they could retreat. It eliminates a person's duty to retreat in the face of a serious physical threat.

Before Stand Your Ground became law in 2005, a person could not legally justify the use of deadly force if it could have been avoided.

Jeff Brown, a criminal defense attorney and legal analyst, predicts that Curtis Reeves will use Stand Your Ground as a defense, and this case will be a major test of the law.

"This isn't just a guy who goes into a movie theater and shoots someone. He is a retired cop, and I guarantee you there is going to be a defense that he felt he was in fear of his life, that there was great bodily harm that he felt was coming toward him, and he's going to say he can stand his ground and use a firearm."

There are conflicting reports about what exactly took place before the shooting. Investigators say that before the shooting, the victim threw popcorn at Reeves.

An arrest affidavit also says Chad Oulson "turned and stood up, striking the defendant in the face with an unknown object."

But Tuesday afternoon, a Pasco sheriff's detective said in a media briefing that there was "no physical contact" between the two men.

"You can bring a firearm to a popcorn fight now, because that's what Stand Your Ground is all about," Brown said. "If you are lawfully there, and you feel your life is in jeopardy or that you are threatened, you can defend yourself with deadly force. And that's what this issue is going to be."

Brown added that Reeves' background as a law enforcement officer used to working in high-pressure, SWAT-team situations will play a part in his defense.

"We're gonna have someone who…is going to say, as a retired cop who is used to being in traumatic situations, who ran a SWAT team, he's gonna say, 'I was in fear for my life, I felt as if this 43-year-old man was going to cause me great bodily harm,'" Brown said.

The question then becomes whether that's a reasonable defense or not.

"But I'm telling you, it's not going to be a case where someone just sat in a movie theater and didn't like that he was on his cellphone and shot him. This is going to be a Stand Your Ground defense."

But that's a defense the Pasco County Sheriff's Office plans to fight tooth and nail. Sheriff Nocco said assistant state attorney Manny Garcia was at the shooting scene early on. Nocco said he, Garcia, and the detectives discussed Stand Your Ground, and all said they did not think it would not apply.

"We did not determine that Stand Your Ground was a justifiable reason why [Reeves] shot the victim," Nocco said. "Stand Your Ground does not fly in this case."

Reeves is being held in the Land 'O' Lakes detention center without bond.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Times Square, 1 WTC go gold for childhood cancer awareness

    Times Square, 1 WTC go gold for childhood cancer awareness

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:20 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:20:23 GMT
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
    Things are looking up for cute little Cami King. Not only is her cancer in remission, she also just got to meet Mickey, Minnie and Elmo in Times Square. But, if you can believe it, there's something else this 4-year-old is even more excited about: Times Square is going gold. The chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition announced the crossroads of the world is going to light up in gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer research.
  • Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Lawyer says family of girl with Uzi is devastated

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:00:24 GMT
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a...
    An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi say the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation.
  • Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Deadly crash in Lincoln Tunnel

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:15 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:15:54 GMT

    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.


    Officials say a New Jersey man has died from injuries he suffered in a chain-reaction crash inside one of the tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the 49-year-old Summit resident was among three people hurt in the accident.



Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices