Friday, November 24, 2017
News Roundup

Curtis Reeves will testify in movie theater shooting trial, attorney says

RECOMMENDED READING


The attorney for Curtis Reeves Jr., accused in a Pasco movie theater shooting in January, said his client will take the stand when he faces trial on a second-degree murder charge.

In addition, Tampa attorney Richard Escobar said he plans to interview Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco and possibly call him as a witness.

The reasoning: If Nocco's deputies can justifiably shoot and kill an unarmed suspect who threatened them during an undercover drug buy, as happened this month in Zephyrhills, why shouldn't Reeves be able to do the same?

"The sheriff agrees that if an individual doesn't have a weapon, it is reasonable to shoot," Escobar said Wednesday.

Reeves, 71, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Chad Oulson.

On Jan. 13, the two argued over Oulson texting during matinee previews. Reeves said Oulson, 43, attacked him and threw something that knocked off his glasses. Reeves is a retired Tampa police captain.

Escobar said Florida's self-defense law is on his client's side.

"It's not what you would have done, but what a reasonable person would have done," Escobar said. "Curtis Reeves is a 71-year-old man with many ailments. He's a highly trained law enforcement officer. The law of self defense puts you in his shoes."

On July 1, undercover Pasco deputies moved in to arrest 41-year-old Jerry Dwight Brown outside Big Ben's Used Tires in Zephyrhills. They ordered him to show his hands, Nocco said in a news conference the next day, but Brown moved in a way that made them fear for their lives. He said deputies made "a split-second decision."

Brown, who was suspected of dealing pills, was shot by two detectives.

On Wednesday, Nocco released this statement: "I am not going to comment on Mr. Escobar's defense strategy. However, I know our Pasco Sheriff's Office detectives will do an outstanding job presenting the facts in the courtroom."

Reeves had been held without bail until last week, when he was given a $150,000 bail and was released from jail. He must wear an ankle bracelet and can only leave his home for church, the doctor and the grocery store. His trial is unlikely to start until next year at the earliest.

Comments
Lawsuit over Jolley Trolley dismissed

Lawsuit over Jolley Trolley dismissed

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority that Cincinnati-based First Transit filed in April, alleging it lost the county’s trolley contract because a "who’s who of Clearwater" lobbied the board to cho...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Tampa providing emergency medical service at MacDill, including new ambulance

Tampa providing emergency medical service at MacDill, including new ambulance

TAMPA — Sick and injured people at MacDill Air Force Base now rely on crews from Tampa Fire Rescue for help, and soon, they’ll have their own dedicated ambulance.Last month, the Tampa City Council approved the purchase of a $323,000 Braun Super Chief...
Updated: 11 minutes ago

State DOT looking for direction on Alt. U.S. 19 corridor

Residents can give their input on the future of the Alt. U.S. 19 corridor by attending two workshops hosted by the Florida Department of Transportation and Forward Pinellas, the county’s transportation and land-use arm.The agencies are developing a l...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Settlement approved for Treasure Island’s walkway cracks

Settlement approved for Treasure Island’s walkway cracks

TREASURE ISLAND — More than three years after cracks began appearing in its newly constructed mile-long Beach Trail walkway, the city has approved a settlement with the architect and contractors, and hired a new contractor to repair and rebuild the t...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Mounted police patrol Seminole Heights after killings

Mounted police patrol Seminole Heights after killings

TAMPA — A Florida police department is using horse patrols in a neighborhood that’s been plagued by homicides in recent weeks. Officials in Tampa have been searching for the person — or people — responsible for shooting and killing four in the Semino...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Tampa officer revives overdose victim in department’s first use of Narcan drug kit

TAMPA — A Tampa Police officer administered the department’s first use of an overdose-reversal drug to revive a 27-year-old man on Friday.About 2 a.m., Tampa Police Officer Scott Seely responded to a call in east Tampa about a possible drug overdose,...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Car-sized hole from broken water pipe closes road in Valrico

Car-sized hole from broken water pipe closes road in Valrico

VALRICO — A large hole that opened in Valrico’s Bloomingdale neighborhood on Thanksgiving day was caused by a broken water pipe, not a sinkhole, county officials said. The hole swallowed a Mini Cooper-sized chunk of Natures Way Boulevard, at the Elm ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Study to determine number of red snapper in the Gulf

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. — A team of 21 scientists will conduct a study to estimate the number of red snapper in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The panel of researchers from universities and state and federal agencies was convened by the Mississi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Newly engaged couple among three killed in wrong-way crash on I-75

Newly engaged couple among three killed in wrong-way crash on I-75

TAMPA — Last month, LaShay Waiters got down on one knee and proposed to Yvette Alexandre in front of their family and friends. About two weeks ago, the young couple found out Alexandre was pregnant."They had a great future together," said Waiters’ mo...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Police investigate suspicious package at Clearwater Babies"R"Us

CLEARWATER — Authorities evacuated a Babies"R"Us on Friday after reports of a suspicious package in a shopping cart.According to Clearwater police, someone noticed the package about 10:30 a.m. at the store at 21315 U.S. 19 N. The store was evacuated ...
Updated: 1 hour ago