Wednesday, December 13, 2017
News Roundup

Judge to decide whether to release movie theater shooting video

WESLEY CHAPEL — What actually happened just before and after Chad Oulson was fatally shot inside the Grove 16 Theatres?

So far, the only public account is what has been provided by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office and a couple of witnesses who left in blood-spattered clothes.

But security video from the theater gives details of the unfolding violence in Auditorium 10 on Jan. 13, including footage of Oulson being shot in the chest.

That's what concerns prosecutors, who planned to play excerpts during a bail hearing Wednesday for Curtis Reeves Jr., the retired Tampa police captain charged with second-degree murder in Oulson's death during an argument over Oulson's cellphone text messaging.

A 2011 state law makes it a third-degree felony to release video, photos or recordings depicting "the death of any human being."

So prosecutors have asked a judge to decide whether the law allows them to give Reeves, as well as the Tampa Bay Times and other media outlets that have filed public records requests, access to the video. A hearing on that issue is scheduled for 11 a.m. today before Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa

"The state intends to play excerpts of the videos to this court at the hearing on Feb. 5 and may wish to let them play at other relevant hearings and trial," according to a motion filed Monday.

Florida law says that once case material has been given to the defendant, it becomes a public record and must be released.

However, the exemption allows only the designated next of kin to view videos or images of a death and decide whether to have them released. The exemption isn't clear how that is to be applied in criminal proceedings and has not been decided by an appellate court.

Prosecutors want Siracusa to answer three questions: whether to show the video to Reeves, whether to let the video be played in open court Wednesday or have a judge view it privately, and whether the video becomes public record once turned over to the defense.

Reeves' attorney, Richard Escobar, declined to comment.

TJ Grimaldi, a Tampa attorney representing Oulson's wife, Nicole, said they have no problem letting Reeves' team see the video. As to whether it should made public, "she will likely want to view it first."

The law, created in the wake of the shooting deaths of Tampa police Officers Jeffrey Kocab and David Curtis, seeks to weigh concerns for grieving families against the public's right to know. A video of the officers' shooting, captured on a police cruiser's dashboard camera, was not publicly released. It was played, however, for a jury that in November convicted Dontae Morris of their murders.

 
Comments
Three things to watch for at the Federal Reserve meeting today

Three things to watch for at the Federal Reserve meeting today

WASHINGTON — On the day when Janet Yellen will hold her final news conference as Federal Reserve chair, the Fed has left little doubt what it plans to do Wednesday: Raise its benchmark interest rate for the third time this year. The increase would be...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
For Weeki Wachee River, Hernando commission agrees to study how much use is too much?

For Weeki Wachee River, Hernando commission agrees to study how much use is too much?

BROOKSVILLE — For a year and a half, residents along the Weeki Wachee River have loudly voiced their concerns about the waterway’s future, begging local and state officials to do something to protect the important resource and to curb gro...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

Switch to wing helps Lightning’s Tyler Johnson

ST. LOUIS — Tyler Johnson hasn’t played very much wing in his career, primarily sticking to his natural center position. But lately, Johnson has been stellar on the right side.Johnson’s assist in Tuesday’s win over the Blues extended his point streak...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

Rick and Tom podcast: Should the Rays go full fire-sale mode?

As baseball’s hot stove starts heating up, should the Rays go full fire sale to build for the future?In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones discuss whether the Rays should trade guys like Evan Longoria, Chris Archer, Alex Colome and more,...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Roy Moore won’t concede Alabama Senate race; ex-Tampa police sergeant learns fate; older Americans take too many unneeded pills; Rays’ dilemma: Retool or rebuild?

The Daystarter: Roy Moore won’t concede Alabama Senate race; ex-Tampa police sergeant learns fate; older Americans take too many unneeded pills; Rays’ dilemma: Retool or rebuild?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.10News WTSPThe latest 7-day forecast• It was cold. Then it was warm. And now it will be cold again. Our yo-yo weather continues as another cold front rolls in and drops tempera...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Yankees become Tampa Tarpons in a nod to history

Tampa Yankees become Tampa Tarpons in a nod to history

The Tampa Yankees have officially changed the name of the Class A Florida State League team to the Tarpons.The name change is a nod to the original Tampa Tarpons minor-league team that played at Al Lopez Field from 1957-87.For the first four years th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Picturing something different: St. Petersburg man finds second career as photographer

Picturing something different: St. Petersburg man finds second career as photographer

A chance meeting during a really tough time in Rossie Newson’s life resulted in him finding a talent he never knew he had. After leaving his job as an illustrator at the Tampa Bay Times in 2009, Newson devoted most of his time and energy to his fathe...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Daniel Ruth: Buckhorn stood with good ol’ boys as firefighter proved city harassed her

Daniel Ruth: Buckhorn stood with good ol’ boys as firefighter proved city harassed her

They tried to shut her up. They tried to make her go away. They made her life miserable. Yet Tanja Vidovic — persisted. Long before most people had ever heard of the knuckle-dragging sexually harassing escapades of oafs like Harvey Weinstein, ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Woman, 54, killed while crossing U.S. 19 in Hudson

HUDSON — A Hudson woman died Tuesday evening after being struck by a car while crossing U.S. 19 near Babson Avenue, according to Florida Highway Patrol.Patricia Lynn Pla, 54, was crossing U.S. 19 westbound about 6:10 p.m. when troopers said she was s...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Nina Simone, Bon Jovi, The Cars top 2018 Rock Hall of Fame inductees

Nina Simone, Bon Jovi, The Cars top 2018 Rock Hall of Fame inductees

NEW YORK — Iconic singer Nina Simone and New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi lead the 2018 class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, which includes four first-time nominees. The Cars, as well as first-time contenders Dire Straits, The Moody Blues and Si...
Updated: 2 hours ago