Sunday, February 25, 2018
News Roundup

Trial date expected to be set in Wesley Chapel movie theater shooting

DADE CITY — The trial for a retired Tampa police captain accused of murder in the January movie theater shooting of a fellow patron could happen as early as this fall.

Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa issued an order late last week saying a court hearing set for July 9 should settle the question of a trial date in the coming months for Curtis Reeves Jr., who is charged with second-degree murder in the Jan. 13 shooting of 43-year-old Chad Oulson of Land O'Lakes.

Oulson was shot in the chest during an argument over Oulson's refusal to stop texting his 2-year-old daughter's babysitter during previews for Lone Survivor at the Grove Cobb 16 Theatres. Oulson's wife, Nicole, suffered an injured left ring finger, which was grazed by the bullet.

Authorities said Reeves got irritated and left briefly to complain to management. A few minutes later, he returned and a confrontation followed. It ended, authorities said, when Reeves pulled a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol from his pocket and fired.

Reeves' attorneys say their client acted in self-defense. They point to an enhanced video that shows a lighted rectangular object being thrown at Reeves. They say that was Oulson's phone. They also say that Reeves, who was 71 and had health problems, felt threatened enough to use deadly force. Reeves told deputies during questioning that something hit him so hard it knocked his glasses off his face.

A recent forensic test on Oulson's phone turned up none of Reeves' DNA.

Reeves remains in the Pasco County jail after Siracusa denied his request for bail in February. His attorneys appealed that decision to the 2nd District Court of Appeal. A ruling has not been issued.

The judge wrote in his June 27 order that during the hearing he expects an account of all research and interviews still to be done by attorneys on both sides and a proposed timeline for completion, as well as an estimated time it will take to choose a jury and present the prosecution's case.

Reeves will appear at next week's pre-trial hearing. In a separate order, Siracusa said he will allow Reeves to change from jail scrubs to street clothes for the hearing, despite objections from prosecutors and the Sheriff's Office.

Comments
Gasparilla Distance Classic: A day (or two) at the races

Gasparilla Distance Classic: A day (or two) at the races

Meet the various people who take in the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic race weekend, whether on the sidelines or pounding the pavement.Woman's best friendAt about the one hour, 45-minute mark of Saturday's 15K, an Australian shepherd wearing a se...
Updated: 15 minutes ago

Riverview woman dies in Friday car crash

A woman died Friday when her car collided with another vehicle on U.S. 301 in Riverview, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Melanie Hoitt, 38, of Riverview was driving a Nissan Altima north on U.S. 301 approaching Southern Pointe Boulevard short...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deputies: Plant City man stabbed to death during argument Saturday

Deputies: Plant City man stabbed to death during argument Saturday

PLANT CITY — A man died Saturday night after he was stabbed inside his home by a neighbor, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Moses Wilson, 49, got into an argument with James Michael Meeks, 23, both of whom live at 4308 James L. R...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect ‘going to explode’

Caller told FBI Florida shooting suspect ‘going to explode’

WASHINGTON — A woman close to the man charged with killing 17 people at a Florida high school warned the FBI in chilling detail that he had a growing collection of guns and a temper so uncontrollable she worried about him "getting into a school and j...
Updated: 4 hours ago
3 dead from severe weather in Arkansas, Kentucky

3 dead from severe weather in Arkansas, Kentucky

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Severe thunderstorms spawned suspected tornadoes and triggered widespread flooding that left at least three people dead in Kentucky and Arkansas. The system that stretched from Texas to the Canadian maritime provinces on Sunday ha...
Updated: 4 hours ago
‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

‘Filled with rage’: How a scrawny misfit turned into Florida’s worst school shooter

He was chronically depressed, beguiled by firearms and violence, an oddball ostracized by peers and prone to angry outbursts.He experienced, in rapid succession, blows of the sort that can send a disturbed, isolated young man hurtling into a spiral o...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

Police: Man, 60, arrested for fleeing from fatal Largo pedestrian crash

LARGO — A 60-year-old man who police said was the driver in a fatal pedestrian hit-and-run on East Bay Drive from three days prior was arrested by Largo Police on Saturday, the department said.Victor Bonavita was arrested on three charges in relation...
Published: 02/24/18
Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

Sheriff: Roads reopen after Tampa crash results in natural gas leak near Citrus Park Mall

TAMPA — Officials reopened roads near Citrus Park Mall Saturday evening that had been closed in the afternoon for a natural gas leak caused by a car crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said. The Sheriff’s Office and Hillsborough County Fi...
Published: 02/24/18

boca ratonState lawmakerencourages Scott to remove sheriffA lawmaker is calling on Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel from office after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In a letter sent to ...
Published: 02/24/18

Two airlinescut ties withNRA aftershootings

The National Rifle Association lashed out at corporations rushing to abandon it on Saturday, as companies from United Airlines to Best Western have cut ties with the gun lobby organization.Without context, twin announcements from Delta and United air...
Published: 02/24/18