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Curtis Reeves' defense team allowed to visit theater

Curtis Reeves, 72, is charged with second-degree murder in the Jan. 13 shooting of 43-year-old Chad Oulson. The men were at a matinee showing of Lone Survivor with their wives when they argued over Oulson texting his young daughter’s babysitter during previews.
Published Oct. 9, 2014

DADE CITY — A judge will allow Curtis Reeves' defense team to visit the Wesley Chapel movie theater where he is accused of shooting and killing a man in January.

On Wednesday morning, attorneys for Reeves, 72, asked Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa for access to the Cobb Grove 16 Theatres to take photos, videos and measurements.

Assistant State Attorney Bill Loughery raised objections about what the defense team might do once they were in the theater — namely, a re-enactment of events that could influence potential jurors. He asked if a representative from his office could be present. Siracusa denied that request.

Reeves' attorney, Richard Escobar, said he had no plans to film a re-enactment but said it is a possibility in the future.

"We're in search of the truth," he said. "We want this jury to see and feel what happened."

Siracusa said he plans to visit the theater himself, and he anticipates that a jury could take a trip there during the trial.

Reeves, a retired Tampa police captain, is charged with second-degree murder in the Jan. 13 shooting of 43-year-old Chad Oulson. The men were at a matinee showing of Lone Survivor with their wives when they argued over Oulson texting his young daughter's babysitter during previews. Reeves is out on bail after spending about six months in jail. The next court hearing is set for Nov. 19.

Oulson's widow, Nicole, was also at the hearing. She walked by reporters waiting outside the courtroom and declined to comment.

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