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Trial for Curtis Reeves likely to be postponed, attorneys say

Former Tampa Police captain Curtis Reeves Jr., leaves a pretrial hearing with his attorney Dino Michaels, left, at the West Pasco Judicial Center Thursday (4/30/15). Reeves is charged with fatally shooting Chad Oulson, 43, and wounding his wife, Nicole. Deputies say Reeves shot Oulson during an argument over texting before a movie at the Cobb Grove 16 theater near Interstate 75 in Wesley Chapel in January 2014.
Published May 1, 2015

NEW PORT RICHEY — More than a year has passed since Curtis Reeves Jr. was accused of shooting another patron in a Pasco County movie theater, but attorneys for the state and the defense signaled Thursday that a trial could be a long way off.

Reeves' attorney, Richard Escobar, blamed the delay on the state's recent listing of 22 more witnesses in the case and said he would need several more months to interview all of them.

But Pinellas-Pasco Assistant State Attorney Bill Loughery said most of those people are minor witnesses who will not be called at trial. He expressed frustration that 15 months after Reeves' arrest, defense attorneys have not provided the state with their list of witnesses.

Reeves' case is supposed to go to trial in late August. But attorneys for both sides agreed that time frame appears unrealistic.

Escobar pronounced it "impossible."

Reeves, a 72-year-old retired police officer, is charged with second-degree murder in connection with Chad Oulson's death on Jan. 13, 2014. Law enforcement authorities say the men got into an argument inside the theater after Reeves became annoyed at Oulson for texting during previews.

Reeves pulled a handgun from his pocket and fired once. Reeves' attorneys say Oulson, 43, was attacking him, and he fired in self-defense.

Contact Anna M. Phillips at aphillips@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3354. Follow @annamphillips.

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