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'Stand your ground' hearing for Curtis Reeves delayed again

Former Tampa Police captain Curtis Reeves Jr., center, attends a pretrial hearing with his attorneys Richard Escobar, right, and Dino Michaels before Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa at the West Pasco Judicial Center in April. [Brendan Fitterer | Times]
Former Tampa Police captain Curtis Reeves Jr., center, attends a pretrial hearing with his attorneys Richard Escobar, right, and Dino Michaels before Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa at the West Pasco Judicial Center in April. [Brendan Fitterer | Times]
Published Jan. 9, 2016

DADE CITY — Circuit Judge Susan L. Barthle agreed Friday to postpone a "stand your ground" hearing for Curtis J. Reeves Jr., the retired Tampa police captain accused of shooting a man who was using a cellphone in a Wesley Chapel movie theater two years ago.

Barthle set a status check hearing for March 18, when she'll schedule the weeklong proceeding for April or May.

The judge heeded the concerns of both the state and the defense, who said they would not be ready by the Jan. 25 date.

One of the holdups is the FBI, which is doing analysis that won't be ready for another six weeks, said Reeves' attorney, Richard Escobar.

And the state has yet to depose all the expert witnesses in the case, said Assistant State Attorney Glenn Martin. Plus, Martin said, he may be inclined to do more depositions after the FBI returns its results.

Reeves, 73, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Chad Oulson, 43. By invoking the "stand your ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force if they fear death or great bodily harm, Reeves is asserting he fired in self-defense.

If Barthle grants Reeves' "stand your ground" motion, the state will be forced to drop the second-degree murder charge and Reeves will be immune from civil suit.

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