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Curtis Reeves’ trial date pushed back two weeks in movie theater shooting

After lawyers on both sides told a judge Wednesday that some of their witnesses had schedule conflicts with the previous date, it will now start Oct. 19.
Defendant Curtis Reeves, center, meets with his attorneys prior to his status hearing on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at the Robert D. Sumner Judicial Center in Dade City. At left is defense attorney Dino Michaels, and at right is defense attorney Richard Escobar. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
Defendant Curtis Reeves, center, meets with his attorneys prior to his status hearing on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at the Robert D. Sumner Judicial Center in Dade City. At left is defense attorney Dino Michaels, and at right is defense attorney Richard Escobar. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times]

DADE CITY — The trial date for Curtis Reeves Jr. was pushed back two weeks during a hearing Wednesday.

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Kembra Lewis moved the start date to Oct. 19, 2020, to accommodate schedule conflicts for witnesses for both the defense and the state. Reeves faces a second-degree murder charge in the 2014 shooting death of Chad Oulson during an argument inside the Cobb Grove 16 movie theaters.

Related: Six years after movie theater shooting, trial set for Curtis Reeves

The two-week shift is marginal in a case that’s been languishing in court for more than half a decade, and Lewis seemed set on sticking with it. She set deadlines for attorneys to file, respond to and argue a series of motions that prosecutors said they plan to file in the coming months.

“I’ve given some deadlines and dates," she said. "I expect that they be adhered to.”

Reeves, 77, was present at the hearing. He sat beside his attorneys in a gray suit and tie. His attorney, Richard Escobar, told reporters afterward that he’s optimistic about the timeline.

“I think we’re going to be trying this case in October," he said.

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