Closing arguments expected to begin Friday in ‘Stand Your Ground’ hearing

Curtis Reeves testified for 6 hours during a 'Stand Your Ground' hearing on Feb. 28, 2017.

DADE CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – Closing arguments in the high-profile “Stand Your Ground” hearing are expected to begin Friday in a Pasco County courtroom.

In an effort to wrap up their case, prosecutors trimmed their witnesses and hoped to end their testimony Thursday in the hearing to determine if Florida’s Stand Your Ground law meets the criteria in the Curtis Reeves murder trial.

The defense claims Reeves was in fear of his life and is asking the court to throw out murder charges, based on Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground Law.” The state contends Reeves was the aggressor and didn’t have to shoot Oulson. Back in 2014, Reeves shot and killed Chad Oulson inside a Wesley Chapel theater during an argument about texting.

On Thursday, the defense asked the judge for two weeks to prepare written closing arguments. That would mean the state would have 10 days to respond. “That means at least another week of my time out away from my family. I’ve been here for all of the testimony. I’ve got it,” responded Judge Susan Barthle.

Each side is expected to present closing arguments Friday. The judge will have a written decision no later than next Friday.

In today’s testimony, the state presented all five raw, unedited security footage videos from the day of the shooting.

They also had the court listen to full interviews detectives recorded with Reeves that day.

In one of the recordings, Reeves stated he truly believed he was about to get beat up.

“Suddenly, he jumps up and stands around in his seat. I’m leaning back in my chair. He kept on hollering. That led me to believe he’s going to kick my (expletive). I’m leaning all the way back in my chair and then suddenly he’s virtually on top of me.”

He also said if he had to do it over again, it wouldn’t have happened.

“If I had to do it over again, it wouldn’t have happened. I would’ve moved (to another seat). But, we don’t get do-overs,” he said.

The state called several witnesses to the stand who were inside the Cobb Grove Theater when the shooting happened.

A few of them described Reeves as “frightening” and “agitated.”

Charles Cummings was sitting on the same row as the Oulson’s. He said it was his birthday that day. He could hear a conversation between the two men, and heard Reeves mumbling as he walked past him to get a manager.

After shots were fired, he said Oulson and his wife Nicole both walked towards him. Cummings testified he heard Chad say, “I can’t believe he shot me.”

Cummings then testified Oulson fell into his and his son’s laps. He told his son to call 911, while he performed chest compressions on Oulson.


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