Pasco judge rules Curtis Reeves will stand trial for murder

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

DADE CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — The judge in the high-profile Stand Your Ground hearing ruled on Friday that Curtis Reeves will be tried on murder charges.

The retired Tampa Police Department captain shot and killed Chad Oulson on January 13, 2014 in a Wesley Chapel movie theater during an argument over texting. Reeves’ attorney wanted the murder charges against him dismissed under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law.

Judge Susan Barthle heard testimony from prosecutors and the defense to determine if the Stand Your Ground law meets the criteria in the Curtis Reeves murder trial.

Prosecutors said Reeves did not have to use lethal force, but Reeves said he feared for his life. During closing arguments, the defense also said the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office botched the initial investigation.

Chad Oulson’s widow testified during the hearing. Curtis Reeve also testified, spending many hours on the witness stand.

Friday, one of the attorneys who defended Reeves told News Channel 8 they plan to appeal, “as humanly possible.”

TJ Grimaldi, attorney for Nicole Oulson said that will be hard to do.

“[The judge] believes [Reeves] is not credible, and as a result the appeals court must determine that it’s an abusive discretion for her to determine he is not credible,” says Grimaldi.

Grimaldi said Chad’s wife Nicole cried tears of joy today, but knows this is just another step in what is expected to be a long case. Friday is her and Chad’s daughter Lexie’s fifth birthday. She decided to celebrate with Lexie.

“I know Chad is smiling a big smile down on Lexie for her birthday today,” said Grimaldi.

Some Florida lawmakers now want to see changes to the Stand Your Ground law. That could impact the outcome of this case.

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