It’s now up to a judge to decide whether Curtis Reeves was standing his ground, or should stand trial for second-degree murder.
Reeves, a former Tampa police captain, is accused of killing Chad Oulson inside a Wesley chapel movie theater in January 2014 as the two argued over texting during the movie previews.
On Friday, both sides wrapped up their case with final arguments.
To hear from his defense lawyers, it’s a matter of “perception”.
Curtis Reeves was a 71-year-old, highly-trained retired police officer whose failing health left him no choice, they argued, but to shoot.
Prosecutors say there's just no evidence that Chad Oulson threw anything but popcorn at Mr. Reeves and that shooting was an unreasonable overreaction.
Reeves' defense lawyers picked apart the prosecution's witness testimony calling it contaminated and confused.
They say their own experts and doctors explained why a man of Reeves’ age and failing health would fear death or great bodily harm as he argued with a younger 6’4” Chad Oulson.
Prosecutors called that bunk.
They say Chad Oulson was never lunging at Reeves, never threw a cell phone or a punch at him.
The prosecution had another one-word term for what happened. Retaliation.
“The action of harming someone because they have harmed one's self. One word. Retaliation,” said Prosecutor Glenn Martin, “Throw popcorn on me, will you? Bang!! Retaliation.”
But Reeves defense lawyer, Richard Escobar, said if Reeves was planning to harm Oulson – everything leading up to that moment wouldn’t add up.
“A 6’4” individual standing, trying to come over that chair - is terrifying,” said Escobar. “Do we think by anyone's stretch of anyone's imagination that Mr. Reeves would be sitting in a chair grabbing a popcorn with his left hand and crossing his legs if he had any idea of the outrageous conduct that was about to come?”
Judge Susan Barthle promised to issue a written order by 3:00 p.m. next Friday. An order which will determine whether Curtis Reeves was standing his ground, or should stand trial for second-degree murder.
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