Land O' Lakes, Florida -- Curtis Reeves, the accused Pasco County movie theater gunman, was released from jail on $150,000 bond around 8 p.m. Friday and will be allowed to await his trial at home.
"The family is so grateful to have him back home and Curtis is so grateful to be home," said Rick Escobar, Curtis Reeves' attorney.
Flanked by his daughter to his right and wife on his left arm, the 71-year-old did not answer any questions following his release from the Land O' Lakes jail where he had been held for six months.
"The family is so grateful to have him back home and Curtis is so grateful to be home," said Rick Escobar, Curtis Reeves' attorney. WTSP
On Friday, the judge in the murder case reversed his previous order that Reeves, 71, be held without bond.
It was a major victory for the former Tampa Police captain, and clearly a disappointment for Nicole Oulson, the widow of shooting victim Chad Oulson, who was shot by Reeves after the two had argued over texting inside the Grove 16 movie theater during movie previews.
VIDEO: Curtis Reeves leaves Pasco County jail
Curtis Reeves, the accused Pasco County movie theater gunman, was released from jail on $150,000 bond around 8:10 p.m. Friday. WTSP
Friday's major development came just hours after a ruling from the 2nd District Court of Appeals, which told the judge in Reeves' case that he was not legally bound to hold Reeves in jail, despite what he heard from prosecutors.
At the original bond hearing in February, Judge Pat Siracusa said the state had made its case, that the 2nd degree murder charges against Curtis Reeves were reasonable and that, therefore, Reeves needed to be held without bond.
But the court of appeals said Judge Siracusa still had discretion in the case and perhaps didn't realize it.
On Friday, the judge admitted that was true. In a new order he wrote, "The appellate court was correct that this court previously denied release because it believed it had no discretion to do otherwise if the state met its burden."
Judge reverses decision, will allow Movie Theater Gunman Curtis Reeves to await trial under house arrest. Why the change?
READ: Judge Siracusa's bond order (PDF)
With that, Judge Siracusa ordered Reeves could be released under these terms:
- A $150,000 bond.
- He has to remain at his residence except when attending religious services, seeking medical treatment, or to go to the grocery store.
- He's not allowed to have a firearm.
- He has to wear an ankle bracelet for GPS monitoring.
In addition to the other stipulations, Curtis Reeves must also have no contact with Nicole Oulson.
"This is not vindication. This is how our system of justice works and we should all be very proud of today's date," Escobar said during a quick press conference outside the jail Friday afternoon.
But the sentiment not shared by the attorney who represents Nicole Oulson.
"He [Reeves] can relax, they can delay the case. He can see his family. He can go home and see his grandchild. He can see his daughter, he can see his son and his wife. Chad can never do that again."
"This is dangerous, because you never know what's going to set him off again," he added.
According to his attorney, Reeves' trial is expected to take place in the early part of next year.
VIDEO: Press conference with Reeves' attorney
Press conference with Reeves' attorney, Richard Escobar