DADE CITY, Fla. — A judge will decide whether Pasco movie theater shooter Curtis Reeves should be allowed to leave his home with fewer restrictions and give up his ankle monitor.
On Thursday, Reeves, 76, a former Tampa police captain, was in court as his defense team argued that he has been so well behaved these past five years there’s no reason to continue monitoring him.
Prosecutors disagreed, calling Reeves an ongoing threat.
The hearing took place five years to the day that Curtis Reeves was granted house arrest. As a condition, he was also ordered to wear an ankle monitor. And his personal gun collection had to be placed in storage.
“Throughout these five years he’s abided by those conditions,” said Reeves' defense lawyer Dino Michaels.
Michaels tried to persuade the court that Reeves has been such a model defendant the court should modify the terms of his pre-trial release by doing away with his ankle monitor and effectively ending the house arrests that limits him to visiting church, the grocery store or a doctor.
“It’s not logical that he can go to those three places as many times anywhere he wants, but he can’t do other small things,” said Michaels.
Reeves is charged with killing Chad Oulson, shooting him inside the Grove Movie theater in January 2014 as the two men argued over Oulson texting on his cell phone during the movie previews.
The defense motion also contends that Reeves faces an undue financial burden: Approximately $15,000 in ankle monitoring fees and another $1,500 in gun storage costs.
Reeves’s motion also asks that his son Matthew, who is a Tampa police officer, be allowed to take possession of his father’s private gun collection. Prosecutors objected to that idea but indicated they might agree to allow an impartial third party to do so instead.
Prosecutor Glenn Martin argued it is not much of a burden “in a case where Mr. Reeves has been charged with second-degree murder and as charged is punishable by up to life.”
Martin also argued that Reeves has not been an ongoing threat to the community because of the very restrictions placed on him.
The argument that $340 per month for ongoing storage and ankle monitoring services is somehow a financial burden doesn’t hold water, they said, when Reeves is flanked by a high-priced defense team and collecting a police pension.
“Two courts have come to the conclusion that even though this was a singular event at the theater, it essentially raises some concerns for public safety,” said Martin.
“I find it almost embarrassing,” said Nicole Oulson’s civil attorney TJ Grimaldi, who sat with her through the hearing.
Outside court, Grimaldi spoke with Oulson standing next to him, calling Reeves’s request “an atrocity.”
It could also set a dangerous precedent, said Grimaldi, “that all of a sudden anywhere at any time she could bump into the person that she literally watched murder her husband. What would you think?”
Reeves’s actual trial date has been postponed indefinitely as attorneys await what could be a key decision from the Florida Supreme Court regarding his "stand your ground" defense.
In the meantime, regarding this motion, Judge Kemba Johnson Lewis said that she would take the arguments under advisement. Court officials say a decision could take several days.
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