The man accused of the Florida theater shooting, a former police captain, Curtis Reeves, Jr., has been granted release on bail.
Reeves’ bail was set by a judge at $150,000 since the court believed him to be a low flight risk. He walked free Friday night.
Reeves is accused of shooting 43-year-old Chad Oulson in a Wesley Chapel movie theater last January. Reeves was admittedly perturbed at Oulson, who was texting during the previews.
When he said something about it, the two men got into an altercation. Reeves claimed that Oulson was actually attacking him and that he fired once in self-defense.
It was enough to kill Oulson and leave wife Nicole a widow. According to TampaBay.com, the family of Oulson was not happy with the decision. Of Nicole’s reaction, her attorney said, “Devastating is an understatement.”
While the prosecution had previously shown sufficient evidence to keep the Florida theater shooting suspect in jail, an appeal from Reeves’ attorneys demonstrated to Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa that Reeves’ attorneys “presented exceptionally strong evidence in support for pretrial release.”
From the TampaBay.com report:
He [Siracusa] wrote that he issued the first order denying bail on the presumption that he had no discretion to set one if prosecutors met their burden that ‘proof of guilt is evident or the presumption is great.’
“He noted that the defense had presented “extensive” testimony that their client, who has a clean criminal history and deep community ties, was not a danger or a flight risk.
“Grimaldi [Oulson attorney] said the fact that Reeves gets to go home is ‘unbelievably unfair.’ He fears Reeves’ attorneys will try to delay the trial now that Reeves is out of jail.”
What comes next for Curtis Reeves?
Court dockets show that the “next pretrial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 10, when prosecutors and defense attorneys are expected to set a date for the trial in early 2015,” the site stated. “In the meantime, both sides are interviewing witnesses and having experts review the evidence.”
Reeves is free on condition that he wear a monitor and that he remains “at his Hernando County home except to go to church, the doctor’s office or the grocery store. He also must surrender firearms… and avoid contact with Nicole Oulson.”
What do you think, Inquisitr readers? Did Curtis Reeves, the Florida theater shooting suspect, act in self-defense or was it cold-blooded murder? Is his bail justified? Sound off in our comments section.
[Image via TampaBay.com, linked above]