The 'Stand Your Ground' Defense Rejected In This High-Profile Shooting

Curtis Reeves, Jr, the former police captain who shot a man to death in a theater in January of 2014 during the previews before a showing of “Lone Survivor,” has just has his attempt to justify the death of Chad Oulson using Florida’s “stand your ground” law rejected.


A retired Florida police captain who is accused of shooting and killing another man during an argument over texting in a movie theater will face a trial after a judge rejected his “stand your ground” defense.

Judge Susan Barthle ruled Friday the “stand your ground” law in Florida does not apply in the case of Curtis Reeves because he was not in any imminent danger of death when he shot 43-year-old Chad Oulson before a January 2014 movie screening, FOX 13 reported.

“The physical evidence contradicts the defendant’s version of events,” Barthle wrote in her ruling.

The ruling clears the way for Reeves to face jury trial and a second-degree murder charge.

Reeves apparently instigated the conflict with Oulson over his texting during the previews to a movie, and it went downhill from there.

There are no known witnesses to support Reeves’s claim that Oulson struck him with his hands or any other weapon-like object, just a bucket of popcorn Ouson smacked from Reeves hands, then threw back at him. Even his wife doesn’t agree with his claim. No physical evidence supports the claim that he was struck, either.


Reeves allegedly fired immediately after Oulson threw the popcorn.

Reeves is essentially attempting to claim that since Oulson was younger and bigger and using foul language, that he was justified in using deadly force. While Florida’s “stand your ground” law has been used successfully in many instances, the available evidence in this incident did support Reeves’s claim that Oulson constituted an imminent deadly force threat at the time he was shot.  It in fact suggests that Reeves played a role in both instigating the initial confrontation, and he then re-instigated it after he returned from speaking to the theater manager.

His trial for second-degree murder will now proceed.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member