“Popcorn Shooting” Defendant Has Self-Defense Immunity Hearing
My most recent contribution over at Legal Insurrection, this one on this week's self-defense immunity hearing taking place in the Curtis Reeves prosecution. Reeves is elderly retired police officer shot and killed 43-year-old Chad Oulsen in a movie theater after the two argued over Oulsen's texting during previews, and the conflict escalated to physical violence. Here's a taste:
It was three years ago last month that retired police officer Curtis Reeves, then 71 years old, shot and killed 43-year-old Chad Oulsen in a Florida movie theater. The case became known as the “popcorn shooting” because the shooting allegedly happened over spilled popcorn.
Reeves has been charged with second degree murder and aggravated battery. He has pleaded not guilty to both charges and raised the legal defense of self-defense.
As usual, the media has been slathering the phrase “Stand-Your-Ground” all over this case, when in fact the case has nothing to do whatever with “Stand-Your-Ground” or any legal issues of retreat. What is relevant to this case, however, as it is to pretty much any self-defense case in Florida, is self-defense immunity.
Yesterday was the first day of Reeves’ self-defense immunity hearing, taking place in a Pasco County courthouse, which we’ll get to in a moment.
Before we do so, however, it’s important to understand just what that hearing involves, and what it doesn’t involve, in order to avoid unnecessary confusion of the legal issues in play.