Defense says thrown cell phone prompted theater shooting

- The second day of testimony wrapped up in the hearing for a retired Tampa police captain using the 'Stand Your Ground' defense after shooting and killing a man in a Wesley Chapel movie theater. 

The defense tried Tuesday to convince a judge that Curtis Reeves had a cell phone thrown at him before he opened fire.

Whether Chad Oulson, 43, threw his cell phone at Reeves may be the main point of contention during the hearing. Defense attorneys have pointed to that moment as the moment Reeves became afraid for his safety.

Oulson then allegedly lunged toward Reeves, grabbed his popcorn and threw it back at him before a gunshot from Reeves sent him staggering back.

Reeves' attorney, Richard Escobar called to the stand Bruce Koenig, a former FBI video analyst who took the grainy surveillance video from the Cobb movie theater and "enhanced" it.

Escobar played a slowed-down loop of the moment he believes the light from a cell phone can be seen coming from Oulson and into Reeves' area.

Following the shooting, Reeves told detectives he saw the glow of something that seemed like a cell phone before the object struck his face. Oulson's phone was also found at Reeves' feet.

Prosecutors, however, argue that not only is the video inconclusive, there are people who were in the theater who have said they only saw Oulson throw popcorn. One witness testified to that Tuesday morning.

The hearing will enter its third day and Vivian Reeves, Curtis Reeves' wife will likely testify. She was slated to take the stand Tuesday, but Koenig's testimony took up the remainder of the day.

This will be the first time Vivian Reeves will tell her story on record since the day of the Jan. 13, 2014 shooting, when she did a recorded interview with Pasco County detectives.

"Curtis did say he hit me in the face. It happened so fast," she can be heard saying in the recording, adding she didn't actually see him get hit with anything because she'd turned away. "He was in law enforcement 20 years and he never shot anybody. Never threatened anybody with a gun, nothing. I don't know. If a guy hit him and I trust my husband, if he hit him then he just, I don't know if he thought he would hurt him. That's what I would think."

Testimony will resume a 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Defense says thrown cell phone prompted theater shooting
  • Helping America's heroes, one step at a time
  • Rape suspect arrested in two St. Petersburg cold cases
  • Polk detectives look for lotto ticket scammers
  • Tampa police search for skimmer suspect
  • Clearwater police seek help finding missing teen
  • Smart meters could slow power restoration in Lakeland
  • Largo city workers fired for not reporting to work during Hurricane Irma
  • Nursing homes have concerns about governor's executive order on A/C
  • Hernando deputies shoot bank-robbery suspect