Theater shooting Stand Your Ground appeal rejected

- Buttered popcorn, a cell phone, and bullet casings littered a Wesley Chapel movie theater.
When it was over one man was dead the other claimed self-defense.

Former Tampa Police Captain Curtis Reeves shot and killed Chad Oulson during a confrontation.

It started with Oulson throwing his cell phone, lunging, and grabbing Reeves' popcorn then throwing that at him too.

That's when Reeves opened fire.

At a Stand Your Ground Hearing, Reeves said he had no choice he feared for his life.

"You find yourself in that kind of encounter, there's an old saying 'you lose your focus, you lose your life," said Reeves

But the judge didn't see it that way and rejected his self-defense claims. And now an appeals court did too.

Attorney Anthony Rickman, who is not connected to the case, says Reeves may have lost this battle
but gets a do-over.

That's because state lawmakers changed the rules recently on Stand Your Ground hearings

The burden used to be on the defense to prove it. Now the state has the burden.

"But will that sway the judge under this new standard of proof?" asked Rickman.

That has yet to be determined. Also to be determined, whether an Orlando judge's ruling that the new law is retroactive will stand.

Another Florida Judge ruled the Stand Your Ground law is not retroactive.

It appears this decision will ultimately be left to the Florida Supreme Court to decide.

But if it does stand, that gives Reeves gets another chance with better odds of going free.

"It makes it much easier now for a defendant to assert Stand Your Ground because it's up to the state of Florida to prove that he didn't have the right to defend himself. If the state doesn't meet their burden, Curtis Reeves walks free," said Rickman.

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