Appeals court finds merit in Reeves' 'stand your ground' defense

Defendant Curtis Reeves may be one step closer to freedom explains Fox 13 Legal analyst Anthony Rickman. 

In a big win by his defense team, the appeals court has found merit in his stand your ground case.

"What the defense did so well in this case is create such a good record for the appellate court to rule on. What they are asking for the appellate court to do is review all the evidence as they were the ones hearing this case," explained Rickman.

Reeves is appealing Pasco judge Susan Barthle's ruling in March.

She didn't buy that Reeves killed Chad Oulson in self defense during a confrontation at a Wesley Chapel movie theater nearly three years ago.

In her decision denying his stand your ground motion, the judge didn't find Reeves credible.

She ruled Reeves' statements to police didn't match the video from the movie theater. "At that point in time during the heat of the moment  the stress of the situation he may not have said everything that he meant," said Rickman. 

Judge Barthle wrote that the story about Oulson throwing his cell phone at Reeves was made up, and that it never happened, and in the video you see something flash on the screen.

The judge believed it was a reflection from Reeves shoe. "Just because his shoe, Reeves shoe, may have made that reflection doesn't mean that something didn't hit him in the chest," said Rickman.

Now that Reeve's defense team has made it over this big legal hurdle, the appeals court wants the government  to respond before they make a final ruling.

"If Reeves wins his appeal, the case is over and he walks away a free man," said Rickman. 

If he doesn't, Reeves goes to trial. For now, the case is on hold until the appeals court rules.