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Attorneys seek to subpoena video of Pasco theater shooting

DADE CITY — Attorneys for Curtis Reeves Jr. have filed a motion seeking to subpoena and preserve Cobb Theatre surveillance video of the Jan. 13 shooting at the theater chain’s Grove 16 cinema in Wesley Chapel.

A hearing on the motion is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday in Dade City before Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa, according to Ron Stuart, public information officer for the Sixth Judicial Circuit.

Reeves, 71, faces a second-degree murder charge in the death of 43-year-old Chad Oulson of Land O’ Lakes. Oulson was shot in the chest after he and Reeves became embroiled in a confrontation over Oulson texting on his cellphone during previews before an afternoon showing of the movie “Lone Survivor,” according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

Reeves’ attorneys also are asking for an order to protect from destruction the victim’s cellphone, which sheriff’s deputies took from the scene, and are seeking surveillance video from Dec. 28, when a woman claims she had a run-in with Reeves over texting in the theater, an incident similar to the altercation that led to the shooting.

Oulson’s wife, Nicole Oulson, 33, was shot in the hand by the same bullet that killed her husband, the sheriff’s office reported.

Reeves, a retired captain with the Tampa Police Department, has been held without bond at the Land O’ Lakes Jail since he was arrested the day of the shooting.

The motions, signed by attorney Dino M. Michaels of Escobar & Associates of Tampa, ask for any video footage from the interior of the theater showing “Lone Survivor” and of all common areas of the Grove 16 on Jan. 13 “from opening of the business until closing.”

The attorneys also want the entire day’s worth of video footage from Dec. 28, when Jamira Dixon of Wesley Chapel said she had a confrontation with Reeves over texting at a showing of “The Hobbit: The Destruction of Smaug.”

The Dec. 28 video would be the best evidence of what took place that day and could also “prove conclusively that the alleged event did not take place,” the motion said.

In addition, the law firm wants a court order to make sure Oulson’s cellphone, taken into evidence by the sheriff’s office, is preserved. After the shooting, Reeves told investigators that during their argument Oulson struck him in the face “with an unknown object.”

The sheriff’s office reported that Oulson threw a bag of popcorn at Reeves, but no “unknown object” was found. The motion suggests the cellphone may have been the “unknown object” and the defense wants it preserved for forensic testing.

Finally, the attorneys are asking that Reeves be allowed to wear civilian clothes and not be shackled or handcuffed during any court appearances, including a Feb. 5 bond hearing. His appearances are expected to draw heavy media coverage and if he is “put on display to prospective jurors in jail garb, they will naturally be led to doubt in his presumption of innocence,” the motion said.

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