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Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
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Theater shooting suspect's lawyers given surveillance videos

DADE CITY — A former Tampa Police Department captain in custody and charged with second-degree murder will appear before a Pasco County judge next week wearing civilian clothes and in restraints.

Those topics were among the motions heard today inside a Pasco County courtroom involving Curtis Reeves, who is charged with second-degree murder in the January 13 shooting death of Chad Oulson inside a Wesley Chapel movie theater.

Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa allowed Reeves' attorneys, Richard Escobar and Dino Michaels, to have access to copies of the theater's surveillance video from Jan. 13 and an alleged incident with a different couple on Dec. 28.

The January material will show images of the lobby, hallways and Theater 10 where the shooting took place. The defense will have access to that video once the State Attorney's office files it as evidence.

Siracusa also granted the motion to ensure any evidence on the phone, DNA, fingerprints and stored information on Chad Oulson's white iPhone be preserved and accessible to the defense, as well as a motion allowing a doctor selected by the defense to examine and photograph Reeves inside the Land O' Lakes Jail.

“Obviously we want all the evidence and you've got to understand at this point in time we do not have any of the state's evidence,” Escobar said. “They've got the police reports, they have the forensics, they have the videos and we haven't had an opportunity to see any of that.

“We are happy that at the very least we're going to be getting this video, but let me be clear, we want all the evidence. We want to be able to see the evidence, test the evidence, have our forensic individuals review the evidence so that at some point in time when we come in here, we can present some positive, solid evidence in this case.”

As she was today, Nicole Oulson, the wife of Chad Oulson, will be in the courtroom during a Feb. 5 bail hearing for Reeves. That will also take place in the Robert D. Sumner Judicial Center in Dade City, starting at 10 a.m.

Today, Nicole Oulson sat two rows behind the State Attorney's table with her attorneys TJ Grimaldi and Stephen Leal. Though she did not speak to reporters at the conclusion of the hearing, her attorneys addressed the importance of her being there.

“I think it's beneficial for everybody, but it's also very difficult,” Grimaldi said of Nicole Oulson attending the court events. “I know that it forces Nicole to re-live the situation. She can try to remove herself and put herself in a bubble as much as she can, but when she's around this, I'm sure it makes it much more difficult and it hits home.”

An argument over Chad Oulson texting the couple's babysitter during the preview portion of the movie “Lone Survivor” sparked the shooting on Jan. 13.

Investigators said Reeves confronted Oulson and left the theater to complain to staff. Once he returned to his seat, the men two exchanged words. Investigators said popcorn was thrown before Reeves pulled a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol from his pants pocket and fired one shot into Chad Oulson's chest.

That same bullet struck Nicole Oulson on her left ring finger as she raised her hand to her husband's chest, witnesses told investigators.

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