Appeals court kicks back theater shooter bond issue to trial judge

A judge has amended his order and has set bond for former Tampa police captain Curtis Reeves, 71, at $150,000.   If Reeves makes bond, he is to remain on house arrest, with the exception of attending religious services, seeking medical treatment or going to grocery store.
Original Story:
A decision involving bail for the man accused of killing a father inside a Wesley Chapel movie theater shooting has been sent back to the trial judge.
Retired Tampa police captain Curtis Reeves, 71, is accused of shooting 43-year-old Chad Oulson during an argument over texting.
Reeves' attorney, Richard Escobar, said his client shot in self-defense.
In February, Reeves, who was not considered a flight risk, was denied bond by Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa after a lengthy hearing that included testimony from friends and family.
"From our review of the record, we are inclined to believe that the circuit court made an error of law and did not realize it had the discretionary power to grant release...In other words, it believed it must deny release if the State met its burden," the higher court wrote.
The appeals court authorized Siracusa to grant pretrial release and set bond or "to deny pretrial release in an order that provides a reasoned explanation for that discretionary decision."
The attorney for Ouslon's widow, T.J. Grimaldi, wrote in release, "We firmly believe the decision (to deny bond) was not made merely because the Court mistakenly believed it had to do so by law, but rather because it felt detaining Mr. Reeves was in the best interests of the citizens of Pasco County."
Reeves is expected to stand trial in the second-degree murder case in early 2015.
Print this article Back to Top