Defense attorneys argue Wesley Chapel theater shooter should face manslaughter charge

Reeves currently faces second-degree murder charge

WESLEY CHAPEL - Attorneys for Curtis Reeves, the former police captain accused of opening fire in a Wesley Chapel theater, killing a man and injuring a woman, argued Friday he should face a manslaughter charge instead of second-degree murder.

"We certainly believe that he is not a danger to the community," said Richard Escobar, a defense attorney.

Reeves, 71, fired the shots Jan. 13 in a Cobb Theater, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

The shots killed Chad Oulson and injured his wife, Nicole. According to investigators, Reeves fired at Chad Oulson after they argued over Oulson sending text messages before the movie.

Defense attorneys called Reeves' actions self-defense and filed a motion Friday in an effort to release Reeves prior to his trial.

The new court documents said Mr. Reeves' "desire was to peacefully and prudently rectify the problem" when he left to find a movie attendant to intervene with Chad Oulson.

They also plan to argue Reeves' age is a factor. Attorneys said at 71 he is considered elderly under Florida law, giving him special protections. And when Oulson struck Reeves in the face with an unknown object, they claim it was a felony.

The new motion lists 25 people who've written letters in support of Reeves' character. At least 10 are high-ranking, retired Tampa Police officers.

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