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Curtis Reeves Trial Date Set For October In Pasco Movie Theater Shooting

Former Tampa Police captain Curtis Reeves, Jr., (center), sits beside his defense attorneys Dino Michaels (left) and Richard Escobar as they listen to his taped interview by detectives during his bond reduction hearing in Dade City in 2014.

A trial date has been set for a retired Tampa police captain who shot a man to death inside a Pasco County movie theater in 2014.

A judge ruled Wednesday that Curtis Reeves' trial will begin Oct. 5.

Reeves, now 77, is accused of shooting Chad Oulson during an argument over the use of a cellphone before a movie in Wesley Chapel. He is charged with second-degree murder.

READ MORE: Coverage of the Pasco movie theater shooting

Reeves' attorney, Rick Escobar, had pushed to delay the trial until January of next year. Afterwards, however, he told reporters they'll be ready to present their case in eight months.

"Myself, my team, my client, we're all looking forward to this trial,” Escobar said. “We've always felt that having a trial before a jury was going to be our best opportunity to prove some justice in this case."

While T.J. Grimaldi, the lawyer of Oulson's widow, told reporters he's hopeful the case will get its day in court.

"Unfortunately, we've gone through this before,” Grimaldi said. “It's been set for trial before several times and removed from the trial docket several times, so it is another hope and desire that this is finally going to get justice for the family."

The trial, which is expected to last three weeks, has been held up over Reeves' wishes to use the state's "stand your ground" law as a defense.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.
Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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