“Popcorn Shooting” Defendant Has Self-Defense Immunity Hearing

My most recent contribution over at Legal Insurrection, this one on this week’s self-defense immunity hearing taking place in the Curtis Reeves prosecution.  Reeves is elderly retired police officer shot and killed 43-year-old Chad Oulsen in a movie theater after the two argued over Oulsen’s texting during previews, and the conflict escalated to physical violence.

Here’s a taste:

It was three years ago last month that retired police officer Curtis Reeves, then 71 years old, shot and killed 43-year-old Chad Oulsen in a Florida movie theater. The case became known as the “popcorn shooting” because the shooting allegedly happened over spilled popcorn.

Reeves has been charged with second degree murder and aggravated battery. He has pleaded not guilty to both charges and raised the legal defense of self-defense.

As usual, the media has been slathering the phrase “Stand-Your-Ground” all over this case, when in fact the case has nothing to do whatever with “Stand-Your-Ground” or any legal issues of retreat. What is relevant to this case, however, as it is to pretty much any self-defense case in Florida, is self-defense immunity.

Yesterday was the first day of Reeves’ self-defense immunity hearing, taking place in a Pasco County courthouse, which we’ll get to in a moment.

Before we do so, however, it’s important to understand just what that hearing involves, and what it doesn’t involve, in order to avoid unnecessary confusion of the legal issues in play.

Click here to read the whole thing.

About the Author

Andrew Branca
Andrew F. Branca, Esq. is currently in his third decade of practicing law, and is an internationally-recognized expert on the law of self-defense of the United States. Andrew is a Guest Lecturer at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy, a former Guest Instructor at the Sig Sauer Academy, an NRA Life-Benefactor Member, and an NRA Certified Instructor. He also teaches lawyers how to argue self-defense cases as a certified instructor with the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) system in numerous states around the country. Andrew is also a host on the Outdoor Channel’s TV show “The Best Defense” and contributor to the National Review Online. Andrew has been quoted as a SME (subject-matter expert) on use-of-force law by the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, and many other mainstream media, including nationally syndicated broadcast media. Recently, Andrew won the UC Berkeley Law School debate on “Stand-Your-Ground,” and spoke at the NRA Annual Meeting Law Symposium on self-defense law. He is also a founding member of USCCA’s Legal Advisory Board. In addition to being a lawyer, Andrew is also a competitive handgun shooter, an IDPA Charter/Life member (IDPA #13), and a Master-class competitor in multiple IDPA divisions.

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