Apparently A 74-Year-Old Thought He Could Shoot And Kill Someone For Texting During Movie Previews

A retired Florida cop thought it was totally acceptable to shoot and kill a man because he was texting during movie previews, and assumed he could use the state’s Stand Your Ground law as his defense. A judge dismissed that claim, and now 74-year-old Curtis Reeves Jr., faces second-degree murder charges and aggravated battery.

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In 2014, Reaves and wife went to see Lone Survivor at a suburban Tampa theater when Reeves got into a dispute with 43-year-old Chad Oulson for texting during the film’s previews. In order for the Stand Your Ground law to work, Reeves’ lawyer had to show that using deadly force was necessary “to prevent death or great bodily harm.” Reaves alleged Oulson hit him in the face with the phone leaving him dazed, and also claims Oulson was “virtually on top of him.”

Circuit Judge Susan Barthle says surveillance of the encounter didn’t corroborate Reaves allegations. “The video evidence contradicts this assertion, clearly showing that there was no hit from a fist, and the item argued by the defense to be a cell phone was simply a reflection from the defendant’s shoes.”

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Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law was passed in 2005 with support from the National Rifle Association, and came to prominence during George Zimmerman’s trial in 2012. While Zimmerman’s lawyer didn’t use Stand Your Ground as a mean’s of self-defense in killing Trayvon Martin, the law was part of the jury instruction.

So yeah, bro, you totally can’t shoot someone because they’re texting at the movies.