I’ve previously written here about the Florida movie theater shooting, in which retired police officer Curtis Reeves shot and killed Chad Oulson in claimed self-defense after the two men argued about Oulson’s use of his cell phone in a movie theater:

Florida Theater Shooting Induces Another Round of “Stand Your Ground” Mania (1/14/14)

“Popcorn” Shooting Trial Set For March (9/17/14)

Despite that second headline, the trial proper has not yet begun.  Last week, however, defense counsel for Reeves filed a motion seeking self-defense immunity under Florida statute §776.032, “Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.”  That motion is embedded as a PDF at the bottom of this post.

Naturally there remain factual disputes between the prosecution and the defense, and the resolution of those factual disputes will likely be dispositive on the self-defense immunity motion.

Setting those factual disputes aside for the moment, however, the motion does a very nice job of laying out the relevant law of self-defense immunity.  It also provides a very clear and intuitive model for how such a motion should be structured and argued. (Nice work by defense counselors Escobar, Michaels, and Shah.)

Particularly informative is much of the discussion on what constitutes a deadly force threat (pro-tip, it’s not just force capable of causing death), particularly in the context of Oulson’s allegedly thrown cell phone and the danger presented by Oulson’s fists to the 71-year-old Reeves (see, roughly, pages 43 through 46).  Also, the motion notes that once again we are not here dealing with a genuine “Stand-Your-Ground” case (see page 47).

Here’s the motion, for your reading pleasure:

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Attorney Andrew Branca and his firm Law of Self Defense have been providing internationally-recognized expertise in American self-defense law for almost 20 years in the form of blogging, books, live seminars & online training (both accredited for CLE), public speaking engagements, and individualized legal consultation.
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