The 71-year-old ex-police officer accused of shooting dead a man inside a Florida movie theater won't get the chance to go home -- at least for now -- after a judge Friday decided not to grant him bail.
Judge Pat Siracusa made his decision after two days of wrenching, evocative, at times seemingly contradictory testimony inside a Dade City, Florida, courtroom.
"The state did, in fact, meet their standard," Siracusa said of prosecutors argument that Curtis Reeves shouldn't be allowed to post bond. "And I am going to detain Mr. Reeves, pretrial. He will remain in custody."
Reeves' lawyer signaled his intention to appeal a decision that -- while not unexpected, given this is a homicide case -- he believes is unwarranted. The attorney, Richard Escobar, said that he's optimistic about not only the appeal on bail, but that a jury of six citizens will side with his client.
"Mr. Reeves is truly an innocent man," Escobar told reporters. "And we look forward to proving that at a jury trial at some point."
The widow of the man that Reeves killed, meanwhile, applauded Siracusa's decision.
"I'm just very happy and relieved," Nicole Oulson said. "... I have no doubt in my mind that it was the right decision."
Was it self-defense or an overreaction?
As Siracusa took pains to point out, his opting not to grant bail has nothing to do with his or others assessment of Reeves' guilt or innocence. That won't happen until trial.
The date for that hasn't been set, though Siracusa did schedule the next pretrial hearing for March 12.
That falls on one day under two full months since Chad Oulson was shot dead inside the Grove 16 theater in the Tampa suburb of Wesley Chapel.
Was the younger, more physically imposing Oulson killed in self-defense, as Reeves' lawyer claims? Or did Reeves overreact -- to the idea that Oulson was texting his toddler daughter as movie previews played -- by taking out his gun inside the theater and firing, as the prosecution argues?
The bail hearing, which began Wednesday and resumed Friday after a day off, served almost as a mini-trial in itself.
Both sides called witnesses, then often strongly challenged those put on the stand by the other side.
Reeves' daughter, Jennifer Shaw, testified that her father was supportive and even-keeled, having never erupted in anger at a stranger from her recollection.
The prosecution called a number of people who'd been in the Florida theater the afternoon of January 13.
Charles Cummings talked about overhearing Reeves and Oulson talking, and at one point, the latter said, "I'm just texting my 2-year-old daughter." Soon after that, a "very agitated" Reeves left the theater, then returned a few minutes later.
At that point, a fairly calm Oulson -- according to Mark Douglas Turner, a retired Air Force veteran who worked as a clandestine officer -- asked aloud whether he could check a voice mail from his daughter's babysitter.
The situation devolved after more words were exchanged. Alan Hamilton, an off-duty Sumter County sheriff's corporal, said he heard Oulson say, "I am trying to text my f**king daughter, if you don't mind" -- using graphic language that Reeves' lawyer said suggested Oulson was angry and threatening.
Popcorn flew in Reeves' direction soon thereafter.
"And almost immediately," recalled Turner, who said Oulson threw the bag, "the gun comes out and there are shots fired."
Reeves to police: Oulson 'scared the crap out of me'
Hamilton testified that, soon thereafter, Reeves' wife told her husband "that was no cause to shoot anyone."
Reeves responded by pointing his finger at her and saying, according to Hamilton, "You shut your f**king mouth and don't say another word."
On Friday, those in the Dade City courtroom got to hear from Reeves himself -- not because he took the stand, but because audio of his interview with police was played in court.