Pasco theater shooting video won't be released to media yet - WNCN: News, Weather

Pasco theater shooting video won't be released to media yet

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Curtis Reeves in his first court appearance Curtis Reeves in his first court appearance
WESLEY CHAPEL, FL (WFLA) -

Pasco County prosecutors handed the surveillance video from Wesley Chapel Cobb Theater shooting to the defense team Tuesday at a hearing.

The video captured the moment when, prosecutors said, a former police officer Curtis Reeves shot Chad Oulson in a dispute over texting about three weeks ago. Generally state laws ban the release of videos depicting a killing.

Rachel Fugate, an attorney for News Channel 8, says she believes the public has a right to see that surveillance video, or at the very least, a portion of it prior to the shooting.

"I think the public wants to know what led up to this," said Fugate. "People want to know how a theater outing turned deadly. And, how can we avoid this in the future, how do we keep our children safe. These are all things that the public wants to know "

Judge Pat Siracusa, who presided over the hearing, said he might want to see the video before making a ruling on it. The prosecutors said the video itself was not graphic in nature.

The video captured the moment when, prosecutors said, former police officer Curtis Reeves shot Chad Oulson in a dispute over texting about three weeks ago. Generally state laws ban the release of videos depicting a killing.  Defense attorney Richard Escobar says he wants to see the video before making any comment on its release.

"I think we all can agree here, that once certain evidence gets out to the media, if that evidence is speculative, if that evidence is certainly subject to challenge in the future, once it gets out, the harm has been done," Escobar told the judge.

After the hearing, Escobar addressed awaiting reporters.

"We've gotta try this case in court. Not with the media," Escobar said. "And with all due respect to the media, that's the forum where we get to confront evidence, that's the forum where we get to present evidence, so with all respect to the media, that's where that's where that needs to happen. Not out here. "

Chad Oulson's widow Nicole said she didn't mind the video disclosure to the defense. Reeves' defense lawyers mentioned the video needed to be released to the media in the responsible way.

So far, the video has not been given to any media outlets.  There is a temporary injunction in release of the video until Wednesday.

It will likely be discussed at Reeves' bond hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.


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