Reeves had sought protection from prosecution under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, but after a two-week hearing in 2017, a judge ruled he was not eligible for immunity. Shortly thereafter, the state changed the law, switching the burden of proof from the defense to the prosecution. Reeves’ attorneys argued the change warranted a redo of the hearing. So the case was stagnant as the judge waited for guidance from the Florida Supreme Court about whether a new hearing was required.
In December, the court ruled that cases that had already conducted hearings did not need to have do-overs.
Escobar sought to keep the case off the trial calendar, suggesting they reconvene in six weeks after he’d had a chance to find out when witnesses might be available. He said there are 127 witnesses.
He also listed a number of trials he has scheduled through the end of the year.
“I think this case should take precedent,” said Assistant State Attorney Glenn Martin, who had asked the trial be set for the spring. “We’re all busy.”
They agreed on the October trial date and a status hearing was set for March.