By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU (AP) - The lawyer for the federal agent charged in the shooting death of a Hawaii man claims the deadly encounter at a Waikiki McDonald's started when the victim used racial slurs.
In papers filed Tuesday seeking to move the case to federal court, Christopher Deedy's attorney says the agent intervened when shooting victim Kollin Elderts was harassing a customer with racial slurs.
The defense filing claims Deedy sensed an altercation was escalating, and alleges Elderts called the agent a "haole," the Hawaiian term for white, in a derogatory way.
According to the papers, Elderts challenged Deedy and tried to grab the agent's gun.
Deedy is claiming he is immune from prosecution because he was acting in a law enforcement capacity. His lawyer says moving the case to federal court will ensure a fair trial.
Today, Judge Karen Ahn denied a motion that she reconsider her sealing of the McDonald's surveillance videos. Attorneys for Hawaii News Now and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser asked that the tapes be released publicly.