HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Former Chief Medical Examiner Kanthi De Alwis told the court in the Christopher Deedy murder trial that the copper bullet that killed Kollin Elderts entered his chest, punctured the lobe of a lung, and lodged in his upper back.
"Due to the bullet path and the injury there were fractures to his sternum, which is the breast bone in the front, and a rib," she said.
The jury was shown autopsy photographs of Elderts' body. It was one of the most painful moments in the trial so far for the Elderts' family. Some relatives looked on with sadness and wiped away tears, others looked away as the images flashed on a large screen.
Deedy, a federal agent, was here for the APEC summit in November, 2011. Prosecutor Janice Futa is arguing that Deedy was drunk after a night of bar-hopping and instigated the confrontation with Elderts in a Waikiki McDonald's.
Deedy claims Elderts attacked him and he was protecting himself and others when he drew his GLOCK semi-automatic pistol and fired.
De Alwis estimates the gun was less than ten inches away from Elderts when the bullet that killed him left the barrel of Deedy's firearm.
But defense attorney Karl Blanke pointed out that the bullet trajectory shows Elderts could have been on top of Deedy when the weapon went off, keeping with their argument that Elderts was the aggressor.
De Alwis also told the jury that alcohol and traces of marijuana and cocaine were found in Elderts' system.
"So all three substances were present simultaneously?" Blanke asked.
"Yes," she said.
De Alwis held up Elderts' blood-stained undershirt for the jury to see.
"This shows the undershirt with a lot of blood in front and the bullet hole was in the front here," she said.
She estimates about two pints of blood leaked into Elderts' chest cavity from the wound. He bled to death.
Three shots were fired during the scuffle. One bullet passed close to Elderts' head. A photograph of the right side of his face showed small specks of gun powder etched into his skin.
As the prosecution winds down its witnesses, Deedy gets closer to telling his side of the story.