Day 16: Forensic pathologist testifies in Deedy defense - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Deedy Day 16: Forensic pathologist says fatal shot was close range

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Christopher Deedy's argument that he shot Kollin Elderts in self defense got a boost from a forensic pathologist.

Deedy's defense team flew in Dr. Jonathan Arden from Virginia. He's an expert in gunshot wounds.

He said based on surveillance video of the scuffle and Elderts' autopsy, Deedy's gun was as close as two, three or four inches from Elderts' body when it went off.

"It was a close range gunshot wound," Arden testified.

He said he believes the angle of the bullet's path once it entered Edlerts means he was over Deedy when the fatal shot was fired, contrary to the prosecutor's argument that Deedy's gun went off when the two men were standing and struggling with each other.

"We have Mr. Elderts over agent Deedy on the floor. The two of their bodies are essentially facing each other. And you have the gun in agent Deedy's right hand shooting at his chest," Arden said.

Deedy claims he shot Elderts in self defense during a scuffle in a Waikiki McDonald's in 2011. The federal agent is charged with second-degree murder.

Elderts had alcohol, marijuana and cocaine in his system. Arden told the jury that alcohol and cocaine together increase the potential for a person to become violent.

"There is evidence in the literature that cocaine and alcohol together can have a potentiating effect, and so the behavioral effects including violence can be greater with the two of them than it would be just with the sum of each," he said.

Prosecutor Janice Futa pointed out Elderts' post mortem toxicology report showed only a low amount of cocaine in his system.

Later in the day, Deedy's friend Jessica West testified she urged him to leave the fast food restaurant because she was afraid of what Elderts might do.

"At one point he said something about a gun. That's what made me panicked and scared and just want to leave the restaurant," she said.

Futa said Deedy was fueled by alcohol and inexperience when he drew his semi-automatic pistol and killed Elderts, after threatening to shoot him.

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