Competing theories on which bullet killed Elderts - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Competing theories on which bullet killed Elderts

Kollin Elderts Kollin Elderts
Christopher Deedy Christopher Deedy
Theodore Coons Theodore Coons
Victor Bakke Victor Bakke
Thomas Aiu Thomas Aiu
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The bullet that killed Kollin Elderts was one of three fired by Christopher Deedy. The first shot missed. The dispute is over whether the second or third hit Elderts in the chest.

"Looking at everything, I believe it was the second shot," Theodore Coons said Tuesday.

The retired Honolulu police detective testified for the prosecution in Deedy's murder trial. 

Former prosecutor Victor Bakke said the second shot argument is important to the murder charge. If that one hit Elderts, there was no need for Deedy to fire again.

"It's basically overkill," Bakke said. "You don't need to shoot somebody again in self defense."

Deedy claims he shot Elderts in self defense during a 2011 scuffle in a Waikiki McDonald's. On Thursday, Deedy's lawyers questioned gunshot wound expert Dr. Thomas Arden. He said the fatal shot was the third.

"We have Mr. Elderts over agent Deedy on the floor," he told the court.

That supports Deedy's claim that he was defending himself and Elderts was on the attack.

"If you're going to utilize deadly force you shoot to stop," said Thomas Aiu, a retired Drug Enforcement Administration special agent.

He said federal agents like Deedy are trained to cease firing once they hit their target.

"If you know when you've discharged your weapon that your suspect has been neutralized then there's no further need to continue firing," he said.

Bakke said if jurors believe it was the third shot they may believe Deedy was fighting for his life.

"If it took three shots to bring him down and he was only hit by the third shot, then that shows that there was restraint by Deedy's part and aggression on the part of Elderts," he said.

Experts have introduced evidence like blood spatter on Deedy's shirt, bullet trajectory and gunshot powder on Elderts' skin to try to prove which shot was the fatal shot.

"Ultimately Mr. Elderts was shot and he died as a result of the gunshot wound," Coons testified Tuesday.

At this point the trial has taken aim at one bullet and two theories.

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