Deedy jurors won't be given manslaughter option - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Deedy jurors won't be given manslaughter option

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

When jurors begin deliberating a verdict in the murder trial of Christopher Deedy, they will not be able to consider the lesser charge of manslaughter, Judge Karen Ahn said on Tuesday.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that neither prosecuting nor defense attorneys asked Judge Ahn to instruct the jury to consider a manslaughter verdict. When closing arguments in the case conclude, the jury's only options will be to convict Deedy of second-degree murder or acquit him of the crime entirely.

A local attorney says that the ruling could prove to be an additional challenge for the prosecution. 

"With self defense on the table, the prosecutor has an additional  burden," says Paul Cunney, Attorney-at-Law. "They must disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt." 

Cunney also says that the jury instructions will likely include a specific description of "reasonable doubt" as it pertains to the burden of proof. 

"If a juror has a question or a doubt in his or her mind about Deedy's use of deadly force in self defense, and that question or doubt is based on the evidence at trial, then the State has not met its burden to disprove self-defense and the defendant must be acquitted," Cunney said.   

Jury members could begin deliberating a verdict as soon as Thursday, after attorneys conclude closing statements.

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