Lawyers think defense has advantage in Deedy trial - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lawyers think defense has advantage in Deedy trial

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It's all or nothing in the Christopher Deedy murder trial. Jurors will not be allowed to consider any lesser crimes like manslaughter and many in the legal community think that helps Deedy's cause.

Thursday both sides of the Christopher Deedy murder case will make their closing arguments inside the courthouse and then it will be in the hands of the jury. Deedy is the Federal Agent accused of killing Kollin Elderts in an early morning altercation. Deedy's lawyers have argued self defense. Prosecutors say Deedy was intoxicated and inexperienced when he shot Elderts.

Don Wilkerson, Paul Cunney and Victor Bakke have tried more than a two dozen murder cases between them so they know what it's like the day before closing arguments in a high profile case like the Deedy trial.

"I think the closing arguments are one of the most important parts of a trial like this," said Don Wilkerson, Attorney.

"The lawyers always like to think their closing argument is the grand finale of the trial," said Victor Bakke, Attorney. "Whatever the attorneys say it's not evidence it's just their summary of the case."

But going into the last day they think the defense already has an advantage because manslaughter will not be an option. The jurors will only be able to decide on murder or acquittal.

"I think the defense is confident and I think rightfully so that Mr. Deedy will not be convicted of murder," said Bakke. "Prosecutors on the other hand I think are misguided if they think they have a solid murder case.

Bakke has tried murder cases as both prosecutor and defender and can't remember the last time a prosecutor turned down the lesser charges as an option.

"I guess one could argue that maybe the prosecutor is hoping for a hung jury on the murder and then allow them to retry the case and they can fix all the problems that they had," said Bakke.

"I think it's definitely not murder. I don't see how 12 people can unanimously come back with a murder verdict. I think it's either going to be a hung jury or he's going to be acquitted," said Paul Cunney, Attorney.

Unless of course there is some magic in the closing arguments.

"I'm sure they're both extremely well prepared and it's just a matter of going in and doing it," said Wilkerson.

The trial resumes at 9:00 Thursday morning. It has been packed inside the courtroom. We will be streaming the closing arguments for both sides as soon as they begin at


Related Link:

Deedy jurors won't be given manslaughter option

RAW: Deedy jurors shown surveillance video of fatal shooting (EXTENDED VERSION)

PHOTOS: Jury shown police photographs of Deedy after arrest

PHOTOS: Surveillance images from Deedy trial

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