Retrial for special agent accused of Waikiki murder underway

Retrial for special agent accused of Waikiki murder underway
Deputy prosecutor Janice Futa told the jury Christopher Deedy, a U.S. State Department agent, initiated a confrontation with Kollin Elderts that ended with the death of the 23-year-old Kailua man.

"Instead of leaving with his friends, the defendant threatens Kollin and he says, 'Acting like that is going to get you shot,'" she said.

The two men struggled in a Waikiki McDonald's in the early hours of November 5, 2011. Deedy shot Elderts in the chest.

"Three close range shots. One hit," Futa said.

Elderts bled to death.

But defense attorney Thomas Otake told jurors Deedy was fighting for his life.

"He found himself on the ground, Mr. Elderts on top of him, reaching for his gun with one hand and punching agent Deedy in the face with the other," he said.

Futa said Elderts grabbed at Deedy's gun hand to keep from getting shot. She said although surveillance video from inside McDonald's isn't the best quality it shows Deedy was the aggressor.

"It really has no stake in what happened at McDonald's that night. And so from this perspective it's a very objective view of what happened," she said.

But Otake said the video proves Elderts and his friend Shane Medeiros were bullying a customer when Deedy intervened, identified himself and was attacked.

"Elderts is coming at him fists clenched. He pulls his gun. Elderts reached for it, and as he's trained to do he shoots," he said.

Futa insists Deedy didn't say he was a federal agent until after the shooting, and had been bar-hopping before McDonald's with his gun on his hip.

"He was bound by the policy of his employer the State Department, which prohibited drinking and carrying by their agents," she said.

Otake said Deedy wasn't drunk and wasn't looking for a fight.

"The video will show him steady on his feet, walking normally. There's photographs of his eyes that show they were clear, not red and glassy," he said.

The last trial took six weeks to get through witness testimony. The retrial has officially begun.

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