HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Christopher Deedy told the jury in his murder retrial that his position as a Diplomatic Security Agent for the U.S. State Department gave him the authority to carry his firearm while off duty and make arrests.
"If we are off duty and we see something that is potentially violent, we should get involved," he said.
Deedy testified that agents are taught to spot trouble and are encouraged to intervene if warranted. He said that is what he did when he approached Kollin Elderts in a Waikiki McDonald's on Nov. 5, 2011. He said Elderts was bullying customer Michel Perrine.
"Mr. Elderts said to Mr. Perrine, 'What's your f___ problem? You want to beef?'" Deedy said.
Deedy said he wanted to stop whatever was going to happen.
"I didn't want any trouble," he said.
Prosecutors blame Deedy for inserting himself into a situation that wasn't threatening, and provoking the 23-year-old Elderts. The men scuffled. Deedy fired his gun, hitting Elderts in the chest. The Kailua man bled to death.
Deedy said before they struggled in the fast food restaurant Elderts was loud and appeared to be drunk.
But prosecutors insist Deedy was intoxicated after a night of bar-hopping at First Fridays and in Waikiki. Deedy refuted that claim.
"When I'm carrying a firearm I have to stay within my limits," he said. "I drank a total of three and a-half beers."
He said he consumed the alcohol over a six-hour period and wasn't drunk.
Deedy stood in front of the jury and showed them how he took out his wallet, folded it open and showed Elderts his State Department badge.
Prosecutors have repeatedly said during the trial that Deedy did not identify himself as a law enforcement officer verbally or visually.
Deedy decided to testify before his attorneys completed submitting all their evidence. His testimony continues Wednesday.