Jury finds Christopher Deedy not guilty of murder; Deadlocked on - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Jury finds Christopher Deedy not guilty of murder; Deadlocked on lesser charges

Christopher Deedy (center) Christopher Deedy (center)
Thomas Otake Thomas Otake
Janice Futa Janice Futa
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Christopher Deedy sat flanked by his attorneys as the jury verdict of not guilty of murder was announced Thursday in Circuit Judge Karen Ahn's courtroom. He showed no outward emotion as Kollin Elderts' family sat in sadness with their heads bowed.

The acquittal means the jury believes Deedy acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Elderts during a struggle in a Waikiki McDonald's in 2011.

Defense attorney Thomas Otake said jurors showed courage.

"They took an oath to do what was right and they did," he said.

But deputy prosecutor Janice Futa felt otherwise.

"He was charged with murder. I believe the facts and the law support that charge," she said.

The jury deadlocked on lesser offenses of manslaughter and assault. Futa said she will recommend Deedy face those charges again.

"I think given the seriousness of the offense, whatever the jury verdict may have been this time, I think that definitely it calls for another trial," she said.

The first trial ended in a hung jury.

"They had every chance in the world. First without manslaughter. Now with manslaughter. And they have not been able to obtain a conviction. Our position is enough is enough," Otake said.

The Elderts family left the court without speaking with reporters. Through a spokesperson they expressed disappointment.

"The hole in our hearts from the loss of Kollin can never be mended. Christopher Deedy is a very irresponsible, cowardly individual that took away the heartbeat of our family," said Kalama Niheu of the Justice for Kollin Elderts Coalition.

Deedy and his wife exited the courtroom without comment. Otake said there are no winners. The Elderts lost a loved one.

"But at the same time you have the Deedys, who for three years have gone to bed every night thinking Chris would spend the rest of his life in prison for a crime he didn't commit," Otake said.

During both trials Futa said Deedy was drunk and instigated the confrontation with Elderts.

"I believe that Kollin Elderts and his family and his friends and our community deserve that kind of justice. At least a resolution. And I think it's been delayed for too long," she said.

Otake said he will file motions to dismiss the manslaughter and assault charges.  A meeting with Ahn was scheduled for August 29.  The murder retrial may not be the last time the Deedy case goes to court.

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