HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii Supreme Court on Thursday will hear arguments on whether to allow Christopher Deedy to face a third trial for fatally shooting a man in 2011.
Deedy, a federal agent, was in Hawaii to provide security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in November 2011. Just hours after he landed on Oahu, he shot Kailua man Kollin Elderts in a Waikiki McDonald's.
Deedy had been out drinking with friends when prosecutors say he drunkenly confronted Elderts in the fast-food restaurant off Kuhio Avenue.
The state alleged Elderts did not identify himself as a law enforcement officer before shooting Elderts in the chest.
Deedy's defense says otherwise: They claim he showed Elderts his badge and was trying to protect himself and others from being assaulted by a belligerent Elderts and his friend.
Deedy went to trial for murder in 2013, but the jury wasn't able to reach a verdict and the judge declared a mistrial.
At that time, jurors were not given the option to consider finding Deedy guilty of manslaughter or other lesser charges.
Deedy went on trial for murder again a year later, only this time jurors were given the option to consider manslaughter, or that Deedy was under extreme mental or emotional distress when he shot Elderts.
But the second jury was also unable to reach a verdict and were hung on the manslaughter charge. That's when the judge acquitted Deedy of murder, but refused the defense's request to dismiss the case completely and instead ordered Deedy to stand trial one more time, this time, specifically on manslaughter charges.
But now, Deedy's defense team is arguing that a third trial would violate Deedy's constitutional rights against double jeopardy.
There are protections in place that prevent the government from continually taking a defendant to trial until prosecutors get a conviction.
This isn't the first time the Hawaii Supreme Court has weighed in on Deedy's case. After the first mistrial, justices ruled jurors must be given the opportunity to consider lesser charges in their deliberations.
It's unclear when a decision will be reached.