Deedy in federal appeal: Third trial violates 'double jeopardy' clause

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The State Department agent who fatally shot a man inside a Waikiki McDonald's in 2011 is asking a federal court to prevent the state from trying him a third time, arguing that doing so would violate the Fifth Amendment's "double jeopardy" clause.

That trial was pushed back in February so Deedy could file an appeal in federal court, which his attorney did late last week.

City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro has said pursuing a manslaughter charge against Deedy in a third trial is a matter of justice.

"Let's remember there was a victim in this case who was killed and we will pursue this case until justice is achieved," Kaneshiro told reporters in January.

But Deedy and his attorney, Thomas Otake, have argued a third trial would violate the agent's right to be spared from "double jeopardy," or prosecuted for the same offense twice.

Seven years ago, Deedy was in Hawaii as a U.S. State Department agent participating in the APEC summit when he fatally shot 23-year-old Kollin Elderts during an altercation inside the McDonald's.

Deedy argued he shot Elderts in self-defense, but prosecutors said he was drunk and instigated the confrontation.

Deedy's first trial ended in a mistrial, and he was acquitted of second-degree murder during a second trial, in which the jury was deadlocked.

Otake has said the issue of a third trial could ultimately go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Deedy, 33, still works for the State Department and remains free on bail.

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