Defense attorney: federal agent charged with murder acted in self-defense
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A mainland laboratory has confirmed that Waikiki shooting victim Kollin Elderts had not only alcohol but drugs in his system at the time of his death.
Meanwhile, the attorney for the federal agent charged in the death was critical of those who have been discussing the case publicly without knowing all of the facts. Defense attorney Brook Hart says his client is somber but focused, and prepared to do what's needed to defend himself against the criminal charges.
Flanked by his wife and his defense attorney, Christopher Deedy made his way past protestors at Honolulu District Court Thursday. The 27-year-old from Arlington, Virginia was indicted Wednesday in connection with the shooting death of Kollin Elderts, 23, of Kailua.
It's an emotionally-charged case that has gripped the community.
"The community, in effect, is saturated with lots of information, some of which may be accurate, much of which may prove to be inaccurate," Brook Hart, defense attorney, said.
Police say the US Department of State special agent fired his gun at Elderts during an altercation at McDonald's on Kuhio Avenue November 5th. Investigators recovered a knife at the scene, as well as restaurant surveillance video.
Deedy's attorney says it would be inappropriate to discuss specifics before all the discovery is in.
"I can say that, as far as I can tell, Mr. Deedy acted in self-defense and defense of others in the face of an attack by the deceased," Hart said.
According to the Honolulu Medical Examiner's office, a mainland lab confirmed the presence of marijuana and a cocaine metabolite in Elderts' system. It was earlier disclosed that he also had a blood-alcohol level of 0.12.
A day after the deadly shooting, the victim's family's attorney had this to say.
"If you have a group of people, including this agent at a bar or a club, what's the likelihood of all of them winding up at this McDonald's shortly after that, before the club is closed. Someone apparently followed someone," Michael Green, Elderts family attorney, said November 6th.
"It's unfortunate that people who have no personal knowledge about what happened at McDonald's would be giving descriptions of events that they didn't witness," Hart said Thursday.
Deedy came to Oahu to support the protection of dignitaries for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference. He's now charged with second-degree murder and a firearms offense, both class A felonies.
"You'd have to project how you would feel moving from a responsible, professional career as a law enforcement agent to being a defendant in a case that could result in your imprisonment for the rest of your life, and his own concern about the loss of life in this situation is not insignificant," Hart said.
Deedy is scheduled to enter his not-guilty plea at Honolulu Circuit Court on Monday. His attorney plans to ask a judge to set bail conditions that will allow the agent to return to the mainland while awaiting trial.
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