Jury in Deedy murder trial hear conflicting stories during opening statements
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Deputy prosecuting attorney Janice Futa said Kollin Elderts was celebrating with friends in Waikiki when he crossed paths with Christopher Deedy in a McDonald's restaurant on Kuhio Avenue in November 5, 2011.
She said the U.S. State Department special agent had gone bar hopping first and was armed with his semi-automatic pistol.
"Driven by alcohol, inexperience, and the unmitigated power of a gun led to the fatal consequences for Kollin Elderts that morning," she said.
But defense attorney Brook Hart said Deedy wasn't drunk. He told the jury that Elderts was under the influence of something, and was bullying a customer when Deedy intervened to diffuse the situation.
"Agent Deedy acted responsibly in self defense as a federal agent when he did what he did on Nov. 5, 2011," he said.
But Futa said Elderts wasn't hassling the customer, and Deedy interfered in a matter that wasn't any of his business.
"He's saying things like, 'Acting like that is going to get you shot. You wanna get shot? I'm going to shoot you,'" she said.
But Hart insists Deedy drew his weapon when Elderts charged at him, after threatening to "get him."
"As Elderts drove agent Deedy back into a corner, mounted him, and started to beat him in the face, Elderts continued to grab at Deedy's gun," Hart said. "A second shot went off."
Futa said Deedy triggered the scuffle.
Three shots were fired during the altercation. One of them struck Elderts in the chest. He bled to death.
"After the shots Kollin falls on top of the defendant," Futa said.
"The final shot stopped Eldert's attack," Hart said.
Deedy was in Hawaii to provide security for the APEC summit.
Both he and Elderts were with friends at McDonald's, who were involved in events surrounding the shooting. They're expected to testify in what's expected to be a lengthy trial.
Deedy may be called to the witness stand.
The jury will eventually be shown video from a surveillance camera inside McDonald's. Futa said those images are "jerky and "frustratingly fuzzy."
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