Day 6: Eyewitness says Deedy threatened to shoot Elderts in the face
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Alexander Byrd said when he walked into the McDonald's on Kuhio Avenue in the early morning hours of Nov. 5, 2011, he stepped into a tense situation.
He said Christopher Deedy appeared intoxicated and was addressing Kollin Elderts with "drunken ramblings."
Byrd said he tried to play peacemaker, but Deedy's friends Jessica West and Adam Gutowski inflamed the conflict. He said West insulted Elderts and his friend Shane Medeiros.
"I couldn't say anything else. They were arguing and I said, 'If they're going to fight they're going to fight.' I couldn't do anything else. I tried," he testified.
Byrd said when Gutowski lunged at Elderts it triggered the scuffle. He said he heard Deedy threaten to shoot Elderts.
"This time it was real clear. And he said, 'I am going to shoot you in the face," he said.
Byrd said he was standing a few feet away as Elderts and Deedy grappled, and Deedy pulled out his gun.
"Immediately as he drew it he shot," Byrd said.
"Did he hit Kollin," prosecutor Janice Futa asked.
"No. He missed," Byrd answered.
Byrd told the jury that as the men scuffled, he heard more shots and saw Elderts trying to move Deedy's arms to the side, to keep from getting shot. They eventually fell to the floor.
"Kollin is hunched over him, like straddled over him, holding his arms," Byrd said.
He said he saw spots of blood but didn't see Elderts get shot or collapse. Elderts died of a single gun shot to the chest.
During cross-examination, Deedy's lawyer Karl Blanke said Byrd's testimony didn't match up with his earlier accounts to detectives and the grand jury. Blanke pointed out that Byrd was drinking alcohol before he got to McDonald's.
"I had two beers and a shot," Byrd said.
"How long did it take you to drink those drinks?" Blanke asked.
"That was probably over the course of 20, 25 minutes," Byrd answered.
Byrd said he never heard Elderts, 23, threaten Deedy, who was here to provide security for the APEC summit. Byrd said he never heard Deedy, an agent with the U.S. State Department, identify himself as a law enforcement officer or special agent.
Deedy is charged with second-degree murder. The prosecution said he was drunk. He claims he wasn't intoxicated and he shot Elderts in self-defense.
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