Experts: Prosecutors have advantage in Deedy retrial
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With jury selection in the Christopher Deedy murder retrial now underway, legal experts say prosecutors will have the advantage of hindsight in this new trial.
"In effect, they get to mop up their mistakes this go around," said defense attorney Todd Eddins.
Defense lawyer Victor Bakke said prosecutors "were all over the place" in the first trial. A second trial will allow prosecutors to streamline their arguments and abandon strategies that didn't work.
"You're going to see a much more polished prosecutor. They're going to have a much better and clearer theory of the case," he said.
The last trial ended in a hung jury.
Deedy was charged with murder after he shot and killed 23-year-old Kollin Elderts of Kailua in a Waikiki McDonald's.
The prosecution team will again be headed by Deputy Prosecutor Janice Futa. But the defense team will be led by attorney Thomas Otake, who replaces Brook Hart.
In a key ruling, Circuit Judge Karen Ahn ruled that Deedy's defense team cannot use a security camera video showing Deedy helping Elderts after Deedy shot him.
Legal experts said that if Deedy is convicted, this ruling could be pivotal in an appeal.
"I think it would go to his state of mind, demeanor, conduct. And yes, what was his intent when he pulled the trigger," Eddins said.
There's also a growing consensus in the legal community that manslaughter charges should also be considered by the jury.
Neither side has asked to include the charge but the judge is required to provide instructions to the jury to consider manslaughter if she finds evidence supporting it.
In the first case, the judge said the evidence didn't support a manslaughter instruction.
Jury selection is expected to last about three weeks.
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