Should Deedy go on trial again?

Should Deedy go on trial again?
Published: Aug. 15, 2014 at 9:35 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 16, 2014 at 4:06 AM HST
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Kalama Niheu
Kalama Niheu
Ken Lawson
Ken Lawson

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly 70 protesters took to the streets in Waikiki to urge a third criminal trial against Christopher Deedy for killing Kollin Elderts.

"We are incredibly outraged by the injustice that has happened. Deedy is a murderer," said Kalama Niheu with the Justice for Kollin Elderts Coalition.

"We understand that here in Hawaii that young men of color cannot find justice."

The day after a jury acquitted Deedy of murder, Elderts' friends and supporters marched through Waikiki, down Kalakaua Avenue to the McDonalds Restaurant on Kuhio Avenue, where Deedy shot and killed Elderts in 2012.

Immediately after Thursday's trial ended with a not guilty verdict on murder and a deadlock on manslaughter and assault, prosecutor Janice Futa said she wanted to try Deedy again on manslaughter. But some legal experts believe the state should stop.

"Are we seeking justice? Or are we trying to show that we're right?" said Ken Lawson, criminal law professor at the UH William S. Richardson School of Law.

"If I'm the defense attorney. I'm filing a motion to dismiss arguing, 'You don't even believe the evidence showed manslaughter. You said it twice,'" he said.

Former prosecutor Peter Carlisle believes Deedy's drinking and carrying a gun will be a focal point of a manslaughter case even though Deedy said he intended to shoot to kill.

"That strikes me as reckless behavior even though it's claimed to be intentional by the law enforcement officer involved," he said.

Niheu said jurors in the second trial weren't given enough evidence to avoid a deadlock on manslaughter.

"How could they rule on that? They only were focused on Murder 2. They never presented the case in a way that would justify reckless manslaughter or extreme mental and emotional distress manslaughter," she said.

But Lawson said the court must consider the cost of another trial.

"You're talking about continuing to clog up the system that's already so crowded that most people are asked to enter pleas because we don't have time to try every single case if a person is charged," he said.

The state may want another go at Deedy. The court will decide if he goes to court for a third time.

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