The prosecutors in the Deedy murder case have filed documents which bring to light new details in the case. First, some background on the case thus far:
State Dept. Special Agent (Bureau of Diplomatic Security, or DS) Christopher Deedy shot and killed a local Hawaiian man, Kollin Elderts, on Nov. 5, 2011, during an argument at 3 a.m. in a Waikiki McDonald’s. Elderts was unarmed; Deedy carried his knife and gun. A videotape from inside the McDonald’s is being held as evidence and the judge has ordered it sealed from the public for fear it might taint the jury pool. Deedy was in Hawai’i in advance of the APEC conference which was held later that month. He was assigned to help provide diplomatic security for the APEC attendees. No diplomats were present in the McDonald’s that night, needless to say, and the State Dept. refuses to say whether or not Deedy was actually on duty at the time. Tests on the victim’s body showed that he was legally drunk and had some amount of trace drugs in his system at the time of his death. While it is known that Deedy had been drinking at a bar with friends prior to going to the McD’s and eyewitnesses say that he was clearly drunk, he was allowed to “decline” a blood-alcohol test at the time of his arrest. (No law enforcement officer is permitted to carry deadly weapons while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, so the lack of a breathalyzer test may prove to be problematic.) Deedy actually fired three shots at Elderts – it was the third shot that hit Elderts in the chest and killed him. You may read background on this case here:
Deedy has been charged with two crimes: 2nd degree murder and use of firearm in the commission of a felony.
Deedy’s attorney, Brook Hart, filed a motion to dismiss the charges based on the idea that Deedy was acting in the role of a federal law enforcement officer and thus should be immune to charges. The judge in this case, Karen Ahn, had scheduled a hearing to occur in July on the motion to dismiss; however, she has removed that hearing from her docket. Apparently the trial against Deedy will go forward. The murder trial is currently scheduled for September of this year – 10 months after the incident took place. In the meantime, Deedy was allowed to post bail and return to Virginia. He has been placed on a desk job at the State Dept., where he continues to draw his salary. He has successfully sued the insurance company that carries his tenant’s insurance on the house he rents in Virginia so that the insurance company will now have to cover his legal expenses in the separate civil case for wrongful death filed against him by the Elderts family.[…]
Since June, when I wrote the above, Deedy’s attorney lost his motion to move the case to federal court. He also lost a bid to have the case dismissed on some technical grounds involving presentation of evidence. The trial was delayed for unknown reasons and did not take place in September. A jury trial is now scheduled for April, a year and a half after the event occurred. Deedy’s attorney is now asking that the court dismiss the case based on the idea that Deedy is immune from prosecution because he was acting as a federal law enforcement officer (a hearing on this motion to dismiss was supposed to have occurred in July, but did not) – a contention that the prosecuting attorneys say is invalid. In the new papers filed this week, prosecutors contend that Deedy was clearly the aggressor in the fight that led to Elderts’ death and that furthermore, Deedy was obviously drunk after being out at various bars with friends, celebrating the birthdays of two of them.
The videotape remains sealed from the public until the trial. Deedy retains a job at the State Dept. in Virginia, where he was allowed to return shortly after being charged, rather than having to remain in custody in Hawaii.
HONOLULU — A State Department special agent charged with murder in the shooting of a man at a fast-food restaurant in Waikiki last year spent the night bar-hopping and drinking before going to the restaurant, prosecutors said.
Suspect Christopher Deedy appeared intoxicated before firing three shots from his handgun — the first narrowly missed a customer, another lodged in a restaurant wall, and the third fatally wounded 23-year-old Kollin Elderts, prosecutors said in court papers.
Deedy was not heard identifying himself as a law enforcement officer, but told Elderts he had a gun and would shoot him in the face, prosecutors said in the most detailed account of the shooting released thus far.
City Deputy Prosecutor Janice Futa filed the papers Friday in opposition to Deedy’s request for dismissal of the murder charge, the Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday (http://bit.ly/11d3oqS ).
Deedy, 28, has pleaded not guilty. His defense lawyers maintain he is immune from state prosecution under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause because he was acting as a federal law enforcement officer when the incident occurred.
Deedy identified himself as a law enforcement officer and acted to protect himself and others from a belligerent Elderts, who had assaulted him and tried to grab Deedy’s gun, said Brook Hart, Deedy’s attorney.
Futa countered that Deedy was the aggressor who “thrust kicked” Elderts and repeatedly told him, “I have a gun; I’m going to shoot you in the face.”
Elderts responded, “Shoot me, then,” the deputy prosecutor said in the court filing.
After the kick, Deedy reached for his holstered gun and moved toward Elderts, who then hit Deedy in the face, Futa said.
Deedy fell to the floor, and as he got up he pulled out the gun and began firing, Futa said.
Deedy had been “slurring his words as he argued with Elderts,” the prosecutor said.
“While defendant was bar-hopping he was in possession of his 9 mm Glock; conduct that the Department of State’s rules clearly prohibit,” Futa said.
Deedy was in Hawaii in November 2011 to provide security at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings.
Circuit Judge Karen Ahn is scheduled to hear the dismissal request Jan. 22. Trial is scheduled for April.
Court documents show new details about the shooting death of Kollin Elderts of Kailua in Waikiki in November of 2011. Special agent Christopher Deedy has been indicted for his murder.
It was First Friday in November and Elderts had been celebrating two friends’ birthdays.
Deedy was in town to provide security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings.
Prosecutors say Deedy was partying on this night. He had been to Kings Pub, then Moose McGillicuddy’s and the now-closed Coconut Willy’s.
Both Elderts and Deedy wound up in the same McDonald’s at 2:30 a.m., according to court documents.
The two started arguing. One witness, who prosecutors say tried to break it up, says Deedy appeared intoxicated and was slurring his words.
One of Deedy’s friends also tried to break up the fight. But, according to court documents, witnesses say Deedy delivered a thrust kick and was heard saying, “I have a gun. I’m going to shoot you in the face.” Elderts reponded, “Shoot me then.”
A witness says Deedy reached for his gun and that’s when witnesses say Elderts punched Deedy in the face, knocking him to the ground.
As Deedy got up from the floor, court documents say Deedy pulled out his gun and fired three shots — the last hitting Elderts in the chest.
Deedy has argued all along that this was not murder — he was acting as a federal agent.
But, prosecutors say Deedy used unreasonable use of deadly force and instigated the fight that led to the shooting.
A jury trial is set for April.
Deedy’s attorney Brook Hart is trying to get the case dismissed under federal immunity protection and plans to file a response by Friday.
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