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Federal agent pleads not guilty in Waikiki shooting death

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 2:43 p.m. HST, Nov 21, 2011

The State Department special agent accused of killing a 23-year-old Kailua man following an early-morning argument in Waikiki  pleaded not guilty this morning and his trial in Circuit Court was scheduled for the week of Jan. 23.

Deedy, 27, of Arlington, Va., was allowed to remain free on $250,000 bail. He and his wife, Stephanie, sat in the first row of the third-floor courtroom but did not say anything in court nor did they talk to the media.

Deedy is accused of fatally shooting Kollin K. Elderts in the chest on Nov. 5 at the Kuhio Avenue McDonald's, following an argument.

Deedy's attorney, Brook Hart, asked Circuit Judge Richard Perkins for a 90-day continuance for the trial date because of a scheduling conflict. But Perkins told Hart to make his appeal to Circuit Judge Karen Ahn, who will be hearing the case.

Michael Green, who represents Elderts' family and attended today's hearing, told reporters that he was there because he had promised the family that he would be present each time Deedy made a court appearance.

Green said he has served Hart and Deedy with a notice of the family's civil suit against Deedy and that he also plans another civil suit in federal court because he believes Deedy was on duty when the shooting occurred. Deedy was in Hawaii as a member of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security force to help with security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which began three days after the shooting. 

The State Department has placed Deedy on administrative leave.

An Oahu grand jury indicted Deedy Wednesday for second-degree murder and using a firearm to commit a crime. 

Green has said Deedy kicked Elderts in the chest and Elderts responded by striking Deedy. The two men started wrestling, and it was during the struggle that Deedy took out his gun and shot Elderts, Green said.

Hart has said Deedy "believes he acted appropriately in order to protect others as well as himself."

If convicted on the charge of second-degree murder, Deedy faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Two protestors, who appeared at Deedy's Thursday District Court hearing, also were at this morning's hearing. One held a sign saying "Justice for Kollin Elderts" in the courthouse hallway.

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