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Local media fight move to seal records in federal agent's shooting case

By Ken Kobayashi

LAST UPDATED: 6:28 p.m. HST, May 21, 2012

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is asking a state judge for permission to oppose a request by city prosecutors that would keep sealed court documents and surveillance videotapes of a fatal shooting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.

In its request filed today, the newspaper said it should be allowed to intervene in the case to protect "the public's right of access to courthouse records in this case of critical importance to the community."

Hawaii News Now, the Star-Advertiser's TV-news partner, and the online news site Hawaii Reporter have joined the newspaper in its request.

Circuit Judge Karen Ahn scheduled a hearing on the request for Tuesday.

Christopher Deedy, who was here to provide security for leaders of APEC, is charged with murdering Kollin Elderts in the early morning shooting Nov. 5 at a McDonald's restaurant in Waikiki. 

His lawyers filed a request last week to dismiss the charge and filed supporting exhibits that include McDonald's surveillance tapes.

City prosecutors want the documents and exhibits to be kept confidential.  

They argue in their sealing motion that the news coverage of the defense filings could taint potential jurors and harm the trial proceedings.

Ahn is scheduled to hear on Thursday the prosecution's request to seal the defense documents and exhibits.  The hearing on the dismissal is scheduled for July.

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