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City prosecutor will not push for manslaughter in Deedy retrial

By Ken Kobayashi

LAST UPDATED: 4:51 p.m. HST, Aug 27, 2013

City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro said this afternoon that his office will retry State Department special agent Christopher Deedy on a murder charge and will not push for the manslaughter option.

Kaneshiro, however, said it’s the judge’s responsibility under a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling  to determine if there’s a “rational basis” to give the jurors the choice of returning a conviction on the lesser offense.

He said the judge must make the decision regardless of what the lawyers in a trial recommend.

Circuit Judge Karen Ahn had ruled earlier that she wasn’t going to allow jurors to return a manslaughter verdict because she didn’t think there was evidence to support that option.

Kaneshiro said he agrees with Ahn’s ruling.

The prosecutor’s remarks echoes what Deputy Prosecutor Janice Futa said Monday after the mistrial was declared in Deedy’s murder trial because the jurors were deadlocked.

The jury deliberated for about five full days before reporting that it could not reach a unanimous verdict on whether Deedy should be convicted or acquitted of second-degree murder.

Deedy, 29, was charged with murdering Kollin Elderts, 23, early Nov. 5, 2011 at a McDonald’s restaurant in Waikiki.

The date of the retrial is expected to be set for some time next year when the lawyers meet with Ahn on Friday.

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