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Defendant 'likely' to testify about McDonald's homicide

By Ken Kobayashi

LAST UPDATED: 9:44 p.m. HST, Jul 17, 2013

U.S. State Department special agent Christopher Deedy is expected to testify during his murder trial in the 2011 shooting of a Kailua man in Waikiki, his lawyer disclosed in court Tuesday.

Defense attorney Brook Hart said it is "highly likely" Deedy will take the witness stand, although the attorney added that the defense could change its mind after the prosecution pre­sents its case.

The jury trial is scheduled to open Monday with opening statements to the jury.

Deedy, 30, of Arlington, Va., was here to provide security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference when he fatally shot 23-year-old Kollin Elderts in the chest at about 2:45 a.m. Nov. 5, 2011, at the McDonald's restaurant on Kuhio Avenue.

Deedy had been drinking, he instigated an altercation and ended it by shooting Elderts, according to prosecutors.

Deedy's defense is not disputing he fired the shot, but is maintaining Elderts attacked Deedy and tried to grab the agent's gun, leaving Deedy with no choice but to fire his weapon in self-defense.

During the hearing to sort out what evidence can be introduced at trial, Circuit Judge Karen Ahn ruled that the defense can introduce a cellphone video taken by a passer-by after the shooting.

The defense says it shows Deedy rendering aid to Elderts and trying to stop the flow of blood.

Ahn said she will rule later on:

» Whether the defense can introduce Elderts' 2008 disorderly conduct conviction, which the defense says involved a drunken Elderts resisting arrest outside a Kailua bar and swearing at police, who had to subdue him.

» Whether the defense can introduce the toxicology report that shows Elderts had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.12, which is above the 0.08 legal limit for drunken driving. The report also said Elderts' system had traces of cocaine and marijuana use.

A surveillance video by McDonald's security cameras of the altercation isn't in dispute by either side and will be shown to the jury.

Ahn had granted a request by city prosecutors to keep the video under seal until the trial to avoid tainting prospective jurors.

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