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Deedy motion to move trial goes before federal appeals court

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 10:09 p.m. HST, Jul 17, 2013

The trial of a federal agent charged with killing a man inside a Waikiki McDonald's should be moved to U.S. District Court because publicity about racial issues and animosity toward the federal government could hinder a fair trial in state court, his attorney argued today.

The request was made to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy. He is accused of killing Kollin Elderts, of Kailua, in November 2011 while Deedy was in town for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Deedy's attorneys said he intervened while Elderts was harassing a customer with racial slurs. Elderts also used a derogatory term to refer to Deedy, the lawyers said.

Michael Green, a lawyer representing the family in a civil lawsuit, has said even if that was true, it didn't justify the shooting.

Lawyers for the agent want to move forward with the appeal even though a jury has been selected in state court and opening statements are scheduled for July 8.

Defense attorney Karl Blanke said the most critical publicity involving racial issues did not arise until six months after Deedy was arraigned.

Judge Dorothy Nelson, one of three randomly assigned federal judges in Honolulu this week to hear oral arguments for various cases, said racial issues must have been clear early in the case.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Donn Fudo argued that Deedy took too long to ask for the move to U.S. District Court.

"You can't first litigate in state court and ask to move if there's an adverse ruling," he said after the hearing. "That's just not correct."

He said the "prattle" from attorneys to the media about racial issues doesn't justify moving the case.

Judge Jacquline Nguyen asked why Deedy's appeal was not moot, considering jurors have already been chosen. Blanke said panel members won't be sworn-in until they return for the trial next month.

Fudo also argued that the appeal is moot because Deedy withdrew a motion to dismiss the case because he was acting as a federal law enforcement officer. Blanke said Deedy identified himself as a federal agent before Elderts assaulted him and was acting as a federal officer while protecting himself and others.

Deedy attended today's hearing, where each lawyer was given 10 minutes to argue. He's free on $250,000 bail and has been allowed to return home to Arlington, Va., to await trial.

Blanke asked the judges for an expedited decision. It's not clear when they'll decide. The court receives thousands of cases and allows for oral argument based on merit.

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Upperkula wrote:
Throw this rubbish in jail. The local boys in the house will loosen his lips.
on June 11,2013 | 07:01AM
cojef wrote:
With the new scandal relating to State Department, Special Agents on Secretary Clinton's staff, soliciting prositutes, wonder if this character has any chance???
on June 11,2013 | 08:17AM
kiragirl wrote:
Why did this attorney do this now? Delay tactics is costing taxpayers.
on June 11,2013 | 08:22AM
8082062424 wrote:
I hope he serves some time for what he did.I now have respect for this man at least after he shot him he rendered aid .Unlike our police who strangled a man to death and let him lay there dieing on the ground
on June 11,2013 | 08:29AM
UREC wrote:
Deedy reportedly fled the scene (ran away!) and police arrested him a couple blocks away!! Another off duty female agent rendered aid, NOT Deedy.
on June 11,2013 | 01:30PM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Only in town
on June 11,2013 | 10:41AM
Rickyboy wrote:
JUSTICE? Money talks for the defendant and especially the lawyer.
on June 11,2013 | 01:02PM
lowtone123 wrote:
With the request to change venues, request to drop charges and appeal to move trial from state court to federal court he's looking more and more guilty.
on June 11,2013 | 01:37PM
Mythman wrote:
This is really interesting: the same exact story is in this edition but coming from one of our tv stations. In the other story it says the two reasons the trial is being moved out of state court in Honolulu are 1. Race issues publicity and 2. Hate for the federal government issues. Neither of these are mentioned in the above story by the SA. My question is why were these edited out as they are obviously important to the story.
on June 11,2013 | 02:11PM
Mythman wrote:
they updated it and included the two prev omitted issues, race hate and US of A hate
on June 11,2013 | 07:48PM
Bdpapa wrote:
No, this is a State issue.
on June 11,2013 | 07:52PM
fairgame947 wrote:
Have they ever said his alcohol level, wasn't he in the same night club and what was he doing there with a firearm? Maybe I've not been following closely, but it sure seems he wasn't acting as a federal agent if in a nightclub and drinking.
on June 11,2013 | 08:00PM
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