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CHRISTOPHER DEEDY MURDER TRIAL


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Video of shooting scene screened in courtroom

By Ken Kobayashi / Sarah Zoellick

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 06:22 p.m. HST, Jul 31, 2013


In court Tuesday the defense attorney for U.S. State Department special agent Christopher Deedy played parts of the McDonald's restaurant's security surveillance video showing the aftermath of the agent shooting a Kailua man.

It was the first time that portions of the video were shown publicly, but the key portions of the recording of what happened before and during the shooting remain confidential.

Those portions are expected to be shown later in the trial.

Deedy, 29, who was here to provide security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, is charged with murdering Kollin Elderts, 23, at the McDonald's Kuhio Avenue restaurant early Nov. 5, 2011.

Deedy isn't disputing he shot Elderts, but is contending he fired in self-defense when Elderts attacked him and grabbed his gun.

The soundless video is a series of frames recorded generally at about one per second. It has jerky quality and is in color.

Defense lawyer Brook Hart showed a series of the video images on a courtroom monitor to the jury and to Hono­lulu Police officer Ke Aka Wai­pahe Aiu, who arrived at McDonald's after the shooting.

He testified a police officer told him to watch the agent's 9 mm Glock pistol.

The video showed Deedy handcuffed and Elderts' blood on the agent's clothing.

Hart questioned Aiu about the images that showed the officer at times away from the gun that was on a counter as he took photographs with a camera.

"I don't think anyone touched it," he said about the gun. "The scene is locked down already."

Aiu testified that when he secured the gun, a shell casing came out from the weapon. The defense is contending the reason the empty shell remained in the weapon was that Elderts was grabbing the gun, which prevented the shell from being ejected.

Leslie Ann Murakami, a police evidence specialist, took the witness stand and identified photographs taken at the scene and evidence that included photographs, Elderts' bloodstained clothing, Deedy's gun and State Department credentials, and ammunition shell casings.

Murakami said she found eight rounds in Deedy's gun magazine and two bullet holes in the restaurant wall: one above a window and another closer to the ceiling.

Deedy fired three shots, the third fatally wounding Elderts in the chest, according to the defense.

Murakami testified that she later dusted the gun for fingerprints and found none.

Inside the left rear pocket of Elderts' denim shorts, she said, she found a $100 bill, a $10 bill and his identification card.

Deedy's personal items included $300 in 15 $20 bills that Mura­kami recovered as evidence but was later returned to Deedy, she said.

Elderts' friend Malie Goodhue gave the trial's most emotional testimony.

She said Elderts was in good spirits when he left friends in Waikiki before he went to the McDonald's restaurant.

She said Elderts and his friend Shane Medei­ros had joined her and friends for a night celebrating birthdays in Chinatown.

Goodhue described Elderts as a "jokester" who had a "very contagious, one-of-a-kind laugh" and who "liked to make people feel comfortable."

She said Elderts had smoked marijuana earlier and had been drinking beer, but said Elderts and Medei­ros seemed "fine" before they left to get some food.

"They were happy — tired, but they were happy," she told the Circuit Court jury.

Goodhue broke down when she testified that she later received a call from a police officer that Elderts had been involved in some sort of altercation.

Goodhue said that when she later saw Medei­ros at a Waikiki hotel, he was crying and saying, "He's gone."

"He was a mess," Goodhue said.

Before driving to Kailua to inform Elderts' family that he had been shot, Goodhue said, she and Medei­ros dropped off a friend at the Queen's Medical Center.

"We didn't want his body to be there by himself," she testified.






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