Jurors see a recording of the altercation between a Kailua man and the federal agent who killed him
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 11, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 6:23 p.m. HST, Jul 31, 2013
The surveillance video that captured an altercation and subsequent fatal shooting at a McDonald's restaurant in Waikiki early Nov. 5, 2011, was shown Wednesday to help a Circuit Court jury decide whether U.S. State Department special agent Christopher Deedy murdered a 23-year-old Kailua man or shot him in self-defense.
The video shows Deedy and Kollin Elderts entering the Kuhio Avenue restaurant separately and Deedy later holding out his hand when he fired the first of three shots.
Both the prosecution and defense spent most of the third day of trial focused on different images from the choppy video stream to support each side's narrative about who was the aggressor.
Deedy, 29, who was here to provide security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, is charged with second-degree murder and a related charge of using a gun to commit a felony.
Deedy and Elderts separately went to bars in Chinatown for First Friday festivities before their encounter at the fast-food restaurant.
Prosecutors maintain that an off-duty Deedy was driven by alcohol and inexperience when he confronted, kicked and threatened Elderts before firing his weapon.
Deedy's defense maintains that he kicked a drunken Elderts and fired his gun to ward off the Kailua man, who was punching Deedy and tried to grab his gun.
The McDonald's surveillance system has nine cameras, including at least three that recorded the counter and dining areas. It takes still images roughly a second apart, leaving the resulting video with a jerky, choppy quality.
At times, the images of the chaotic scene seemed to be subject to interpretation.
At one point, Deedy's lead attorney, Brook Hart, asked police Detective Peter Boyle whether the agent was falling backward during the altercation with Elderts.
The detective said Deedy was "moving backwards."
"I don't know if he was falling or not," the detective said.
Hart also asked Boyle whether Elderts appeared to be punching Deedy. Boyle replied that Elderts was "making an aggressive move."
City Deputy Prosecutor Janice Futa at one point focused on Deedy's friend Jessica West, who appeared to have her hand on the agent's back as he was looking toward Elderts.
Futa has maintained that West wanted the agent to leave, but that he chose not to.
The video shows both Deedy and Elderts in close proximity when the first shot was fired, but it doesn't clearly show the gun going off in Deedy's hand.
According to the video (There is a discrepancy between the time of the event and the time on the video):
» Deedy and friends Adam Gutowski and West arrived at McDonald's more than 10 minutes before Elderts and his friend Shane Medeiros walked up to the counter at 2:36 a.m.
» About four minutes later, Deedy stood next to Elderts, who was sitting at a table. Deedy moved in front of the table as he and others started scuffling, and later raised his right foot when he apparently kicked Elderts.
» At 2:42 a.m. the first shot was fired, according to the reaction of customers and employees.
» Deedy and Elderts then appeared to be "engaged in some kind of physical confrontation," according to Boyle's description of the video.
» Seconds later, Elderts grabbed at Deedy's wrist, and Elderts, according to Boyle, ended up on top of Deedy.
According to the defense, Deedy fired the third and fatal shot at that time.
The video was filed with the court last year by the defense, but Circuit Judge Karen Ahn granted a prosecution request over objections by Hart and the media to seal it until trial.
The judge ruled that the release of the video at that time might jeopardize Deedy's right to a fair trial.