Deedy was unsteady and had glassy eyes before the shooting of Kollin Elderts, witnesses testify
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 16, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 6:28 p.m. HST, Jul 31, 2013
Two customers and the first police officer to arrive at the 2011 fatal shooting scene at a Waikiki McDonald's restaurant testified Monday that they thought State Department special agent Christopher Deedy was intoxicated.
"He seemed pretty drunk," Alexander Byrd, a former Kaneohe Marine, testified.
Taylor Auyoung, another customer, said she thought Deedy was drunk because he was unsteady on his feet and had glassy eyes.
Police officer Sterling Naki testified that when he arrived at the McDonald's in the early morning of Nov. 5, 2011, he could smell alcohol on Deedy's breath and his eyes were glassy.
"When he spoke to me, I could smell his breath," the officer said.
Naki said he handcuffed Deedy after the agent told him he had a gun and he shot Elderts, who was lying in a pool of blood.
The three witnesses took the stand on the fifth day of Deedy's trial on a charge of murdering 23-year-old Kollin Elderts of Kailua at the fast-food restaurant on Kuhio Avenue.
Deedy, 29, of Arlington, Va., was here to help provide security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.
The prosecution contends Deedy was driven by alcohol and inexperience when he fired three shots from his 9 mm Glock. Two shots hit a wall, and a third to Elderts' chest was fatal.
Deedy's lawyers are not disputing he fired the weapon, but contend the agent acted in self-defense as a drunken Elderts attacked him and tried to grab the gun.
Deedy had been out to Chinatown and Waikiki bars earlier and drank beer, but he was not intoxicated, the defense contends.
He declined to take a breath test after police refused to let him speak to his supervisors, according to the defense.
Former Marine Alexander Byrd, a customer at the McDonald’s restaurant on Kuhio Avenue, will resume testifying today. Other witnesses who might take the stand include police evidence technicians.
Without test results, the prosecution has been putting on witnesses in an effort to show that Deedy was intoxicated.
Byrd, a Kaneohe Marine at the time of the shooting, testified Deedy could hardly keep his eyes open, swayed back and forth, mumbled and kept "talking trash."
"He was just in and out," said Byrd, who now lives in New Jersey and attends college.
The former Marine said he tried to defuse an argument between Deedy and another man, a reference to Elderts' friend Shane Medeiros, then he later tried to calm down Elderts.
Byrd said Elderts was "furious" and looked past him at Deedy, while a woman told Deedy to "stop" and tried to persuade him to "leave it alone and walk away."
The woman has been identified as Jessica West, the girlfriend of Deedy's friend Adam Gutowski. The couple was with Deedy the previous night and early morning.
Byrd is scheduled to return to the stand today and testify about what happened next at the restaurant.
Auyoung testified she heard Elderts say, "If you're going to shoot me, then f—— shoot me."
She said she recalled hearing two "pops" and then later a third "pop," but didn't see Deedy kick Elderts or Elderts punch Deedy. She also said she did not see Deedy pull out his gun.
Auyoung acknowledged that she told police that Elderts was the first to be "physical," but testified she doesn't remember that from the restaurant.
Naki testified that when he arrived at McDonald's, Deedy was rendering aid by putting his fingers on the wound to stop the bleeding.
Naki testified he allowed Deedy to continue rendering aid.
"The defendant appeared to know what he was doing," the officer said.
Naki also testified Deedy was cooperative with police.
During a recess earlier in the day, Circuit Judge Karen Ahn found Deedy's attorney, Brook Hart, in contempt of court and fined him $250.
Ahn ruled that Hart was testifying when he questioned Naki about whether a woman shown on the surveillance video had blood on her hands outside the restaurant. Under court rules, lawyers are not supposed to provide testimony, which is supposed to come from witnesses.
Hart argued he had a "good faith" basis for asking the question. The judge refused to reconsider the request.
But after the jury was excused at the end of the day, Ahn withdrew her contempt finding, indicating that the defense had established that the woman did have blood on her hands.
Auyoung had testified that the woman was her friend and was with her at the restaurant.
Hart said he had never been held in contempt for asking a question in his 44 years of practice.