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Witness: Elderts was on top of Deedy when shots rang out

By Ken Kobayashi

LAST UPDATED: 6:10 p.m. HST, Jul 31, 2013

A McDonald’s cashier testified this morning that Kollin Elderts was on top of State Department special agent Christopher Deedy on the restaurant floor and punching him when she heard two gunshots.

Brandalynn Salzbrenner was called as a prosecution witness, but under cross-examination by Deedy’s defense lawyer Brook Hart, she acknowledged that Elderts pushed Deedy who fell backwards.

Elderts was straddling Deedy when she heard the shots, the cashier said.

When later questioned by city Deputy Prosecutor Janice Futa, Salzbrenner said Elderts didn’t “wind back” when punching Deedy.

She described the blows as “soft punches.”

Salzbrenner started her testimony Wednesday and ended it this morning in the 12th day of Deedy’s trial on a charge of murdering Elderts, 23, of Kailua.

Deedy, 29, of Arlington, Va., who was here to provide security at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, is charged with shooting Elderts at about 2:45 a.m. Nov. 5, 2011 at the McDonald’s Kuhio Avenue restaurant.

The prosecution is alleging Deedy was fueled by alcohol and inexperience in shooting the unarmed Elderts, while the defense contends Deedy fired in self defense as Elderts grabbed for the agent’s gun.

Salzbrenner testified she saw Deedy pull out his gun and fire a shot at Elderts, who then pushed the agent backwards.

That first shot hit Elderts, the cashier said.

The defense contends it was the third shot that fatally hit the Kailua man in the chest.

Police witnesses said they found two bullet holes in the restaurant wall from the two other gunshots.

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