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Elderts bullied, bugged customer, guard says

The security officer testifies that the Kailua man and his friend were “talking loudly” before the fatal fight

By Ken Kobayashi

LAST UPDATED: 11:15 a.m. HST, Feb 12, 2014

A McDonald’s security guard testified Thursday that Kollin Elderts bullied and irritated a customer before the confrontation that escalated to State Department special agent Christopher Deedy fatally shooting Elderts at the Waikiki fast-food restaurant.

Rosalinda Soriano told the Circuit Court jury that she didn’t hear the words, but said Elderts was bothering customer Michel Perrine at the McDonald’s counter.

After Deedy went to Elderts, who was sitting at a table, Soriano said she sensed there would be trouble.

She said she told Elderts, his friend Shane Medeiros and Deedy, “if you make trouble, please leave the area.”

Moments later the confrontation became physical and led to Deedy shooting Elderts in the chest.

Deedy, 29, who was here for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, is charged with murdering Elderts, 23, of Kailua, at about 2:45 a.m. Nov. 5, 2011, at the McDonald’s Kuhio Avenue restaurant.

The agent is accused of drunkenly threatening Elderts, kicking him and shooting the unarmed man without justification.

Deedy’s defense is that he was acting as a law enforcement officer in trying to defuse a potentially dangerous situation that started with Elderts harassing Perrine.

Elderts became enraged, and Deedy shot him in self-defense, Deedy’s lawyers contend.

Testifying in the 16th day of trial as a defense witness, Soriano, 55, said her attention was drawn to Elderts when he first got to the counter because he was talking loudly.

She said when Perrine went to the counter, Elderts joked, then annoyed and bullied Perrine.

The security guard said Perrine gave Elderts a look as if saying, “Leave me alone; don’t bother me.”

Perrine left the counter and sat down, but Elderts continued to bother him with an “irritating smile,” 

Soriano said.

She said she walked to where Elderts and his friend Shane Medeiros were acting in an unfriendly, “irritating” manner and “talking loudly” to Deedy.

Soriano said the agent was talking in a “soft voice.”

“I have a feeling there is something wrong,” she said in court, recalling her sense at the time.

Perrine testified earlier in the trial that he drank three tequila shots and a pitcher of beer and doesn’t remember much of the exchange other than Elderts mentioning the word “haole.”

A McDonald’s cashier testified Perrine at one point asked Elderts if he was trying to be a “racist” because Perrine was “white.”

Earlier Thursday defense expert Jonathan Arden, a forensic pathologist from Virginia, testified that Elderts’ fatal wound indicated he was shot as he and Deedy were struggling with each other on the floor.

Arden testified that 

Elderts’ chest wound and the position of the gun were “consistent” with the fatal shot being fired at that time.

Arden’s testimony supports the defense version that Deedy’s third and final shot killed Elderts, who was on top of the agent and punching him.

Police found two bullet holes in the restaurant walls. The third bullet was recovered from Elderts’ body.

During the prosecution’s case, retired police Detective Theodore Coons testified the second shot killed Elderts before he and Deedy ended up on the floor.

But Arden said the wound and positioning of the gun was inconsistent with the fatal shot being fired at that time.

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