The murder retrial of Christopher Deedy is winding to a close with the completion Wednesday of the U.S. State Department special agent’s testimony, and jurors are expected to begin deliberating Friday.
Circuit Judge Karen Ahn told the jurors they can expect to have the case handed to them for deliberation on Friday. Defense lawyer Thomas Otake told Ahn he has just one more witness and transcript of a witness from the last trial who is unavailable to present to the jurors. Prosecutor Janice Futa said she has just one rebuttal witness and the transcript from the last trial of another one to present the jurors.
Deedy told the state jury in his murder retrial that when he pulled his gun’s trigger in a Waikiki McDonald’s restaurant in November 2011, he did so “to stop the threat, kill the assailant.”
Deedy, 30, described for the jury Wednesday morning the details related to his fatal shooting of Kollin Elderts and events immediately before and after the shooting.
Deedy is on trial a second time for murder for killing the 23-year-old Elderts because his first trial last year ended with a hung jury. He claims he fatally shot Elderts in self-defense.
The federal agent, who was in Hawaii to provide security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, said he intentionally pulled the trigger three times, each time to stop Elderts, who Deedy said had assaulted him and his friend Adam Gutowski.
Deedy detailed for jurors his thoughts and actions, emphasizing his training as a federal law enforcement officer.
He said he intervened in what he saw was an escalating and potentially violent situation between Elderts and Elderts’ friend Shane Medeiros on one side and another restaurant customer, Michel Perrine, on the other. He said he thought he could diffuse the situation by announcing and showing his law enforcement credentials to Elderts and Medeiros. Instead, he said his actions escalated the situation even further because of Eldert’s reaction.
Deedy told the jurors he drew his firearm in the restaurant to protect him and Gutowski from suffering further assault at the hands of Elderts and Medeiros. And when he drew his gun, he said it was, according to his training, to kill.
Deedy said after he drew his gun with his right hand and extended his left to keep Elderts off him, Elderts pressed forward. The agent said when he fired he was aiming for center mass of Elderts’ body. Deedy said the first shot whizzed past Elderts’ face because Elderts, who was unarmed, turned while Deedy reached for his gun.
Deedy said Elderts then pushed him onto the ground, straddled him and while holding Deedy’s firing arm with one hand, repeatedly punched him in the face with the other.
“I was thinking I was going to die,” Deedy said.
He said he struggled to maintain control of his gun and fired off two more shots. Deedy said Elderts then stopped punching and collapsed on top of him.
Deedy began his testimony Tuesday by discussing his background and career.
He said that on Nov. 5, 2011, he was thinking of his training that taught him to intervene in potentially dangerous situations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report