Case of federal agent Deedy who shot man goes before high court
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Case of federal agent Deedy who shot man goes before high court

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Hawaii State Supreme Court Justices Richard Pollack, left, Paula Nakayama, Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Sabrina McKenna, and Michael Wilson heard arguments today on whether a federal agent should face a third trial for fatally shooting a man in a Waikiki fast-food restaurant.

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Prosecutors who failed to secure a murder conviction after two trials are unjustly trying to get any conviction against a federal agent who shot and killed a man in a Waikiki fast-food restaurant, the agent’s lawyer argued before the Hawaii Supreme Court today.

Putting State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy through a third trial would be double jeopardy, said defense attorney Thomas Otake.

Deedy was in Hawaii for the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting. After bar-hopping with friends on his first night in Waikiki, he fatally shot Kollin Elderts during an altercation in a McDonald’s. Deedy testified at two trials that he was protecting others from an aggressive Elderts. Prosecutors say Deedy was drunk, inexperienced and fueled by warnings from a fellow agent that Hawaii locals are hostile toward federal workers and outsiders.

The first trial in 2013 trial ended in a hung jury. After a second trial about a year later, jurors acquitted Deedy of murder but weren’t able to reach a verdict on manslaughter.

Prosecutors “completely and wholeheartedly abandoned” manslaughter with comments made in court and to the media that finding Deedy guilty of murder is the only possible verdict, Otake said.

Judge Karen Ahn ruled the second jury could consider a lesser charge of manslaughter — an option the first jury didn’t have.

She later denied defense motions that would have prevented another trial for manslaughter and Otake appealed.

Deputy Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Donn Fudo said prosecutors never abandoned the lesser offenses. There needs to be justice in the case of a “drunk tourist” who killed a man, he said.

“This is someone who was supposed to be an individual that protects people with his weapon not shoots them dead at a McDonald’s in the early morning,” Fudo said.

Elderts was attacked for being Native Hawaiian and for using the word “haole,” which can mean white person, said Kalamaokaaina Niheu, a spokeswoman for the group, Justice for Kollin Elderts, said outside the courtroom.

Elderts parents couldn’t bear to attend the hearing after having to relive his killing during two trials, Niheu said. She said the case is another example of “militarization of police” across the country.

She criticized prosecutors for not heeding the family’s wishes and including manslaughter in the first trial.

It’s not clear when the justices will issue a ruling.

Deedy, of Arlington, Virginia, remains free on bail and on restricted employment duty. He didn’t attend today’s hearing.

54 comments
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    • I agree. Two tries is more than enough. I don’t have any feelings about Deedy’s innocence or guilt but I think it’s unfair for anybody to have to go through a third trial when the first two ended with a hung jury and a not guilty verdict on one of the counts.

        • Why didn’t the FBI Investigate this case and have it heard in Federal Court? One of the duties the FBI is charged with is to investigate color of the law crimes where rogue LEO’s uses questionable tactics, such as excessive force, against members of the public at large, operating outside the scope of their authority, and training. This merely illustrate a case of Double standards?

    • When all’s said and done, these machinations come down to grasping at some way – any way – to save face. Seeking justice has little or nothing to do with it.

    • Kaneshiro should have gone for negligent homicide or maybe manslaughter the first time out. He wasted way too much time on a second-degree murder charge. There was no evidence of that. Deedy is no hero but, frankly, neither was the guy who attacked him and other patrons. His so-called friend egged him on and then gave him up to Deedy. Great friend! As for MacDonald’s, they learned their lesson and hired real security at night. They should have done that years ago. Waikiki after 10:00 pm is a different world.

    • The punk got what he deserved and trying this case again doesn’t make any sense. Who is paying the defense bill? And who is paying the prosecution bill? We have to be talking big money for all these trials.

      • I agree. Unfortunately, someone died but to go through 3 trials is absurb and ridiculous. Prosecutor’s office is trying to compensate for their incompetence and victim’s family is trying to paint the pix of their poor son as some sort of innocent victim which he definitely is not…….enough is enough….case should be dropped by the Supreme Court.

      • wait braddah….which punk are you talking about bcuz one of them had a gun and a badge and the other had t-shirt shorts and slippahs!

  • They need a conviction. Charge Deedy with “criminal littering”, sentence him to time served then put the case to rest. This case should have NEVER gone to trail. Had Deedy been carrying a different badge, the situation would have been handled much differently.

    • You hit the nail on the head. If it he was HPD would it have gone to trial? How come the Dinnan death at the hands of an HPD officer and offduty HFD firemen did NOT result in any criminal charges and instead taxpayer had to shell out $ 1million to the Dinaan family for an out of court settlement? In that case there was a witness testifying the fireman uttered during the chokehold death “this is what you get for stealing from Hawaiians” yet Dinnan was completely innocent and had NOTHING to do with the theft of the fireman’s truck.

  • I hope the supremes have the sack to tell it like it is. Weak evidence, a totally incompetent prosecutor and a judge that couldn’t find her back side with both hands and a flashlight. It’s time to drop it.

  • It would not be in the best interest of the judicial system to have this case in court for a third time. No matter the outcome the system will look like a loser. Rest in peace Kollin. Nuff already.

  • Justice must be served even if it takes another trial. The prosecutor was/is weak so maybe can find a competent one. Many are saying it is not fair for Deedy. I say it is not fair for Eldert if the case is dropped.

      • Hi klastri!

        As you obviously have the leisure time to add to the discussions here, how about devoting a few moments to this:

        klastri says:

        February 1, 2017 at 5:34 am

        DeltaDag – I understand. You are suggesting that predicting an election result is the same as interpreting the Constitution and the law. I’m going to guess here that you were not the President of your university Debate Team. Am I right?

        I have not written anything, ever, to delegitimize Mr. Trump’s victory. Sadly for the entire world, he is the President. What I have written is the fact that his and his staff’s constantly claiming he has a mandate is a lie. No one who soundly loses a popular vote has a mandate. Not ever.

        DeltaDag says:

        February 1, 2017 at 7:34 am

        klastri,

        You are correct, I was indeed not a president of a university debate team. I will say though, that someone with the raw intelligence, legal education, and experience you profess to have, to be so profoundly wrong on a major and long-existing issue calls into question the ability to see things as they are and not how you’d like them to be.

        As for Trump and his staff “constantly claiming he has a mandate,” I do not recall a consistent, let alone constant, declaration of a mandate by Trump or his close staff members. Would you care to present a list of the last ten incidents the word “mandate” was actually used (in chronological order)?

        And finally (though this thread is pretty old by now) I’d like to ask anyone reading this to support klastri’s claim that he has never once written anything to delegitimize Donald Trump’s victory. “Never” meaning what it commonly means.

        DeltaDag says:

        February 1, 2017 at 11:21 pm

        klastri,

        No list yet? So you can’t copy and paste even a mere ten examples? How about we give your overtaxed mind a much needed handicap. Show me just SEVEN examples of President Trump or his closest advisors or staff using the word “mandate” in any speech or interview in the last two weeks. That averages to just 1/2 use of the word for each day for a fortnight.

        If you can’t do it, that’s fine. Just creep or ooze over to your vaunted firm’s nearest whiteboard and scrawl “I shall not post lies on the Star-Advertiser’s comments section.” I think one thousand repetitions is appropriate penance, don’t you?

        We now await one of your patented hackneyed replies.

        • Mr ACLU neglected to mention in his comments on this forum that the ACLU is being funded by Soros? What say you on this score, Mr Klastri? Soros or other funding?

        • Mythman – I don’t understand your question. You probably don’t understand it either.

          Mr. Soros is a supporter. Is that news to you? It’s not news to anyone else. Do you ever read?

          In the weekend following Mr. Trump’s botched Muslim travel ban, the ACLU received 350,000 online small donations that totaled more than $25 million. Their fundraising is up 1,900%. Lots of people think that Mr. Trump is dangerous, and are putting up their money to stop him.

      • Yup, white federal police officer shoots local male who kicked his a..! Federal officer now hiding behind color of law and his badge. Same scenario on mainland, white cops shooting people with colored skin. For the record local boy was stupid. On the photo clip local boy made his point once he dropped Deedy.

      • kl-asstray the fake lawyer, I have not forgotten that you were on every SA Deedy trial blog in 2013 arguing how and why he was guilty and that there would be a conviction. As for your Trump blogs you seemed to have disappeared for two weeks after the election. I guess you could not bear the shame of opening your big mouth and guaranteeing a Hellary win. That’s right I find humor in spelling it Hellary and it sucks to be a loser doesn’t it.

        • You are lying, of course. I consistently argued that Mr. Deedy would not be convicted. Go back and read the comments. You seem incapable of being truthful.

          Your constant, non-stop lying does not help.

          After the election, I was with other ACLU leaders (it was three weeks, actually, but I’m flattered that you keep track of my schedule) planning ways to stop Mr. Trump from carrying out the illegal and unconstitutional campaign promises.

        • You are lying of course, as usual just like you pretend to be a lawyer. YOU go back and read your own comments. Tell me your choice for winner of the Super Bowl so I can bet on the opposite team and make some money. It was of great interest to see what a poor loser says after mouthing off so much, too bad we could not see the reaction on your face that election night. Your obsession with Trump is not healthy.

    • How is it not fair for the Eldert. Wasn’t he high on Meth or Coke and beating up on people in McDonalds? A high racist who got what he deserved.

      The agent has his life ruined because he was a dumbo and took his gun to town while drinking. STUPID! These two deserved each other.

      Just goes to show you should always be nice to everyone; you could end up dead if your not. Someone said an armed society is a polite society.

      • We don’t know “someone’s” name because he was later shot by a gun owner who was trying to teach him how to be polite.

  • Don’t these prosecutors have something else to do. They have fixated on Deedy way too long while there is plenty of other work waiting for them. Move on and earn your money Kaneshiro.

  • Elderts was attacked for being Native Hawaiian and for using the word “haole,” which can mean white person, said Kalamaokaaina Niheu – Yea right .. Anyone who grew up in Hawaii knows exactly what Eldert meant when he started trouble in the restaurant. It’s fairly clear to everyone what happened that day, Eldert’s bears much of the responsibility for what happened to him.
    Keith Kaneshiro is incompetent and very likely corrupt himself. All he has done is waste taxpayer money on this case, to do it a third time would be idiotic. I hope the Feds take him down with the Kealoha’s.

    • No. Kaneshiro wasn’t even co-counsel in either trial. He’s a very poor trial lawyer, and an overall poor excuse for an attorney in general. Janice Futa was the lead counsel in both trials. Both times bolo. Don’t think she really cares as she gets paid the same either way.

      Deedy on the other hand has to pay for defense counsel for the first, second and possibly third trail. Case should have been dismissed “with prejudice”. Judge Ahn is set to retire, so no biggie for her.

      If Kaneshiro wants a slam dunk conviction, he should charge Deedy with “criminal littering”. Trial will be over in a week or so, or Deedy can even arrange to plead “guilty” and be sentenced to time served.

      Kaneshiro was ousted as prosecutor once, yet the people of Hawaii elect him back into office. Shows what a joke our judicial system is here in the Aloha state.

    • Kaneshiro has never tried a case in court…I repeat…..Kaneshiro has never tried a case in court unlike the last prosecutor who took the lead in the Xerox killings.

  • Let’s not forget the kind of man Elderts was. A bully. We’ve all been subjected to guys like him in school. It’s local culture to step back, not to confront. It took a haole to put the bull down. Is that’s what’s bugging our prosecutors? An outsider stood up for himself and others, going against local custom?

    • Okay. On more time.

      The man Elderts supposedly “bullied” testified he didn’t feel bullied.

      Elderts was sitting peacefully at a table when approached and KICKED by Deedy, starting a fight that Deedy was not equipped to participate in. As he was getting shellacked in the fight HE STARTED, Deedy drew his gun and fired wildly, missing and then eventually hitting and killing Elderts.

      I think Deedy should be in prison, but that is a matter for the courts. Justice isn’t always served.

  • The buck stops with the judge. Judge karen ahn facilitated the prosecution’s slipshod approach. Otherwise, it’s hard to see this case going this long. judge karen ahn was on the record complaining about presiding. In the case herein, she was rebuked by the supreme court of Hawaii for violating first amendment rights. karen ss ahn was way out of control. She is no longer on the bench. Maybe now there can at least be some semblance of justice.

  • This is a case of prosecutors catering to Elderts’ supporters in pursuing yet another trial of Deedy. This is clearly racist. Perhaps if Elderts’ parents hadn’t raised a thug, he wouldn’t have been shot,

    • Elderts was sitting eating a burger when Deedy approached him and kicked him and started a drunken brawl. When he realized he was badly outmatched, he drew his gun and shot him.

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