Friday, August 15, 2014

Hawaii: Deedy Acquitted of Murder, Judge to Determine If Deedy Faces Manslaughter, Assault

According to Hawaii News Now, US State Department federal agent Christopher Deedy, 30, sat flanked by his attorneys as the jury verdict of not guilty of murder was announced Thursday (August 14) in Circuit Judge Karen Ahn's courtroom. He showed no outward emotion as Kollin Elderts' family sat in sadness with their heads bowed.

The acquittal means the jury believes Deedy acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Elderts during a struggle in a Waikiki McDonald's in 2011.

Defense attorney Thomas Otake said jurors showed courage.

"They took an oath to do what was right and they did," he said.
 
Deputy prosecutor Janice Futa felt otherwise. "He was charged with murder. I believe the facts and the law support that charge," she said.

The jury deadlocked on lesser offenses of manslaughter and assault. Ms. Futa said she will recommend Deedy face those charges again.

"I think given the seriousness of the offense, whatever the jury verdict may have been this time, I think that definitely it calls for another trial," she said.

The first trial ended in a hung jury.

COMMENT: The Elderts left the court without speaking with reporters. Through a spokesperson they expressed disappointment.
 
"The hole in our hearts from the loss of Kollin can never be mended. Christopher Deedy is a very irresponsible, cowardly individual that took away the heartbeat of our family," said Kalama Niheu of the Justice for Kollin Elderts Coalition.

Deedy and his wife exited the courtroom without comment.

During both trials, Futa said Deedy was drunk and instigated the confrontation with Elderts.

"I believe that Kollin Elderts and his family and his friends and our community deserve that kind of justice. At least a resolution. And I think it's been delayed for too long," she said.

Otake said he will file motions to dismiss the manslaughter and assault charges.  A meeting with Judge Ahn was scheduled for August 29.  The murder retrial may not be the last time that Deedy appears in court.

This report will be updated after the August 29 meeting with the Judge.