2 key witnesses testify in Deedy retrial

By Lara Yamada
Published On: Jul 18 2014 04:45:00 PM HST

Anguish, denial and demands for action ended the first full week of the retrial of federal agent Christopher Deedy.

HONOLULU -

Two witnesses took the stand.  Both of them are critical to exposing what happened on that night when Deedy shot and killed 23-year-old Kollin Elderts.

Click here to watch Lara Yamada's report.

Michel Perrine admitted he was drunk that night when he walked into the Waikiki McDonald's in November 2011.  He says he doesn't remember much, including the most shocking events -- the yelling, the fights and the shots fired.

But, Perrine says he remembers what the defense believes was the spark that triggered it all -- the exchange between him and Elderts.  Perrine ultimately walked away from it.

"I don't remember anything that was said, except for one word that was said, that stuck out and that was 'haole,'" said Perrine.  "Usually if you're in a new place, you don't just go start fights with people, or at least, I don't."

"I heard him telling Kollin, "Acting like this will get you shot.  You don't want to get shot, do you?'" said Elderts' friend Shane Medeiros.  "We were just shock."

Medeiros testified next.  He says Elderts had at least seven drinks that night.  Medeiros says Elderts was only joking with Perrine, but that Deedy seemed to think otherwise.

Defense attorneys repeatedly played surveillance footage of the agent leaning over Elderts when they say Deedy identified himself as an agent.  Medeiros denied that, but says, at that point, he was ready to walk away, but Deedy would not.

He says he fought with Deedy's friend, fell outside, heard the shots and later got the news.

"I was asking if you have update on how he's doing, how [my friend] is," said Medeiros.  "He said he needed to do the interview first, then he turned off the camera and said, 'I hate to be the one to tell you, but your friend didn't make it.'"

Defense attorney Tom Otake focused on casting doubt over Medeiros' testimony, pressing Medeiros over how much more Elderts might have had to drink  that night whether he was being truthful over not seeing Deedy identify himself, and just how much he might have been harrassing Perrine before Deedy walked over.

During the lunch break on Friday, some of Elderts' family and supporters held a press conference outside the courtroom.  They're demanding a response from the State Department, where Deedy works, on a petition to have Deedy fired. 

"That's why we are here, trying to find justice and closure for our family because Kollin is no longer here to defend himself," said Ikaika Elderts-Bruhn, Kollin's brother.

Although the Elderts family was quiet during the first trial, they are speaking out this time.

Last week, they marched from Iolani Palace to the State Department in downtown with a petition demanding Deedy be fired.  They say they have yet to get a response from the State Department.

The family says they plan to have a press conference every week until this trial is over.  Testimony resumes on Tuesday.

Click here to see more videos from the Deedy retrial.

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