Day 15 of federal agent murder trial focuses on violence before fatal shot

By Lara Yamada
Published On: Jul 31 2013 06:23:00 PM HST

The defense's first witness takes the stand in Day 15 of the Christopher Deedy murder trial.

HONOLULU -

The prosecution has rested in the murder trial of a federal agent, but the defense' first witness quickly heated things up again.

But before they introduced Jessica West, defense attorneys made sure to take a solid crack at the prosecution's final witness.

Retired detective Theodore Coons, was one of the lead investigators in the case and a 30-yera veteran of the force.

Defense attorneys challenged Coons' conclusions on which shot killed, and when an officer can use deadly force.

"I recall reaching the conclusion that it was the second shot (that killed Kollin Elderts,)" said Coons, one of the lead investigators in the case.

Defense attorneys challenged that conclusion, arguing everything from the angle of the gun, to whether Kollin Elderts' tried to grab special agent Christopher Deedy's weapon before the fatal shot was fired.

"I think we need to look at the totality on everything we have in this case," he said.

At one point, defense attorneys moved to acquit Deedy on the murder charge, arguing that the video proves Elderts was the aggressor, which they said, shows Deedy consistently using proper training tactics to avoid a confrontation.

It was a motion denied by Judge Karen Ahn.

Coons also refused to be pinned down on whether, in this case, deadly force was justified.

"Each situation is different, but you have to be justified in each situation," he said.

But then Day 15 turned to the defense's first witness, Jessica West, who was with Deedy and her boyfriend Adam Gutowski the entire night of the shooting.

She said, despite the trio hitting several bars that night, she did not believe Deedy was drunk.

"He was perfectly normal and calm. He was in a good mood. We were all in a good mood. There was nothing that stood out," said West.

"He pulled out his wallet from his back pocket," she said.

West said she saw Deedy show Elderts something in his wallet -- something she said that upset Elderts.

"(Elderts) was puffing himself up, making himself big in a challenging manner," she said.

West said she watched as Elderts hit Gutowski, then she said Medeiros jumped in, leading to that fight that ended in shots fired.

"Both Kollin and Shane are beating (Adam), he's getting beaten, kicked on the ground, he can't do anything, he's not capable," West said.

Ahn quickly struck that testimony, with the prosecution arguing, who's to say whether Gutowski could have fought back, meaning it's not something the jury can take into account.
 

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