Former medical examiner, police sergeant testify in Deedy retrial

By Lara Yamada
Published On: Jul 17 2014 06:38:03 PM HST

On the fifth day of the retrial of Christopher Deedy, attorneys grilled the former medical examiner on her finding the morning after the deadly shooting in Waikiki back in 2011.

HONOLULU -

On the fifth day of the retrial of federal agent Christopher Deedy, attorneys grilled the former Honolulu medical examiner on her finding the morning after the shooting.

Click here to watch Lara Yamada's 5 p.m. report.

Cocaethylene, the cocaine byproduct, was found in Kollin Elderts' eye fluid after he died on Nov. 5, 2011.  That was the night Deedy shot and killed the 23 year old at a Waikiki McDonald's.

It's an important point for Deedy's defense, which is trying to show Elderts was the aggressor that night, not Deedy.

Former medical examiner Kanthi De Alwis first described the gunshot remnants found on Elderts' face and clothes, showing one shot was fired a couple of feet away.  The other was at close range.

She went on to say tests found alcohol, marijuana and that cocaine byproduct in Elderts' system.  Each side in the courtroom were trying to spin what that meant for their case.

"Can you say to a reasonable degree of medical probability whether or not Kollin Elderts was under the influence of cocaethylene at the time of the shooting?" asked prosecutor Janice Futa.

"No, I cannot," said De Alwis.

"You talked about how different drugs break down in the body, right?" asked defense attorney Thomas Otake.

"Yes," replied De Alwis.

"Cocaine is one of those drugs that breaks down very rapidly?" asked Otake.  "Yes," replied De Alwis.

"Sometimes within hours, right?" continued Otake.  "Yes," said De Alwis.

The former medical examiner's testimony brought up many other gray areas in those tests.  For one, the fluid pumped into Elderts as he was dying.  The defense believes the fluid diluted what showed up in those tests after his death.

De Alwis also says the mark on Elderts' leg was the result of a kick to the shin.  The prosecution is saying that shows Deedy was the first to physically strike out.

Also on the witness stand on Thursday, the sergeant in charge on the night of the deadly shooting.

WATCH Lara Yamada's 6 p.m. report.

Former Honolulu police sergeant Ken Schreiner arrived at the Waikiki McDonald's.  There were people everywhere and blood everywhere.

Schreiner thought he had a shooter on the loose.  Elderts lay dying on the floor and Deedy was kneeling beside him.  That's when Deedy said he was the one who shot and killed him.

In those early stages, it was Schreiner's job to assess not only the scene, but Deedy himself.  The former sergeant said he could smell alcohol on the agent's breath and could see the signs of a man who'd been drinking.

"He would speak slow, but there was a slight slur.  It was slurred and his eyes were glassy," said Schreiner.  "He appeared to be intoxicated."

But, under defense attorney Otake's questioning, Schreiner agreed Deedy spoke slowly, but clearly, and answered questions promptly and willingly.

He also said he didn't know at that point Deedy had a broken nose.

After the shooting, Deedy refused a blood alcohol test.  So, to this day, it's unclear how much he had to drink that night.

The first full week of the retrial will wrap up on Friday.  More key witnesses are expected to take the stand.

Click here to see videos on the retrial of Christopher Deedy.

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