Jury selection held for 2nd trial of federal agent

By Lara Yamada
Published On: Jun 16 2014 06:20:00 PM HST

Jury selection has begun again in the second murder trial for federal agent Christopher Deedy, after a jury ended in dead-lock over whether to convict Deedy or set him free. KITV4's Lara Yamada reports that Deedy returns to some changes even beforen the trial begins.

HONOLULU -

Nearly a year after a mistrial, a jury selection has begun again in the second murder trial for a federal agent.

Click here to watch Lara Yamada's story.

In August, a jury ended was deadlocked over whether to convict federal agent Christopher Deedy of murder or set him free.

"The defendant was fueled by alcohol, primed by warnings given to him by the hostile locals and ignited by the power of his glock," said Deputy Prosecutor Janice Futa.

"This case ladies and gentlemen is about self-defense and the defense of others," said Defense Attorney Brook Hart.

Those were the arguments that carried through 20 days of testimony last summer.

Now, Deedy returns to some changes even before the trial begins. He has new attorneys.

Prosecutor Janice Futa will try the case again and argue that after a night of bar-hopping with his friends, Deedy murdered 23-year-old Kollin Elderts at a Waikiki McDonald's restaurant in 2011.

But, defense attorneys will repeat that after harassing customers at that McDonald's, it was a drunk and drugged-up Elderts who attacked Deedy. Then the federal agent, they say, fired those fatal shots in self-defense.

"It's a very fine line on, you know, is it self-defense, especially when you're using that deadly force," said Justin Odagiri, juror and foreman.

Odagiri spoke exclusively with KITV in 2013 and said they had only two choices: convict Deedy of murder or set him free. In the end, there was no decision and it resulted in a mistrial.

"There was no audio in the video and it's all what people say and everybody said something different," said Odagiri.

"He was delivering the blows. He would come back and down, back and down," said Deedy in the previous trial.

Jurors relied on the testimony of more than two dozen witnesses, including Deedy himself, grainy, sound-less video from McDonald's surveillance cameras and smartphone video of the aftermath.

This time jurors will not be allowed to see the part showing Deedy rendering aid to a dying Elderts. That's one change in the return of a largely familiar case.

Jury selection is expected to take three weeks. Judge Karen Ahn told jurors to expect the trial to last until August.

Deedy is renewing his request to have the murder charge dismissed.

Judge Ahn is expected to make that decision sometime this week.

SLIDESHOW: March For Elderts

Click here for photos of a march held for Elderts.

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