Prosecution on Christopher Deedy murder trial focuses on alcohol, policies, options besides deadly force

By Lara Yamada
Published On: Aug 08 2013 06:39:00 PM HST

After 20 days of testimony, the defense rests. The first phase of the murder trial of a federal agent has ended. Today, attorneys had their last chance to question Special Agent Christopher Deedy.

HONOLULU -

By the time the defense rested its case at 1:45 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the federal agent accused of murder had testified for more than 11 hours.

Most of the day went to the prosecution, and whether Deedy could and should have stopped the fight at a Waikiki McDonald's before it started.

"My foot reached him before his fist could reach me."

That's what special agent Christopher Deedy maintains was the first of two physical attacks on him by Kollin Elderts before he pulled out his gun and fired the first shot on the morning of Nov. 5, 2011.

"He gathered himself, moved into position, clenched fist, and moved in quickly to strike me. We're trained; you don't allow someone to strike you. You defend yourself against a strike. That's what I did. It was a physical attack and I defended myself against a physical attack," he said.

Deedy said Elderts came at him again, using what he calls a "spear tackle" to take him down.

"You can see his arm forward. He appears grabs for my leg and drills his shoulder forward, similar to how a spear tackle is done," he said pointing to the McDonald's surveillance video.

But deputy prosecutor Janice Futa said Deedy had more than once chance to prevent the fight before that first contact, for one, talking with customer Michel Perrine.

Deedy agreed Elderts' harassment of Perrine did not constitute a crime.

Or, trying to stop that first physical fight with Deedy's friend Adam Gutowski, and Futa said, Deedy listening to his friend Jessica West's pleas to leave.

"You never considered the tools that you could have used and also leaving McDonald's, correct?" asked Futa.

"No. That's not correct. When I stood up and saw Adam being kicked in the face I could have ran. I knew I could have run, but I could not have done that and assured his safety," said Deedy.

Deedy said once he pulled his gun, once he fired those shots, he knew he was likely shooting to kill, defending each step until the very end.

"I know what I did. I know what happened, but I still ask myself why did certain people do what they did? Why did they do their actions and respond to me the way they did and I will never know that answer," said Deedy.

Throughout this case, alcohol was a constant theme; who drank, how much, and how did it affect those split decisions made that night?

On KITV4 News at Six, Deedy answered to some of those final probing questions that prosecutors believe clouded his judgment.

First phase of Christopher Deedy trial over

The first phase of the murder trial of a federal agent is over. After 20 days of testimony, the defense rests.

The first phase of the murder trial of a federal agent is over.

After 20 days of testimony attorneys rested their cases in the murder trial of a federal agent, with prosecutors asking special agent Christopher Deedy their final questions -- this after more than 11 hours of testimony by the federal agent.

It's been nearly three full days of testimony -- more than six hours for the defense.

On Thursday, it was primarily the prosecution's day -- pressing Deedy on why he didn't just leave the Waikiki McDonald's the morning of the shooting, why he didn't try to stop the fight with his friend, or why he couldn't use other means besides deadly force.

In one of the most pivotal points in the prosecution's case they repeatedly pressed Deedy on why he thought he was OK to drink while carrying a gun.

"I have been in deadly force situations, but I've never fired my gun at anybody," said special agent Christopher Deedy, on the stand for the third day.

Prosecutors believe it was Deedy's night of partying, that clouded his decision-making the morning he injected himself into a situation at a Waikiki McDonald's, engaged in a fight, pulled out his gun, and fired three times.

"When you pulled the trigger you intended to kill Mr. Elderts, correct?" asked deputy prosecutor Janice Futa.

"I intended to stop the threat," said Deedy.

Deedy said a seemingly drunk and aggressive Kollin Elderts came at him first.

Toxicology reports showed alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine in Elderts' system.

But prosecutors argue Deedy was intoxicated too, hitting several bars.

Deedy admitted he had about four beers that night.

Deputy prosecutor Janice Futa pressed him hard on the policies for an agent carrying a gun.

"No. No. You cannot drink and carry," said Futa, repeating a portion of the testimony from the supervisor for the State Department's Honolulu field office.

"They're speaking about being on duty. You can't apply some activities to on duty and others not," Deedy responded.

How much the agent might have had to drink that night was raised repeatedly.

Futa questioned why the agent refused a blood alcohol test and why he told medical staff he had not been drinking.

"When (the nurse) was asking the questions about my medical history, I was feeling the effects of the traumatic incident. I'd just fought for my life, I believe I'd just killed a man, and I'd just been put under arrest for murder," said Deedy.

Deedy said after the shooting he asked repeatedly for a representative but didn't get one, saying he did not think he was drunk and would have taken the blood alcohol test if a representative was there.

He also said he initially refused to give other statements about what happened, because his agency told him not to.

Both sides have rested their case.

Closing arguments are expected sometime next week.
 

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