Prosecutors say racial slurs and questionable advice played a role in deadly shooting

Published On: Jul 11 2013 06:29:00 PM HST

"Every day you open up a newspaper and there's another shooting in a school, church, or courthouse, and I feel a responsibility to be prepared for that," Special Agent Ben Finkelstein told Special Agent Christopher Deedy as they talked about why Finkelstein had carried a gun, every day, for the past five years.

It was the afternoon before Deedy and friends spent the night partying in downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.

"I said a firearm is like a pen. I walk through every day with a pen in my pocket, because I may need to write something, and somedays I may not, but it's there in case I need it," he said.

Finkelstein, with relatives on the island and he said, a positive view on Hawaii life, also warned Deedy about being seen as an outsider.

"I made the distinction between haole and 'fn-haole, which was used in a derogatory way, and likened it to being called the n-word," he said.

"(Deedy) mentioned that, with the information I'd given him about the potential of incidents in this environment, he intended to carry a firearm from that point," said Finkelstein.

"The only word that sticks out is haole," said Michel Perrine, a customer at McDonalds the morning of Nov. 5, 2011.

It was what he said 23-year-old Kollin Elderts called him while they stood ordering food at the counter.

It was the same morning, after partying with friends, Deedy's earlier advice from Finkelstein appeared to be put to the test, with drunken patrons at a Waikiki McDonalds, including Perrine, Elderts and Elderts' friend Shane Medeiros, coming together in all the wrong ways.

"I could see someone standing up to say something, but to shoot somebody, I didn't see a reason," said Perrine, referring to Deedy's actions.

He said, despite Elderts' words to him, he doesn't remember feeling threatened, and was surprised when Deedy and Elderts clashed.

He said the image of Deedy flapping up his shirt and exposing his gun was the last thing he remembers until it was over.

"I didn't know what to do. It was more the shock of seeing something go from an argument to the end result," said Perrine.

He also admitted in court he had three shots of tequila and a pitcher of beer that night.

He said he didn't even remember the fight or the shooting, until another patron at the scene told him about it later that morning.

He told prosecutors he thought Deedy was drunk, too -- not because he looked like it but, he said, because he assumed everybody at McDonald's at 2 a.m. must be intoxicated.

Before trial wrapped up on Thursday, lead Detective Peter Boyle took the stand again, saying he did indeed see Deedy on surveillance show Elderts his badge, but it appeared to be after some kind of initial exchange between the two.


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