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Agent gears up for 2nd murder trial in Honolulu

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 10, 2014 at 7:29 pm •  Published: June 10, 2014
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HONOLULU (AP) — The federal agent charged with murder in a 2011 shooting inside a Waikiki fast-food restaurant is gearing up for a retrial, nearly a year after his first trial ended with a deadlocked jury.

State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy of Arlington, Virginia, is back in Honolulu to stand trial again for killing Kollin Elderts during an altercation in a McDonald's restaurant. Deedy contends the shooting was self-defense. Free on $250,000 bail, he returned home after the first trial.

Last year's trial ended with the judge declaring a mistrial. Jury selection for the new trial is scheduled to begin next week.

Meanwhile, attorneys are hashing out what evidence or information they want the jury to hear.

A key difference this time is that jurors will see only a limited portion of a bystander's cellphone video taken in the shooting's aftermath. Circuit Judge Karen Ahn ruled at a hearing Monday that jurors won't see the part showing Deedy rendering aid to Elderts.

During the first trial, the defense used the video to show jurors Deedy used his knife to help cut Elderts' shirt and rendered aid. He's heard on the video — amid Hawaiian music playing in the restaurant — imploring Elderts to breathe as police respond to the scene.

Deedy's new attorney, Thomas Otake, argued that footage shows the agent wasn't intoxicated, as the prosecution contends. Otake also said the video is of a better quality than the silent, choppy McDonald's surveillance footage.

Ahn ruled jurors can view the portion of the cellphone video that shows Deedy's interaction with officers arresting him.

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