Christopher Deedy takes the stand
Special agent accused of murdering Kailua man
Special agent Christopher Deedy finally takes the stand in his murder trial.
Three weeks into the court case, Deedy explained to jurors what led up to the fatal shooting of Kollin Elderts in November of 2011.
Deedy's training was a big part of Tuesday's testimony. Training that included learning when to use deadly force.
"We do tell special agents that you are the one who needs to make that determination. You make the determination 'is this an immediate threat to my life based on the totality of the circumstance?,'" stated former federal law enforcement trainer Ken Amiano.
When Deedy took the stand, he explained to jurors why he stepped in. He said his law enforcement training required him to intervene in what he felt was a violent situation developing between Kollin Elderts, Shane Mederios and another McDonald's customer.
"There is something we learned in training: if you intervene when an assault is occurring you have failed at your job. We're trained to prevent an assault," said Deedy.
The special agent told jurors he was trained to de-escalate a situation, but the exact opposite happened.
"He said to me, 'Hey f***ing haole, hey f***ing haole, you like beef too?'" said Deedy, referring to a question Elderts directed at him.
Deedy had been warned by a fellow agent from Hawaii, those angry words "f***ing haole" directed at him meant trouble. So Deedy said he gave Elderts a warning himself.
"I told him I'm a cop and you assault me or anyone else here and you will be arrested. As I was doing that, I reached back and pulled out my credentials and displayed them to him," claimed Deedy.
What happened next surprised even the specially trained special agent. Instead of settling Elderts down, Deedy said his identification as a law enforcement officer enraged the Kailua man.
"You won't arrest me. You gotta gun? You gonna [expletive] shoot me?" Deedy claimed Elderts directed at him.
Deedy said Elderts escalated the verbal attack and then made threatening movements toward him. At that point, Deedy said he reached for his gun. A move that still did not slow down Elderts and the eminent assault Deedy felt was coming.
"When I reached for my gun, it was now 'Oh, you got a gun. You're gonna need to shoot me cause I'm gonna get you first,'" said Deedy about another statement Elderts said to him.
Deedy showed very little emotion on the stand Tuesday. He also claimed throughout the escalating encounter, he was constantly calculating and analyzing Eldert's actions. He claimed his training told him an intoxicated Elderts was looking for a fight.
That was the defense side of the story, prosecutors have not yet been able to cross-examine Deedy. They may get the chance Wednesday after the special agent details the actual shooting.
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