Opening statements in federal agent's murder trial focus on alcohol consumption, true aggressor

Christopher Deedy's attorneys say it was self-defense

Published  6:36 PM HST Jul 08, 2013
HONOLULU -

"In the defendants' own texted words, he said 'We're going to have dinner and craziness after," said deputy prosecutor Janice Futa.

Prosecutors focused much of their time painting a picture of a bar-hopping, boozed-up Special Agent Christopher Deedy, who they said, had been warned the locals might not be so friendly.

"You didn't see any signs of intoxication?" asked defense attorney Karl Blanke.

"Not that I can remember," said Kamahuialani Barbett, a bartender at Coconut Willy's in Waikiki, who filled out Deedy's final tab before he walked to McDonalds on Kuhio Street with friends.

She admitted she never saw Deedy drinking, nor thought he looked drunk at the bar.

"This case ladies and gentlemen is about self defense and the defense of others," began Deedy's defense attorney, Brook Hart.

Hart focused on the early-morning scene at McDonalds, where he said Deedy encountered 23-year-old Kollin Elderts and friends, harassing other customers before getting into a fight with Deedy's friend.

"It looks like a potentially violent situation developing. What are they trained to do? Stop it before it becomes violent," said Hart.

Defense attorneys argued a sober Deedy ended up getting attacked by Elderts too, before he fired that fatal shot.

"Edlerts turned to Deedy and gets oppositional.’Eh, F-you haole, what you budding in for? Eh you what gonna shoot me? You gotta gun?" Hart said Elderts told Deedy.

Attorneys on both sides said surveillance video supports their client’s cases, showing who the aggressor was and who started the fight that ended in Elderts being shot dead.

"Consumption of any alcohol while armed or six hours prior to being armed (is prohibited)," said Special Agent Matthew Golbus, who runs the Diplomatic Security Service's Honolulu office.

Globus, Deedy's supervisor while Deedy was in Honolulu working on the Asia Pacific Economic Conference, outlined clear rules in the Foreign Training Manual for special agents, which says no drinking is allowed while carrying a gun.

"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 Futa.

Prosecutors said surveillance video from inside the McDonalds, is actually still shots taken every couple of seconds and parts of it are pretty fuzzy.

Still, both sides are banking that the images will prove to jurors it was their client who was attacked.

The trial is expected to take a month or two.

Last week, Deedy's attorney said it is "likely" Deedy will, at some point, take the state stand. 

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