BY JIM DOOLEY – The murder case against U.S. State Department security officer Christopher Deedy will resume in state court later this month after a U.S. judge this week refused a defense request to transfer the matter to federal court.
Deedy is accused of second-degree murder in the November shooting death of Kailua resident Kollin Elderts, 23.
Defense attorney Brook Hart sought the transfer to federal court, arguing that Deedy, 28, was immune from state prosecution because he acted in self defense and in the scope of his official duties when he fatally shot Elderts during an early morning encounter at a Waikiki fast food restaurant.
In a brief ruling, U.S. Dist. Judge Leslie Kobayashi this week rejected the transfer motion.
Kobayashi said she will issue a full written ruling by Aug. 21.
That means City Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro will press ahead with his case against Deedy in state court.
Defense lawyer Brook Hart must file legal papers by August 30 concerning the timing of a motion to dismiss the case, Dave Koga, spokesman for Kaneshiro, said today.
Circuit Judge Karen Ahn will conduct a hearing on the dismissal motion October 22, said Koga.
Deedy, a special agent with the State Department who lives in Virginia, was in Honolulu for security duties related to last November’s Asia Pacific Economic Conference in Waikiki.
After socializing with friends, Deedy stopped for food at a Kuhio Avenue McDonalds restaurant. Deedy fatally shot Elderts during a brief, violent altercation between the two men inside the restaurant.
Hart maintains that a surveillance video demonstrates that Deedy acted in defense of himself and others after they were violently attacked by Elderts and another man inside the restaurant.
Prosecutors argue that the shooting of Elderts was unjustified.
Judge Ahn has sealed the video from public view, ruling that its release could create prejudicial pretrial publicity.