BY JIM DOOLEY – A defense attorney’s version of the shooting death of Kailua man Kollin Elderts last year is “a fairy tale,” according to Michael Green, lawyer for Elderts’ family and estate.
Deedy has been charged in state court with second-degree murder.
In papers filed in federal court this week, Deedy’s lawyer, Brook Hart, said Elderts was assaultive and high on liquor and drugs when the fatal encounter took place inside a Waikiki fast food restaurant.
Hart said a videotape of the incident, which hasn’t been made public, shows that Deedy was protecting himself and others from attacks by Elderts and a friend inside a Kuhio Avenue McDonalds restaurant.
Elderts was fatally shot while grabbing at Deedy’s gun, Hart said.
“Somebody asked me if I read what Brook Hart is saying and I said, yeah, I’ve also read Pinocchio, Snow White and Willy Wonka,” Green said today.
“It’s a fairy tale. The grand jury (that indicted Deedy for murder) saw the videotape and it heard testimony from witnesses about what happened,” Green continued.
“Why do you think he was indicted?” Green said.
Green has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court against Deedy on behalf of the Elderts family.
Hart said in response to Green today: “I think the video and screen shots (photos made from the video) speak for themselves.”
He added that he “thinks it’s highly inappropriate to argue about the case outside of court. That kind of commentary is ethically inappropriate.”
Green made his comments following a federal court hearing on conflict of interest allegations that have been made against him by the U.S. Justice Department. The government has asked for Green to be disqualified from representing the owner of a Waikiki bar/restaurant now facing trial on an extortion charge.
In state court, Green represents four plaintiffs who are suing owners of the same business for alleged unprovoked assaults.
The federal government has a videotape of Green’s client in the federal case beating one of Green’s civil suit clients.
U.S. District Judge David Ezra said today that ethical rules governing attorney conflicts of interest in such circumstances are “murky.”
He told the parties to seek an opinion on the conflict of interest question from the state Office Of Disciplinary Counsel, an arm of the Hawaii Supreme Court which enforces the legal profession’s code of professional responsibilities.