Accused Killer Deedy Loses Motion to Dismiss Case

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BY JIM DOOLEY – Accused killer Christopher Deedy today lost a motion to dismiss the case against him and his lawyer lost another bid to publicly file a videotape of the killing.

Christopher Deedy, left, with defense lawyer Brook Hart

Deedy, a security officer with the U.S. State Department, was accused of second-degree murder after he fatally shot local resident Kollin Elderts during an early morning confrontation in Waikiki in November.


Deedy, who lives in Virginia, was in Honolulu to provide security for dignitaries attending the Asia Pacific Economic Community conference.

His lawyer, Brook Hart, argued today that the case should be dismissed because an incomplete record was made of the prosecution’s presentation of evidence to a grand jury that indicted Deedy November 16.

Deputy Prosecutor Jan Futa denied that the record was incomplete and argued that even if it was, the missing material was so insignificant that dismissal of the case was unwarranted.

Circuit Judge Karen Ahn called Hart’s motion “interesting” and noted that such an argument has been made in local courts before.

She said a higher court may have to rule at a later date on the legal issues raised by Hart.

But Ahn agreed with Futa that the trial of Deedy, now set to begin next year, will go on as scheduled.

Hart once again attempted to publicly file a surveillance video taped inside the McDonalds restaurant when Elderts was killed.

Futa said the tape, which has already been sealed from public view by Ahn, was irrelevant to the motion argued today.

Ahn agreed and did not accept the tape copy which Hart tried to introduce.

After the hearing Hart said he did not know if he would appeal Ahn’s decision on the grand jury issue.

Hart says the contents of the videotape at the McDonalds restaurant show Deedy acted in self defense and in his capacity as a law enforcement officer when Elderts attacked customers in the restaurant.




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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at


  1. Choices… you are absolutely right that this incident resulted because of choices. However it was Elderts that chose to escalate the conflict by grabbing a policeman's gun. Police and agents are almost invariable killed by assailants when their weapons are taken and Deedy was aware of that. The second Elderts went for the gun, he chose to turn this into a deadly conflict. He lost, and that is why he's dead.

  2. I pretty much view it this way: Hart wants to release the video-tape not because it shows Elderts as the aggressor: Wide dissemination of the video, would later enable Hart to argue, that the release of the tape has tainted any prospective jury pool. He will argue that the release of the tape is too prejudicial, and motion for a change of venue. It doesn't matter that Hart himself makes the motion for the release of the tape: This can be resolved by Hart recusing himself from the case, and another motion filed, predicated of "ineffective assistance of council". Hart has been a defense attorney extraordinaire: Already you have seen heart throw motions at the court from the earliest inception: He has asked for a dismissal on several occasions, attacked the prosecutor (state) for how they presented evidence to the Grand Jury. Asked the courts for a change of Venue. Arguing the state does not have jurisdiction. He has asked for a dismissal, under the Supremacy Clause of the US constitution: And you can count on Hart to do whatever possible, pull all the tricks out of his hat, to ensure that Deedy never goes to trial before a jury in Hawaii. Once the jury is impaneled, and trial commences, Hart knows the chances of Deedy coming through trial, without some prison sentence attached is very remote: Though, in a sense, through a long string of motions, with more to come I'm sure, Hart has been extremely effective in drawing this process out, with the hope that this murder will fade from the memory. Time passes, evidence grows stale, memories fade and more opportunity for effective cross-examination: What I can say is I have not forgotten Colin, nor have I forgotten the circumstances surrounding his murder. I, for one, am watching and have been watching: This is a difficult case for the State to pursue, I'm sure there is pressure being exerted upon them by the State Department to just let this one fade away: For all we know, with all of the political "pork" Hawaii receives from the Feds, there might even be behind the scenes quid pro quo. And as a final comment, all the folks making the remarks, interjecting elements of racism, reverse racism, whatever, into this killing: You only serve to muddy the waters with projections of your own bias and prejudices: I'm a Haole, or I appear to be one, and I'm not offended when someone say "what Haole?" And when the occasion arises I'm not adverse to saying "Hey, what Moke?" That's how it is. But anyone of you, who would use this dynamism as some tweaked out rationale to justify somebody pulling out a weapon and blowing him away in a restaurant. Really? You need to check yourself. Alcohol, testosterone when combined, rarely results it amicable endings: Throw a weapon into the mix and you have what has occurred here. This is the result of a protracted night of drinking, bravado, and even heated words and anger: Someone brought a gun, someone brought a gun and felt empowered to levy the ultimate sanction: Refused to comment. Refused to take a test to assess his sobriety. Then was allowed to leave the jurisdiction two days after the killing, with a presumed bond hearing on a Sunday Night. I am not a fan of APEC and even less a fain of armed Federal Officers, bar hopping, buying rounds, and subsequently discharging rounds in a public place, killing a citizen………and then attempting to throw every entitled obfuscation at the system to delay, and perhaps even to deny the culpability of his Acts……Hell No.

  3. Aloha Brant Kelsey,
    I am also perplexed why the "big" media has not been covering this story. It is an important story, as much as it is a tragedy.

    The recent shooting (s) in the mainland have affected me to learn more about gun control, and the constitutionality, as well as the Legal Statutes in Hawaii that regulate firearms.

    I will tell you that first and foremost, I believe in the fundamental right to self protection. it is essential, and I do not believe the state or any government has authority over how an individual makes a decision in protecting themselves.

    I am also apolitical, and a pragmatic agnostic.

  4. What concerns me about this case are many things:

    a. unless the "security person" had registered his weapon within three days upon arrival in Hawaii with local law enforcement, AND received permission and a permit FROM Hawai'i to do so, he has committed a felony. This is a fact! (it should also be pointed out that there are fewer than 5 recorded instances over the past three years that CCW permits have been approved by the Honolulu Police Chief. if more than that, the records are not being made public, which is a separate matter, but one also worthwhile considering!)

    b. Hawaii does not recognize concealed weapons permits or licensure from any other state or agency. I do not believe that exceptions are made for state department security personnel. I do not read anywhere in state law in Hawaii that makes exceptions for any persons. If this is proven correct, then he has also committed another felony by:

    carrying a firearm in a public place, in fact that night, one can imagine he traveled to several places in a public place and by definition each instance would have been a felony. In addition, that weapon not stored in a "gun box", AND that he had a magazine with ammunition not separated from the weapon. (plainly he was carrying a hand gun that was loaded and concealed!)

    c. The use of force using a a bullet(S) in the circumstances that we are learning does not come close to meeting normal and reasonable "use of force". Basically, the threat does not appear to have risen to any level where lethal use of force would be considered reasonable or equal. The HPD rules of engagement is the standard (one would assume), and yet we have very few instances where we read that a uniformed HPD officer would have ever discharged a round. In many situations, the officer would have taken a defensive tactic, call for back up, removed himself from the obvious threat and also in doing so would help to protect those that were also in immediate danger as the situation escalated.
    d. the intoxication issues is quite relevant, and it shows that this "officer" was not behaving responsibly and with correct judgement. How can a person behave correctly, if they are drunk?
    e. It would also appear that this "officer" did in fact make lethal threats, and unless reliable testimonies to the contrary, it is obvious that his intention was to do grave harm. All reasonable law enforcement training is rooted in a fundamental respect for protecting life. Rather, the scenario I am reading is that he willfully made grave threats.

  5. Now on the matter of the deceased, he is also not without his own responsibilities, if we are to treat the story we read as correct and complete, but there are some important constrasts that need to be made:

    a. the deceased (I don't name him, because I don't know him…and I dare not get myself in a pile of cr$P making assumptions about his character..after all, we can safely assume he was not a trained officer, was not placed in a position or responsibility or entrusted by the public to "serve"…he was, just like you and me. a man. (And there is the rub also, if you understand what I am implying)..nevertheless, here goes the rest of my insight

    b. It is doubtful that even if the deceased was alerted by the officer about his law enforcement authority, I am not certain if that could have been received as authentic. For one, I doubt the officer produced identification, or was wearing clothing or a badge that showed what he claimed. (It would not be the first time that someone claims to be someone they are not..particularly when two drunk people (men usually, but not always), decide to have the eternal, Mine is bigger than yours feud. It is really sad, when you think about it. Neither person had one stitch of aloha in their possession that night…not…one bit…had one of them had even a little of it, I can imagine one person alive today, and another learning something amazing about the "true and good" nature of men. But that wasn't present that night.
    c. The knife…Maybe ..maybe not. probably…probably. Regardless, a knife at distance if not a lethal threat to a trained officer. What all training ROI's discuss in matters such as this is not chest shooting. Leg..arm..But it isn't clear to me why THREE ROUNDS WERE DISCHARGED? And only one hit the deceased. This raises the real question of what actually happened, and if the officer did in fact use his weapon for defense according to good protocol. A shot in the ceiling as a warning..a shot closer, and then a chest shot when it was deemed necessary as a last line of defense. Or, it could have been that the drunk officer was so messed up, it took three rounds to find his target. The video and testimonies should show the order of events, distances involved, the position or existence of the knife and threats, what event preceded, including how the officer managed the situation, as he has the highest burden due to his training and authority.

    this does not leave the deceased immune from his own responsibilities, but I tend to go with a much higher burded of proof on an officer, in this case, the living to prove that he performed all of the lessor steps to settle the threats without three buttlets…and ultimately the death of a human.

    You may be wondering why I am expressing so much passion here on this subject:
    the best 18 years of my life, where in oahu…I love the people and the lifestyle. Over any other place on earth, I love Hawai'i! I also have a daughter who was born there and lives there today. Next Year, I plan to return..long story.
    Hawaii is among the toughest gun control states in the nation and one of the lowest murder rates by guns, which I admire and that is no contradiction to my own views on self protection.

  6. However, given these events, the little media attention it has raised, the involvement of a state department "off duty" drunk officer using a concealed weapon, and a killing ..and the fact that if you or I, as "normal" citizens, had shot a person in such a situation..the following would be true:

    we would not be getting a pay check from our employer…
    we would not be freed to leave the state of hawai'i
    we would be charged with several felonies described above
    we would be judged for our foolish behavior and no matter the outcome of the "court" on these matters, out fellow Hawaiian's would judge us for the rest of our lives and most likely never forgive us or allow us to forget what we have really done.


    I'll be praying that the family of the deceased survive this tragedy and find justice and peace according to the truth.
    I'll be praying the family of Hawai'i hold the "state" accountability for perpetuating a type of racism and bigotry and plain wrong handling of this tragedy.

    I have written several papers here in the mainland in the last several weeks to get more attention to this and it is my hope that the people of Hawai'i wise up to what "the state" is doing (or NOT doing here)…for the simple sake of avoiding political failout.

  7. It really is a shame these state department people from the top down. hawai'i would be well to recognize that it would be a much better idea that they just rent out the most remote hawaiian island move its people away from it temporarily, becasue it is obvious the state is not so willing to really push justice on anyone except those they KNOW they have can push their authority onto.

    Sad really. This is NOT the strong state of Hawai'i that I left 5 years ago. I suppose we all need to get involved and become active in our state at levels where values, principles and ohana are more than just words on a paper.

    I did enjoy reading your ideas…and I agree with all of your points. (sidenote: I can't say the same for the "thrive" movie…I got lost in alot of the conspiracy theories., literally! I find them not quite as fascinating at all than I find the fascination that at every single level of humanity, can be found the power of the one to change just one smal thing every single day..and that seems to be, alot more realistic and practical. The big things will eventually take care of themselves, when the positive changes of one person transmit to the other. There are also some other logic and reasoning fallacies that don't hold up to scrutiny either on the never ending and un-empowering conspiracy chasing goig on in that movie..and in pop culture…as a surfer, I bet you know what I mean. I get my stoke on to brah!

    • tdm, unlike you I am a man of few words. After over forty years residence, I am well aware that it is a virtual rite of passage for local guys like Elderts and his buddies to get boozed up, and go look for haoles to beat up.
      Well, they picked on the wrong one.
      One shot in the wall, and another in the ceiling is consistent with witnesses saying Deedy was on the floor with Elderts on top as was Martin and Zimmerman.

  8. I watched the video closely and it's pretty obvious that Elderts initiated the attack on Deedy and in fact chased him across the room out of view of the security camera. He appeared bent on doing real damage, punching and grabbing Deedy. In my opinion, nobody has an obligation to allow themselves to be beaten by someone else. It so happened that Deedy had a gun and was able to stop the attack by killing Elderts. This is why Hawaii should be forced to recognize CCP's and in fact should encourage it's law abiding citizens to carry a firearm for self defense.

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