Judge To Reconsider Sealing Of Fatal Shooting Videotape

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BY JIM DOOLEY – A Circuit Judge has agreed to reconsider her decision to block public viewing of a videotaped fatal shooting

Christopher Deedy, left, with defense lawyer Brook Hart

in Waikiki last year.


Judge Karen Ahn earlier sealed copies of the tape and numerous still photos taken from it after prosecutors said it could generate prejudicial pretrial publicity in a pending homicide trial.

Now Ahn has set a hearing June 27 on a news media motion to reconsider that decision.

The tape and photos were attached to a motion filed by attorneys for U.S. State Department security agent Christopher Deedy, charged with murdering local resident Kollin Elderts during a November early morning altercation in a Waikiki fast food restaurant.

Deedy attorney Brook Hart contends that the tape demonstrates that Deedy was acting in defense of himself and others when he fatally shot Elderts in a Kuhio Avenue McDonalds restaurant.

Ahn decided that public release of the tape in a time when widespread and near-instantaneous viewing of it is possible on the internet could interfere with the court’s ability to find unprejudiced jurors when the case goes to trial.

Media lawyer Jeff Portnoy said in a motion filed this week that his office “could not find a single court decision that has curtailed the public’s right of access to judicial records because of the possibility that the internet might generate greater pretrial publicity than other forms of media.”