Christopher Deedy can be re-tried but only for assault

Always Investigating

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Federal agent Christopher Deedy can be tried a third time in connection with a fight that led to the fatal shooting of a local man in Waikiki 8 years ago. But it won’t be for the most serious of the charges.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says Deedy can be re-tried but only for assault. Past trials on murder and manslaughter, over the killing of Kollin Elderts, ended in a hung jury, an acquittal and a deadlock.

All of this stems from a Nov. 5, 2011, incident in which Deedy, a U.S. State Department special agent in town for the APEC event, and Elderts got into an altercation at a Waikiki McDonald’s. It turned fatal when Deedy fired his gun at Elderts. Deedy called it self defense.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments from both sides late last month, on whether prosecutors could make another run at a trial, this after a federal judge in Hawaii said no to a third chance, and prosecutors appealed to the higher court.

Today, the appeals court out of California ruled and said, “…because there was a hung jury on the assault charges at the second trial, the state may retry Petitioner (Deedy) again for first- and second-degree assault.” They cannot, however, have a do-over on murder or manslaughter.

Deedy’s attorney, Thomas Otake, told Always Investigating:

“Today’s ruling brings us one step closer to ending this corrupt effort on the part of the prosecutors to win at all costs in this case.”

Thomas Otake, Christopher Deedy’s attorney

Always Investigating asked the Honolulu Office of the Prosecuting Attorney if they will be pursuing charges again and have not yet heard back. Recently the prosecutor’s spokesperson told us: “This case involves the unjustified killing of Kollin Elderts, a young Hawaii man. It is our moral and ethical obligation to pursue all legal remedies.”

But Deedy’s attorney points out:

“The prosecutors have said over and over assault does not apply. Of course, it doesn’t. But yet they press on. And so will we. There are many more appellate steps to be taken. And we will take whatever steps necessary to prevent a third trial.”

Thomas Otake, Christopher Deedy’s attorney

We’ll continue to follow up on whether and when prosecutors re-file assault charges, and if either party will further appeal the 9th Circuit’s ruling.

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