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Federal agent asks to have Oahu murder case dismissed

May 20, 2012

HONOLULU - The federal agent charged in a fatal shooting at a McDonald's restaurant in Waikiki claims he was performing his duties as a law enforcement officer and is immune from prosecution, and he's asking a judge to dismiss the case.

Christopher Deedy's lawyer, Brook Hart, said Thursday that he filed a motion last week seeking the dismissal, but he declined to comment further because prosecutors filed a motion Wednesday to keep the defense request sealed.

Even though a hearing on the prosecution's motion for a protective order has been set for this week, Hart's motion had already been removed from the court file.

"The defense is aware of the high publicity surrounding this case and the probable likelihood that all filings will be examined by the media and reported to the general public," Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Janice Futa said in the motion. "This type of trial publicity creates a risk of tainting a potential jury pool and materially prejudicing the adjudicative proceedings of trial."

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser first reported Thursday that Hart filed documents detailing Deedy's version of the events Nov. 5 but that Circuit Judge Karen Ahn is not releasing the documents.

The newspaper reported that it will argue against the defense request to seal the motion. Honolulu attorney Jeffrey Portnoy will ask to participate in the case for the newspaper. Portnoy said keeping information confidential is "woefully inadequate."

A hearing on the prosecution's request is scheduled for Thursday.

Deedy, a 27-year-old State Department special agent, was in Honolulu to help with security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit when Kollin Elderts, 23, of Kailua, Oahu, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Deedy has pleaded not guilty, claiming he was protecting himself and others. In December, a judge allowed him to return home to Arlington, Va., to await trial. Hart said the judge set a July 13 hearing to hear arguments on the immunity motion and it seems likely that Deedy will be required to attend.

Meanwhile, Deedy has been allowed to travel beyond his current 100-mile radius restriction. According to court documents, he has the court's permission to attend a wedding July 27 in Cape Charles, Va. He was granted permission to visit his 84-year-old grandmother earlier this month in Naples, Fla.

Hart also filed a motion last week to dismiss the indictment based on a defective grand jury proceeding. He claims that a video of grand jury proceedings doesn't show the McDonald's surveillance video discussed and referenced by witnesses.

"You can't see what the witnesses are pointing out," he said.

Hart also wants to delay the trial, scheduled for September, until at least March 2013.



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