What happened this week in the Deedy case

The trial of federal agent Christopher Deedy began Monday. Here's a summary of what took place.

Jordan Aikau

Opening Statements

Opening statements were made by Deputy Prosecutor Janice Futa and Defense Attorney Brook Hart. “Driven by alcohol, inexperience, and the unmitigated power of a gun led to the fatal consequences for Kollin Elderts that morning,” Futa said. “He’s saying things like, ‘Acting like that is going to get you shot. You wanna get shot? I’m going to shoot you.”

“Agent Deedy acted responsibly in self defense as a federal agent when he did what he did on Nov. 5, 2011,” Hart said. “As Elderts drove agent Deedy back into a corner, mounted him, and started to beat him in the face, Elderts continued to grab at Deedy’s gun.” Both sides of the story agree on one thing: on the third shot of Deedy’s gun, Elderts bled to death. Video taken on a cell phone was shown of Christopher Deedy being handcuffed and bloody in the Kuhio McDonald’s after shooting Elderts.

Was Deedy intoxicated?

Special Agent Matthew Golbus, of the Diplomatic Security Service’s Honolulu office, said, “Consumption of any alcoholic beverage while armed or six hours prior to being armed or at any time prior to being armed sufficient to impair an agent’s judgement or ability to perform his or her duties.” However, the defense rebutted that an off-duty special agent can consume as long as he or she isn’t under the influence.

Deedy paid for nine drinks at Coconut Willy’s before going to the McDonald’s. When asked if she saw him consume any of the beverages and become intoxicated Kamahuialani Barbett, a bartender at Coconut Willy’s, replied “Not that I can remember.”

Kaleookalani Hosaka (Police officer that escorted Deedy that night) was also called to the stand. He said there was “a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emitted from his person, eyes were red and glassy. As I escorted him to the car prior to transporting him to Queen’s, his footing was uneasy.” Defense countered by showing photos taken of Deedy in the E.R.


Maile Goodhue, a friend of Kollin Elderts who had been partying with him that night, said, “Kollin was the jokester. He liked to make people feel comfortable,” When asked about what happened when she got the call from police after the murder she said, “I couldn’t comprehend what was told to me. I didn’t understand and I didn’t believe it.”

The video

Detective Peter Boyle walked the jury through a surveillance video – albeit without sound and snapping every few seconds – from inside the McDonald’s restaurant. It revealed that Deedy arrived with friends Adam Bukowski and Jessica West 12 minutes before Elderts and his friend, Shane Medeiros, did. When Elderts and Medeiros entered the McDonald’s, Deedy was in the first booth facing the cashier counter. It shows Elderts and Medeiros at the counter repeatedly glancing at Michel Perrine, a customer that night. Then they take a seat, Deedy approaches them, Elderts and Deedy are face-to-face, and then the brawl. Before you know it, both are on the ground and Deedy stands up and Elderts is down.

HPD officer Hosaka posted on Facebook that he believes Deedy is guilty. His testimony may be thrown out for this.


Special Agent Ben Finkelstein and Deedy had had a previous conversation about why Finkelstein always carries a gun. Finkelstein: “I said, a firearm is like a pen. I walk through every day with a pen in my pocket, because I may need to write something, and somedays I may not, but it’s there in case I need it.”

“He mentioned that with the information I’d given him about for potential of incidents in this environment, that he intended to carry a firearm from that point.”


According to the surveillance video, Elderts had repeatedly glanced at McDonald’s customer Michel Perrine. Perrine testified that he doesn’t remember being threatened by Elderts. When asked about how he felt when Elderts and Deedy clashed, he replied, “I didn’t know what to do. It was more the shock of seeing something go from an argument to the end result.”

The trial will resume on Monday. Deedy is free on $250,000 bail.