A federal agent who shot and killed a local man in a Waikiki McDonald’s last fall will have to argue his case in Hawaii state court.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi denied Special Agent Christopher Deedy’s motion to move his case to the federal level.
Deedy, who is represented by Honolulu attorney Brook Hart, wanted his case tried in federal court because he contends he shot and killed 23-year-old Kailua resident Kollin Elderts while acting as a U.S. State Department agent.
His defense in the shooting is that he was acting in self defense and is immune from prosecution under federal law because the shooting occurred while he was acting as a law enforcement officer.
Now that the case will remain in Hawaii Circuit Court, the prosecution and defense will battle over whether Deedy is immune from prosecution at the state level. A hearing to set a date for that proceeding and determine whether the dismissal motion will be heard by a judge or jury is scheduled for Oct. 22.
Deedy was in Honolulu as part of a diplomatic security detail for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which was scheduled Nov. 7 to Nov. 13. He arrived early, and after a night of socializing with friends shot Elderts in the early morning hours of Nov. 5.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Janice Futa argued against moving the trial to federal court in a July 10 court document. She wrote that Hart was “forum shopping” and had missed the 30-day deadline to move a trial from state to federal court.
Hart filed his motion to move the case in late June, which was seven months after Deedy was arraigned on second-degree murder and a felony weapons charge. Deedy pleaded not guilty to both counts.
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