In recent Circuit Court proceedings, the issue of Christopher Deedy–a state agent accused of murdering Kollin Elderts of Kailua on the eve of APEC–has resurfaced. But before any jury begins deliberating, the question of whether public filings by Deedy’s defense, including video footage of the altercation, should be viewable by the public.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Janice Futa wants the records sealed and believes releasing them could taint the potential jury pool. “This is not a matter of trying to keep things secret, or keep them from the public,” said Futa during proceedings at a Thursday, May 24 hearing.
But Deedy’s attorney Brook Hart feels strongly about the video. So much so, his filings claim the case against Deedy should be dismissed because he was acting as a law enforcement officer when he shot Elderts. “What better evidence would there be that Mr. Deedy was acting within his duties as a federal officer than a movie of it actually happening, which in this case we happen to have,” said Hart. Futa, however, believes no matter what the video shows, it all happened in a “state-of-mind element,” and needs to be thoroughly examined and explained before a jury by Deedy himself. Although the video hasn’t been released, Hart did describe parts of it in the courtroom, including Deedy being “knocked to the floor (and) beaten in the nose, all before any gun comes out.”
Honolulu Circuit Judge Karen Ahn–who opted not to rule from the bench in Thursdays proceedings–noted that she’d seen the video “a couple of times,” and that it has no audio. Motions will proceed on June 12, 2012 .