Transcript for Federal Agent on Trial Again in Hawaii Slaying
We begin with the federal agent on trial for the second time for a murder in Hawaii. Agent Christopher deedy is claiming self-defense in the 2011 shooting at a waikiki McDonald's that was caught on tape. ABC's Cecilia Vega is here with the story for us. Good morning, Cecilia. Reporter: Nice to see you. Christopher deedy will be back in court this morning and all eyes will be on that courtroom. This is a case that has gripped this island paradise. This surveillance footage shows the final moments of 23-year-old kollin elderts' life shot to death by off-duty federal agent Christopher deedy. His first trial ending with a deadlock deadlocked jury. It painted him as a portrait as a bar-hopping drunk the night he shot elderts. The defendant was fueled by alcohol primed by warning about hostile locals and imbued with a sense of entitlement. Reporter: But the defense alleges it was the victim and his friend who were the aggressors harassing other customers before scuffling with deedy and that deedy fired his gun in self-defense. What our law enforcement officers are trained to do, stop it before it becomes violent. Reporter: He says he went for a night out testifying that he intervened when he saw elderts harassing other customers. I told him, I'm a cop and as I said that, I was reaching back pulling out my creds, opened them up. Reporter: Deedy says his warnings didn't work. I put both arms in front of me palms forward and I said, stop, I'll shoot. Reporter: He said elderts tackled him to the ground. Delivering the blows, he had come back and down, back and down. Reporter: Deedy has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder. He says he tried to stop the bleeding, telling elderts to breathe as seen on this witness' cell phone video which will not be shown in court. An emotionally charged case gripping this island community. And deedy's attorney says he will likely take the stand in this retrial. That first trial ended in a hung jury. It did, all right, Cecilia, thank you. ABC chief legal affairs anchor Dan Abrams is here. Either side have an advantage. Prosecutors. This he can fix the mistakes they made at the first trial. He testified in the first case. They can go through all of that testimony and try and pick apart new inconsistencies when he takes the stand again so they have a new opportunity inconsistencies. The judge made a couple of rulings that seem to favor the prosecution but, remember, this was 8-4 for acquittal in the first case meaning it was pretty close to him getting an acquittal but the jury ended up being hung. So that being the case are you surprised the prosecution didn't go for a lesser charge of, say, manslaughter. I'm stunned they didn't ask for that, right, because you understand why the defense would say we want all or nothing. If these jurors aren't going to convict of second degree murder we think there will be an acittal. You would think prosecutors would want a compromise like manslaughter where some are suggesting there was a scuffle. In the first case the prosecutors did not wafk for manslaughter. In this case, I think that they should if they don't and it's possible the judge could just say, look, I think this is an appropriate charge. That could end up making the difference for a jury. In fact, one of the jurors in the other case was asked if you had a manslaughter option what do you think the outcome would have been, paused for a moment and said, hmm, don't know, hadn't thought about that. It varies from state to state. This is hi high. What's the legal standpoint here. For self-defense it has to have been immediately necessary but once he puts forward some evidence of that, meaning his own testimony, prosecutors then again have that burden to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt that it wasn't self-defense which is why it makes these cases kind of hard meaning if he's got some evidence to put forward about self-defense, suddenly the prosecutors take on this enormous burden and that's why you saw a divided jury in the first case but, again, I think prosecutors have an advantage, this time around, which you'll see.
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