(For those unfamiliar with the case of State Department Diplomatic Security “Special” Agent Chris Deedy, who appears to have shot and killed an unarmed man in Hawaii while on duty there for the APEC Conference, see some previous postings.)
Details on the Deedy case are harder to find than intellectuals at a Gingrich rally. However, one of our Hawaiian operatives offers up a few ideas:
– Why was Deedy charged with 2nd degree murder instead of 1st? It turns out that in Hawaii, unlike most of the other states, 1st degree murder only applies in very limited cases, with strict definitions. Under Hawaii law, second-degree murder is defined as occurring simply ‘if the person intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another person,’ while first-degree murder involves specific kinds of victims. First-degree murder would pertain to someone who intentionally or knowingly causes the death of: more than one person in the same or separate incident; a law enforcement officer, judge or prosecutor involved in the prosecution; a witness in a criminal prosecution; a person by a hired killer, in which case the killer and the person who did the hiring would be charged; or a person while the defendant was imprisoned. Deedy is being charged with 2nd degree (Hawaii Revised Statutes, HRS 707-701.5) because Elderts was not a judge, a law enforcement officer, a witness in a case, etc., and because Elderts was the only victim. It has nothing to do with Deedy’s intent or foreknowledge of Elderts.
– Federal law allows law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons on duty or off, but one of the stipulations is that the officer absolutely may not carry when under the influence of alcohol or drugs, with one exception: if he is undercover and has to enter a bar and have a drink while investigating a suspect during an authorized investigation. Rather doubt such was the case here. I don’t think Deedy identified himself as law enforcement in the first place – if he had done so, wouldn’t they be charging him with negligent homicide rather than murder, and wouldn’t his attorney have brought it up vociferously as a defense against the charges?
– Deedy is charged with two offenses. The issue of whether Deedy was acting as law enforcement and/or whether or not he was drinking seems to be addressed by the second charge he is facing: Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Hawaii Revised Statutes, HRS 134-21. Surely they would not have charged him with this one if they thought he was acting properly in the role of law enforcement.
As far as we know, the other details of the case remain unchanged: Deedy is still employed at the Department of State, and his trial in Hawaii is still postponed until September for reasons unknown and unspoken.
The victim’s family is also suing Deedy, a civil suit in addition to the Hawaii State charge of murder. You can see the full text of their lawsuit online as well.
Also, at least one of his neighbors likes Deedy because he is nice to his dogs; see the interview here. The neighbor also oddly identifies Deedy’s alleged Arlington, Virginia address for some reason. I guess that info is helpful if you’re looking to avoid a nearby McDonald’s at 3am.
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