For those new to the story, in 2011 State Department Diplomatic Security Special Agent Christopher Deedy was briefly in Hawaii protecting then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Deedy, off duty, shot and killed a local man, Kollin Elderts. From there it gets complicated; allegations and denials of alcohol involvement, an inconclusive surveillance tape, the question of whether the shooting was in self-defense or not, it goes on, now heading into a fifth year of legal stuff. More background here.
Two Trials So Far, No Conviction
Since the shooting there have been two trials.
Deedy’s first murder trial in the summer of 2013 ended with the jurors deadlocked on a murder charge. Hawaii Judge Ahn found that there was no evidence to support manslaughter and so did not allow the jurors to consider that lesser charge. Ahn then reversed herself in the retrial last summer (2014), allowing the jurors to consider manslaughter as well as other lesser charges, including assault. The jurors returned a not guilty verdict on the murder charge but were deadlocked on manslaughter (manslaughter is “the crime of killing a human being without malice aforethought, or otherwise in circumstances not amounting to murder.”)
Third Trial to Come?
Deedy’s lawyers filed motions to block the third trial; the prosecutor in Hawaii wanted it to go through. Judge Ahn rejected the key defense motions and allowed the trial to proceed. Deedy’s attorney instead will present the same motions to dismiss, the ones Ahn has already rejected, to the Intermediate Court of Appeals.
If the Appeals Court also rejects the motions, a third trial could commence in the fall. If the court grants the motions, the Deedy criminal case is over and he is a free man.
I could not locate any information on the status of a civil suit by Kollin Elderts’ family.
Throughout the four+ years since the shooting, Deedy has been out on bail, still employed by the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Since a condition of his bail is that he cannot carry a firearm, he has been assigned to some sort of unspecified desk duty on full salary.
Last Words… For Now
The Deputy City Prosecutor Janice Futa argued in favor of a third trial. “Justice demands for Kollin Elderts and his family that we pursue this case,” she said.
Deedy’s lawyer said the state has had enough chances. “This is not about justice. This about trying to convict Agent Deedy of something.”
Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!
We pause to honor America’s veterans today, and recognize their sacrifices. At the same time, we wish to let those still on active duty, living in the mud, eating MREs away from their families and of course putting their lives at risk, what some have called “America’s Other Army,” the Department of State, has been up to home and abroad.
That said, we’ve tried to keep up with the near-continuous flow of sleaze at the State Department, but it a tough job. Luckily, the New York Post has also been keeping track, and presents us with some updates.
(This blog’s catalog of sleaze is here if you need to refresh your memory)
From the Post:
— Chuck Lisenbee, a former Beirut security officer who was being probed for allegedly sexually assaulting local guards, is now a special agent in Washington for the Office of Diplomatic Vehicles, Enforcement and Outreach, according to a State Department phone directory. Agents were only given three days to investigate the allegations against him, according to a memo seen by the Post.
An alert blog reader has submitted in the comments below: “More details on Lisenbee: he first got into trouble when he tried to make out with a fellow (male) ARSO in Baghdad. His depredations against local guards in Liberia were then discovered. Lisenbee started every lunch with prayer because “Jesus Christ, my lord and savior, is the most important thing in my life” (exact quote heard by this source on at least 50 occasions). ”
— Brett McGurk — a former senior adviser to the ambassador to Iraq — was appointed the deputy assistant secretary for Iraq and Iran in August, according to the State Department Web site. He was President Obama’s nominee for ambassador to Iraq but withdrew after his extramarital affair with a Wall Street Journal reporter was exposed. Apparently, investigators never interviewed McGurk because Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, intervened. (this blog has A LOT more on McGurk’s dalliances; and you’ll see a lot more of Under Furher Cheryl Mills in the Hillary Clinton administration)
— Former Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman was allowed to retire in July. A State Department investigator believed Gutman solicited “sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,” according to the Post. The IG’s Office is reviewing the charges and the Department’s procedures and plans to release a followup report. Howard Gutman and members of Clinton’s security detail were also accused of hired prostitutes.
— An alert blog reader has submitted in the comments below: “Remember old Linda Howard, profiled on this blog for holding her Ethiopian housekeeper as a slave. She lost a big lawsuit over that. The U.S. Attorney was unable to prosecute her and her husband, Russell, because Linda’s sex parties in Yemen were really popular and the “semi-pro” Ethiopian girls in attendance made a lot of money at them. As a result, they didn’t make terribly good witnesses. The Howard’s are currently hiding out in an undisclosed SouthEast Asian country (Russell used to be a diplomatic courier in the Australian Foreign Service).”
Meanwhile, a quick update also on America’s Favorite Diplomatic Security agent, Chris Deedy. Deedy shot and killed an unarmed man in Hawaii while there on official State Department business (albeit off duty when he pulled the trigger multiple times), guarding Hillary Clinton during APEC meetings. The judge declared a mistrial, released the jury and stated she was thinking about scheduling a retrial for May or June 2014. The killing took place in 2011. At last report, the victim remains dead. Much more here about this story; Deedy remains a full-time paid employee of the State Department.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser and HawaiiNewsNOW have filed a complaint in state Supreme Court to force the judge to release transcripts of the parts of the Deedy trial where she kicked everyone out of the courtroom, saying the judge violated the U.S. Constitution by holding closed-door court proceedings.
Deedy’s support group is also busy, asking readers to donate their frequent flyer miles and hotel points so Deedy can fly and stay in Hawaii for free. Jump on over to their site if you want to pony up.
And don’t miss more State sleaze later this week, with a blog post we’ll call “Sex, Lies and Rotten Meat at the American Consulate in Naples.”
Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!
Hawaiian newspapers reported today that the judge declared a mistrial Monday in the Second Degree murder trial of State Department special agent Chris Deedy. Jurors said they couldn’t unanimously decide whether Deedy is guilty of murder in the early-morning shooting of a customer at a McDonald’s restaurant in Waikiki.
Hawaii 1st Circuit Judge Karen Ahn set a hearing for Friday to determine a date for a new trial, after mentioning next spring as a potential date. The shooting took place almost two years ago.
The victim’s family also has a civil suit pending against Deedy in connection with the shooting.
During closing arguments, the prosecutor called Deedy a “bully with a badge,” telling jurors Elderts, of Kailua, was killed because Deedy interjected himself in a situation that wasn’t any of his business and refused to back down. Defense attorney Karl Blanke acknowledged that Deedy shot and killed Elderts but said it wasn’t murder. Deedy’s “intent was to protect life,” Blanke said in his closing argument. The defense painted Elderts as a hothead who had been drinking heavily and doing drugs. Elderts referred to Deedy as a haole — a Hawaiian term for a white person — in a derogatory way, the defense claimed.
Deedy’s family, including his parents and his wife, were present throughout the trial. They’re “trying to wrap their arms around the notion he’s still a free man,” one of Deedy’s lawyers said. “He’s still an agent of the United States State Department and has a job to do.”
Before the mistrial was declared Wednesday, Judge Ahn unexpectedly cleared the courtroom’s spectators for a few minutes without providing a reason. Attorneys on both sides declined to say what was discussed.
The jurors told the judge that they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict after twenty days of testimony and more than five full days of deliberations. A hung jury means the state will set a date to retry the federal agent on the murder charge.
“I think the defense will file a motion under State vs. Moriwake which the judge will have some say in whether there will be a new trial,” said criminal defense attorney Paul Cunney. “I think there will be some informal polling of the jury and find out how the jury stood numerically.”
“There’s always the possibility that it will be derailed, but we feel strongly that the right thing to do would be to have a new trial,” said Prosecutor Futa.
BONUS: We reported previously that within days after the Deedy shooting in 2011, the Department State without explanation classified its long-standing unclassified rules governing the armed conduct of Diplomatic Security agents.
An alert reader, and God bless the internet, found the rules in unclassified form still alive on line. Have a look at what now only select persons are allowed officially to see (p 40 at the link.)
Note in particular Section 2.6B(5) which prohibits consumption of alcohol within six hours of use of deadly force, though there is the escape clause noting that the booze must impair judgement or ability.
While we can never know if this unclassified version of DS firearms policy differs or not from the freshly-classified version, as a Concerned Citizen and a Good German, I encourage Diplomatic Security to immediately shut down Google as a threat to national security. Since the document is actually part of the Congressional Record, I suggest they also immediately shut down Congress as a threat to national security. Since the document was provided to Congress by the State Department, I suggest they also immediately shut down State as a threat to national security.
Instead, they’ll probably just arrest me for providing the link.
Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!
A reader called our attention to the fact that the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security removed its long-unclassified version of its firearms policy from the web and classified it very soon (11/29/2011) after one of its Special Agents, Chris Deedy, shot a man while off duty in Hawaii (11/5/2011). That trial has entered jury deliberations and a verdict is expected soon.
There is no paper trail to explain why State made the change, and thus of course no way to demonstrate it is directly related to Deedy. A coincidence, yes?
State’s firearms policy lived online in the Foreign Affairs Manual, a huge set of rules and regs that govern the work of State. Specifically, the section in question is called 12 FAM 023 FIREARMS POLICY AND REVIEW BOARD (FPRB). That section as available to the public, now reads, in its entirety:
a. The Diplomatic Security Firearms Policy and Review Board is an ad hoc advisory board to the Director of the Diplomatic Security Service (DS/DSS). See 1 FAM for further information.
b. For the FPRB-revised U.S. Department of State Deadly Force and Firearms Policy, approved by U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. on November 29, 2011, and promulgated herein, see 12 FAM Exhibit 023. Additional procedures previously contained in 12 FAM Exhibit 023 have been relocated to 12 FAH-9, available on ClassNet.
Changes to the Foreign Affairs Manual usually are accompanied by a transmittal notice. Here’s that that says:
This issuance updates the Department of State’s Deadly Force and Firearms Policy, found in Exhibit 023. Much of the material previously found in this exhibit has been moved to 12 FAH-9, as follows: (My Note: the two sections listed are the FROM and TO portions)
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.6 12 FAH-9 H-020 Standards of (Standards of Conduct for Armed Conduct DSS Special Agents)
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.5 12 FAH-9 H-030 Prescription (Prescription Medication) Medication
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.10 12 FAH-9 H-040 Firearms Officers (Firearms Officers)
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.15 12 FAH-9 H-050 Disciplinary Action (Disciplinary and Other Action)
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.4 12 FAH-9 H-110 Qualification (Qualification)
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.11 12 FAH-9 H-211 Carrying Firearms (Carrying Firearms on Aircraft) on Aircraft
12 FAM Exhibit 023 section 2.12 12 FAH-9 H-212 Other
COMMENT: The move of these regulations from unclassified to classified was made formal on November 29, 2011. Deedy shot the guy on November 5, 2011. One wonders exactly when Diplomatic Security started the change-over, and why.
What this all means is that the State Department’s rules for how its armed Diplomatic Security agents act in public are classified. A jury can’t see them. A defense lawyer can’t see them. You can’t see them.
What’s up State? Why did your Standards of Conduct and regs about Prescription Meds need to become classified? Why can’t the public you interact with know whether your agents can carry while affected by their meds?
The usual web tools (Wayback, etc.) do not pull up the old version of the FAM. Anyone who happens to have an older unclassified version of 12 FAM hanging around may wish to share…
Diplomatic Security Special Agent Chris Deedy, accused of second degree murder in the shooting death of a Hawaiian man, took the stand to testify. I was unable to locate a transcript of the testimony. However, the Associated Press’ report on the trial quoted Deedy. Text from that article appears below.
As a public service, I have tried to match up Deedy’s version of events with the video of the events. The video is linked at the end of this post if you want to watch along. Most of the times mentioned below refer to the video running time so you can compare and decide for yourself. The actual time passed on-the-ground is noted when it was possible to learn it. As always, it is up to the jury to decide, and everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Tale of the Tape
Deedy said he intervened because Elderts was bothering a customer.
At 1:58 on the video a person wearing a jacket labeled “Security” is seen standing. That same person is present behind Deedy later in the video. The person does not appear to be actively involved in the incident.
The person allegedly being bothered enters at around 3:48 on the video. Already at the counter, Elderts, whom Deedy shot, appears to be speaking to the person. Both have their backs to Deedy in a noisy restaurant. They are a step apart and do not appear to physically interact. Deedy is seated talking with friends. The counter workers do not appear to stop service, though one briefly extends her arm toward Elderts. This is the situation Deedy states he interceded in.
Deedy stands up at 4:39. His female friend stands up and approaches Deedy at around 5:30. Deedy does not appear to speak/engage with anyone until 6:29, after Elderts and the other person have left the counter and taken seats. Deedy has his hands in his pockets and does not appear to have flashed his law enforcement credentials on first encounter.
It is around 8:57 Deedy first appears to show something in his wallet to the seated Elderts. Deedy’s friend Adam Gutowski, who has not been claimed to be a law enforcement official, is also on his feet in front of Elderts. It is unknown if Elderts as a local Hawaiian was familiar with the role of State Department Diplomatic Security as a law enforcement agency with the authority to use deadly force.
Deedy originally claimed as his defense he was acting in his capacity as a federal law enforcement official, but dropped that defense in favor of self defense.
At 10:17 Deedy’s female friend and another person appear to back him away from the seated Elderts. A small crowd has gathered. No one appears to be interceding with Elderts. Elderts stands around 10:24. At 10:33 Deedy reaches behind his back and touches what may be his service weapon.
Elderts and his friend Shane Medeiros attacked his friend, Adam Gutowski, the agent testified. “The dark blood on his face, the kicks connecting to his head,” Deedy said. “I needed to stop this assault.”
This alleged assault of Gutowski does not appear to have been captured on the video from either of the two security cameras. Deedy has been knocked onto the floor at 12:28. He is on his back looking upward.
Deedy said he rose to his feet after being knocked to the floor and stood to face Elderts with his empty hands in front of him. “I was issuing a warning, a command: ‘Stop, I’ll shoot,’” Deedy said. “As I drew my weapon and put my hand forward, I said ‘freeze.’”
This appears to be at 12:32. At 14:23 the final series of events between Deedy and Elderts that ended in the shooting takes place. 14:35 shows a seated patron covering his ears. Deedy and Elderts are still standing.
The unidentified people talking over the video discuss the on-the-ground timing between the start of the events and the person covering his ears. They say four tenths of a second passed. It appears the implication is that the ear covering signifies the first of the three shots Deedy fired. This suggests Deedy’s verbal commands, warning and first shot may have taken place in a very short period of time.
Deedy used footage from a bystander’s cellphone camera to show that he used his knife to help cut Eldert’s shirt and rendered aid.
What happened after the shots on the floor cannot be seen on the publicly available video. However, Deedy is seen on his feet and across the restaurant at 16:49 on the video. The commentators say the on-the-ground time at this point is 2:43:11.
This would suggest approximately one minute passed between the first shot, whatever happened on the ground out of sight, and Deedy stepping away.
At 17:53 on the video Deedy appears to pick one or two things off the floor and may put them in his pants pocket. This seems to take place before any aid was rendered to Elderts. A person in law enforcement who viewed this video suggested that Deedy may be recovering his spent cartridges, the brass part expelled from a weapon when fired. Recovered brass, if available to the police, can potentially be used a evidence from a crime scene.
Deedy returns to the prone Elderts. This may be the time when Deedy stated he rendered first aid. Deedy testified that “he used his knife to help cut Eldert’s shirt and rendered aid. He’s heard on the video — amid Hawaiian music playing in the restaurant — imploring Elderts to breathe.”
More from Deedy’s Testimony
Deedy said he was shocked to hear he was being arrested for murder after fighting for his life.
In his testimony shown on video, Deedy stated he first learned he was arrested for murder when he overheard a police officer mention it on a cell phone (or the radio, Deedy said he was unsure which device was used) while in the police car. A person in law enforcement who viewed this video told me that police typically state one’s reason for arrest at the time of arrest, though at times charges can be added later. It is unknown how much time passed between Deedy being arrested inside the restaurant and his overhearing the reason for his arrest inside the car.
Deedy spent most of his testimony during the first two days speaking about moments displayed on frames of security camera footage. At one point Wednesday afternoon, he gave a hint of fatigue, saying he’d been watching the video for hours but didn’t recall the events in frame grabs.
A prosecutor began cross-examining Deedy in the afternoon. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Janice Futa asked him why he told a nurse at the hospital that he hadn’t been drinking.
“I don’t recall any of the questions she asked me,” Deedy said. “I just said no to everything.”
Deedy said in court however he only had about four beers or less over 5 ½ hours that night.
Comment: I was unable to learn from State’s Diplomatic Security what its regulations are for its agents carrying their service weapon while drinking, or to intervene in things after drinking. Deedy refused to take a sobriety test at the scene and the Hawaiian police did not seek to compel him to do so.
Hawaii self-defense law contains a provision that outside one’s home one is required to retreat and avoid a confrontation unless in fear of one’s life. At what point the requirement to retreat kicks in and out will likely be a point of law argued in Deedy’s case.
One source describes the Hawaiian law as:
You can use deadly force when you believe it is the only viable means necessary to prevent a threat of death, serious bodily harm, kidnapping, rape or forcible sodomy. You have no duty to retreat if these actions take place in your dwelling or place of work. If the threat occurs in a place other than your home or place of work you have a duty to retreat if you are able to do so in “complete safety.”
The question Hawaiian law seems to demand an answer to is this: Did a Man have to die?
If you’re not up-to-date on the Hawaiian murder trial of accused State Department Diplomatic Security Agent Chris Deedy, here is the 411.
New video of the shooting is now online. Watch the whole thing, but things do get interesting around 4:30 in. Let’s have a look:
Here’s the link if you can’t see the embedded video above.
— I do not know who is speaking on the video. Maybe a cop and the judge?
— This video, in comparison to previous releases, shows the interaction preceding the shooting more clearly.
— “Diamond Head side” and “Ewa Side” are Hawaiian terms roughly denoting East and West.
— At around 4:30 as Deedy gets up he appears to either scratch his back or touch his weapon.
— At around 16:00 Deedy may leave the scene; some witnesses and one of the 911 calls support this.
— It appears several people several times try to back Deedy off, which he appears to resist.
— Look for the guy in the lower right corner of the screen to cover his ears; this may be the moment of the shots.
–Anybody know who Jessica West in the video is? She does not appear to be Deedy’s spouse based on other photos.
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty like they on TV so we wait now for the Hawaiian court to issue a verdict.
Two years ago State Department Diplomatic Security Special Agent Christopher Deedy was briefly in Hawaii protecting Hillary Clinton. Deedy, off duty, shot and killed a local man. Two years later the case has finally come to trial, with new revelations made public, including an airing of the surveillance camera video of the shooting. For more background on the case, see here. Now, let’s dive in and have a look ourselves.
Deedy is on trial for Murder in the Second Degree and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Separate Felony, punishable by a term of life in prison. After various abandoned defense pleadings, including that Deedy acted in his legal capacity as a federal law enforcement official, Deedy’s current defense strategy is to claim he acted in self defense. That argument will require Deedy’s lawyer to convince a local jury that as a trained law enforcement officer from the State Department temporarily in Hawaii for wholly unrelated reasons, after a night on the town with friends, Deedy was required to fire multiple shots at near point-blank range into an unarmed inebriated local man inside a crowded McDonalds at 2:30 am because he was in fear of serious bodily injury or death.
Now, let’s look at the video of the whole incident. I cannot embed the video here, so promise that after you hit the link and watch it, you’ll come back! FYI, the linked page has two video clips. I recommend you watch the second clip first, a summary, and then look at the whole unedited piece at the top of the page. There is no sound. OK, here’s the link. I’ll be waiting here.
Thanks for coming back. Here are some observations.
— A lot more people than we previously knew were directly involved in the incident. It should be easy to establish what was said, and, with the video, what happened. One newspaper suggested over 100 witnesses will be called.
— The people involved, both those with Deedy and those with the victim, appear to be trying to break up the scuffle. Deedy will need to explain why he continued to fight with the victim instead of allowing his friends to back him away early on.
— One of Deedy’s friends, the woman with the long black hair, appears to actively try and break up the scuffle. Speculation: if either of the people with Deedy were fellow security personnel, and neither felt the need to draw his/her weapon, that will raise questions about Deedy’s own action.
— Deedy appears to reach for his weapon fairly early on, but does appear to draw it until later.
— Deedy’s reason for getting involved in the first place, that the shooting victim allegedly “bullied” another man, seems to have been entirely verbal in nature. The bullied man does not appear to be reacting to whatever was being said to him. There was no physical contact shown. Deedy will be asked to show why as a law enforcement official he was compelled to get involved. Deedy’s own lawyer stated “These [slurs] are now fighting words. This is a threat of violence. This is what Deedy is trained to perhaps respond to, although he wasn’t here to respond to the laws of harassment or bullying. He’s a federal agent and his job is to serve the community.”
— On Deedy’s supporters’ page, the acts are described as “Chris saw two men harassing a patron of a Honolulu McDonald’s. Chris responded and tried to diffuse the situation. He identified himself to the men as a federal agent and he and his friend were subsequently attacked by the men… Chris observed these men injure his friend, and felt he himself was going to be more seriously injured or killed, so he drew his firearm.” It is unclear from the video at what point if any Deedy’s friend was injured.
— Deedy appears to throw the first blow, a kick at the victim. Prosecutors have claimed that Deedy instigated the incident.
— Deedy’s mug shot is shown above. One of the Honolulu police officers involved stated to the court that “there was a ‘strong odor’ of alcohol on the federal agent and that his eyes were ‘red and glassy’ and that Deedy’s footing was ‘uneasy’ as they walked to the police cruiser. That same cop oddly went on to repeat these statements on his personal Facebook page. Deedy’s lawyer’s attempt to block the testimony based on bias was denied by the judge after she determined none of the jurors had seen the Facebook page. Deedy refused a sobriety test on the night of his arrest and the Honolulu police inexplicably did not compel him to take it. Another officer who testified during the case admitted to losing a camera that he used to take photos of the crime scene.
For those just joining us, recap here. For those too multi-tasked to click on the link, the real short now version is that in November 2011 while in Hawaii protecting then-SecState Hillary Clinton from the APEC conference, Deedy shot and killed an unarmed man in a Waikiki McDonalds. Deedy was arrested by the Honolulu Police Department and charged with Murder in the Second Degree and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Separate Felony, punishable by a term of life in prison. Despite the whole thing being on both a surveillance videotape and on someone’s iPhone video, along with multiple eye witnesses, the case has not yet come to full trial. Deedy maintained that he acted legally in his capacity as a law enforcement official.
On March 11 Deedy changed his story, with his lawyer withdrawing the request to dismiss the case on the basis that he was acting as a federal agent at the time of the incident. The new rationale for the killing is self-defense. Withdrawing the motion relieves Deedy of having to testify during a pretrial hearing. It also cancels his desire to have the case transferred to federal court. The change also, finally, clears the way for the actual trial to begin on/about April 2 in Honolulu unless some new delay is introduced.
There has been no clear explanation/reason as to why the case has taken so long to (almost) reach trial. Deedy has been out on bail since the shooting, working a desk job at the State Department on full salary.
According to the local Honolulu newspaper, in pretrial documents, city prosecutors say Deedy appeared “intoxicated” after a night of drinking and bar hopping and became the aggressor who started an altercation. According to prosecutors, Deedy kicked the deceased Elderts and repeatedly told him he was going to shoot him “in the face.”
The defense’s position outlined in court documents contends it was Elderts who was the aggressor. Hart’s filings said an intoxicated Elderts called Deedy a “fucking haole” and challenged him to a fight. Hart said Deedy identified himself as a law enforcement officer, but Elderts attacked Deedy, who felt compelled to fire in self-defense.
Deedy’s self-defense argument will need to convince a local jury that as a trained law enforcement officer from the State Department temporarily in Hawaii for wholly unrelated reasons, after a night on the town with friends, he was required to fire multiple shots at near point-blank range into an unarmed inebriated local man inside a crowded McDonalds at 2:30 am.
Well, to be honest, it was just one email, but it says much about the quality of law-abiding American who thinks it is perfectly righteous to gun down some smart-mouthed punk in a McDonald’s. Out of pity more than anything else, I’ll omit the sender’s email address, though quite appropriately it was sent from an AOL.com account and no doubt typed on an aging Windows 95 system. Here’s the email in its entirety:
Gee you are certainly an objective source of information.
It appears that you are so full of fecal material that it is flowing out of your auditory canals.
Translation: You are so full of Sh*t that it’s coming out of your ears.
You obviously have some sort of axe to grind.
This is poetry. Note the attempt at sarcasm to lead off– “Gee you are certainly an objective source of information” which is hilarious because see, it isn’t really true.
Then the body, using repetition signaled by the clever transitional device of employing the word Translation. Symbolically, this could stand in for the gap between the rough-and-tumble world of law enforcement, where gun fights in fast food restaurants are necessary, and the soft-handed world of the blogger, where the only violence visited is the occasional incorrect punctuation,
And finally, as a jarring conclusion, the zinger of a cliche dropping some knowledge on you. See, it all meant something.
Thank you, dear reader, for this holiday season gift. And hey officer, time to back away from the word processor. Those donuts aren’t going to eat themselves you know!
A State Department special agent charged with murder in the shooting of a man at a fast-food restaurant in Waikiki last year spent the night bar-hopping and drinking before going to the restaurant, prosecutors said.
Suspect Christopher Deedy appeared intoxicated before firing three shots from his handgun — the first narrowly missed a customer, another lodged in a restaurant wall, and the third fatally wounded 23-year-old Kollin Elderts, prosecutors said in court papers.
Deedy was not heard identifying himself as a law enforcement officer, but told Elderts he had a gun and would shoot him in the face, prosecutors said in the most detailed account of the shooting released thus far.
Deedy had been “slurring his words as he argued with Elderts… While defendant was bar-hopping he was in possession of his 9 mm Glock, conduct that the Department of State’s rules clearly prohibit,” the prosecutor said.
(New to the islands and don’t know about what Deedy done? Background here)
I’ve been to that actual Waikiki McDonald’s (albeit sober and unarmed), and it is not a large place. Small, in fact, as fast food places go. Given that Deedy and the deceased were close enough that Deedy could kick him, it is very curious that a “Special” Agent could ripple off three shots and only get one hit. That is some pretty lousy shooting, at near point blank range. One is left to wonder if indeed Deedy was just a bad shot (not a bad assumption given that he was trained by the State Department), or perhaps something (too many Shamrock shakes?) might have impaired his aim.
Well, the whole damn thing is on a surveillance video tape we can’t see, so this is mindless speculation. If Deedy ever goes to trial (I think the case is scheduled now for April 2013, following the Mayan apocalypse) perhaps we the public will see what the refs think of the taped replay.
(“Special” thanks to the always-prescient Random Thoughts blog for the update on Deedy!)
Everyone’s favorite State Department guy Chris Deedy still has no trial date set for his shooting and killing of a Hawaiian man last November while in the islands as part of Hillary Clinton’s guest appearance at the APEC Summit. Recap here; Deedy shot a guy, guy is dead.The whole thing was videotaped by a McDonald’s surveillance camera.)
The latest turn of events is that Deedy lost a motion to dismiss the case against him and his lawyer lost another bid to publicly file a videotape of the killing. The motion maintained that Deedy acted in his legitimate law enforcement capacity in shooting the local man, what cops love to call a “righteous shoot.” Court said NO. Deedy’s lawyer wanted the McD’s video released publicly. Court said NO.
What the court inexplicably did not say is when Deedy will go to trial. The killing took place November 5, 2011, and a grand jury indicted Deedy November 16, 2011. The best the court would say is that the trial would commence next year. At this rate none of us may live long enough to see a verdict.
Listen to the 911 Calls
Interesting listening here, the 911 calls from the killing scene. Of particular interest are two separate callers stating Deedy ran away from the scene of what he claimed, unsuccessfully, was a legitimate law enforcement action. Is that what cops do, run away? Other reports, however, say Deedy remained at the McDonalds.
If you’d care to read some macho cop talk (“Sounds like a righteous shoot to me!”) about blasting away in a crowded McDonalds at an unarmed man, there’s plenty to be had at Police Mag.
Here are some samples to give you an idea of the level of discourse:
Marshal @ 8/29/2012 7:24 AM
I think that the media and the prosecutor spokesman should be charged with false reporting and sued for slander. When are we going to take a stand on the bullsh*t that we allow the media to do to people when they know it is wrong or they just don’t care and they don’t research their information and they just want to be the first to report. Freedom of the press doesn’t give them the right to slander someone or give faulty reports.
ib_da_one @ 10/6/2012 4:29 AM
Sounds like a clean shoot to me but you have to understand this is Hawaii. Very limited gene pool amoungst potential jurors. I mean you should have seen the memorial they laid out in front o Mcdonald’s for the perp. Absolutely disgusting!
Deedy remains free on bail, living in Virginia and still fully employed and paid by the U.S. Department of State.
Everyone’s favorite State Department special agent Chris Deedy still has no trial date set for his shooting and killing of a Hawaiian man last November while in the islands as part of Hillary Clinton’s guest appearance at the APEC Summit.
(Recap here; Deedy shot a guy, guy is dead. Question is whether the killing was part of Deedy’s law enforcement duty or some version of murder. The whole thing was videotaped by a McDonald’s surveillence camera. The video has not been made public.)
The Honolulu Star Advertiser (slogan: “Steadfastly Not Really Online”) print edition tells us that the most recent legal move took place August 8, when a Hawaiian court denied Deedy’s request to shift the trial to Federal court and outside of state jurisdiction. Next up is a hearing now set for October 22 where Deedy’s lawyer will seek a motion to dismiss, claiming that Deedy acted in his legitimate law enforcement capacity and in self-defense.
No date has been set to begin the actual trial. Dead guy is still dead.
Questions. Jump in, crowdsourcers:
— WTF? A guy is dead, we know who done him. There are multiple witnesses. The whole thing is on video. Why is no trial date set ten months after the fact? How the hell much more evidence do you need to bring this to a decision?
— Given the WTF angle, why why why is this case being delayed? As best we know, Deedy is alive and well, back in Virginia, still on the payroll with the State Department but on some form of not-so-special agent duty. It seems in the public interest to resolve his status. If he is innocent, then let’s pay him with our taxpayer bucks to get back to his real work. If he is guilty, let’s take him off the street.
I know all about “island time, brah,'” the Hawaiian version of manana, later, we’ll get to it, but this all seems beyond that. I am in too good a mood today to bark “conspiracy theory,” but anybody got anything else?
(Thanks to We Meant Well Hawaiian operative “5-0” for the local paper scans)
A few new details on the good times in Hawaii of State Department super “Special” Agent Deedy. Deedy is charged with second degree murder in Honolulu in connection with gunning down a local man. Deedy was in Hawaii as part of a State Department entourage guarding the 2012 APEC meeting. More here if you’re not up to speed on the case.
According to court documents filed by Deedy’s own defense attorney, Brooke Hart:
Deedy intervened when he sensed an altercation escalating between the shooting victim, Kollin Elderts, and a customer, Michel Perrine.
“While at the cashier counter, Elderts began to verbally harass Perrine using racial slurs,” the filing states. “Perrine asked Elderts to leave him alone, not to single him out, and stated words to the effect that he was a `local.'”
Hart’s characterization of the incident says Deedy was trying to prevent a physical attack. Elderts called the agent a “haole,” the Hawaiian term for white, in a derogatory way, he said.
“Elderts threatened Special Agent Deedy by saying, `Eh, haole, you like beef?’ or words to that effect,” Hart says in the court papers.
At one point, Elderts tried to grab Deedy’s gun, according to Hart, and the two men got physical. Deedy drew his gun and told Elderts to freeze, but he continued to advance.
“Special Agent Deedy was compelled to discharge his gun, resulting in the death of Elderts,” the court papers claim.
Somewhat oddly, Deedy’s attorney has also previously claimed the agent was acting in self-defense and/or in his lawful capacity as a law enforcement officer.
Oddly oddly, a federal judge in Virginia ruled that Deedy’s legal expenses in a wrongful death lawsuit pending against him are covered by a renter’s insurance policy issued to Deedy and his wife in Arlington, Virginia in late 2010 by Allstate. A trial in this civil case will likely not begin until after completion of the criminal case.
Deedy’s defense attorney is also trying to move the case to federal court, preferably outside of Hawaii. To keep things interesting, Honolulu Circuit Judge Karen Ahn denied a renewed push by several media outlets to make public surveillance video and other documents referenced by prosecutors and Deedy’s lawyer. The case will drag on, with the next trial action not scheduled until September 10, unless the case goes to federal court or is otherwise delayed.
Which it likely will be.
A story this blog follows closely is the case of very special State Department Diplomatic Security Agent Deedy (pictured in his mug shot), who appears to have shot and killed a man in Hawaii while Deedy was there protecting someone or something else during the last APEC meeting. You can get the backstory here.
Rather than retype it all, I will redirect you to a much better blog that follows Deedy’s case very closely. That blog is here.
If you have the attention span of Justin Beiber and just want the shortest version, it is: On June 15 Honolulu judge Karen Ahn has removed from her calendar a hearing on a motion by the attorney for Christopher Deedy to dismiss the murder charge. This means despite the attempts of Deedy’s lawyer to have the charge thrown out, Deedy is still scheduled to stand trial in Ahn’s court on September 10 on charges of second-degree murder and use of a firearm.
There’s a lot more fluff surrounding the case, so better read the full story.
(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 there for the APEC Conference, see some previous postings.)
The latest news out of Hawaii about accused murderer Deedy is that the State Department said it was OK for him to gun down an unarmed man. Sort of.
After initially claiming he shot the guy in the chest in self-defense at 3am in a Waikiki McDonald’s, Deedy now claims he is immune from prosecution because he was a law enforcement officer on duty at the time just doin’ his job. The State Department had sent the shooter to Hawaii as part of Hillary Clinton’s entourage for the APEC conference no one cares about anymore (Obama isn’t even going this year’s ’cause it’s in bad Russia).
It is very, very unclear that being in the McDonald’s at 3am had anything to do with Deedy’s assignment in Hawaii, but I’m sure it is OK.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser also noted that Deedy submitted a report from the doctor who treated him at the Queen’s Medical Center after his arrest. The report from Dr. Kyle Perry says Deedy suffered scrapes and a broken nose from an assault. Deedy’s mug shot is shown above, but I leave it to you readers to detect the scrapes and broken nose. Maybe a little shaving nick under the nose? Maybe the picture was taken from a bad angle? At the time of his arrest Honolulu police officers noted that Deedy had red, glassy eyes and slurred speech, perhaps also not noticeable in the photo? Deedy declined to blow for the cops at the scene and as a cop-to-cop courtesy apparently the HPD never pushed it.
Want more? How about the opinion of an ex-Diplomatic Security Agent on this case, whose “observations raise far more questions than they address?” Surf on over to Teri Schooley’s blog, where she is following the Deedy case very closely.
According to Teri, the Judge in Hawaii will rule on the motions to dismiss charges or to delay the trial in July. If she agrees to delay the trial, it will mean that the victim’s family will have waited almost a year and a half to get justice in this case. In the meantime, Deedy will be receiving his full salary as a State Department employee on “admin leave.” And he has had the benefits of being allowed to post bail and leave the jurisdiction after being charged with murder, and has been able to have the trial delayed for months already. The State Department, of course, refuses to discuss the case.
(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.
With his trial now being postponed until at least September 10, 2012 (some ten months after the November 2011 shooting), State Department Diplomatic Security “Special” Agent Chris Deedy has had the conditions of his bail modified to allow him to leave Hawaii, return to Virginia and continue work at the State Department. The man he allegedly shot is still allegedly dead.
According to local news in Hawaii, Deedy will not return to his normal work as a Special Agent, but will continue working for the Department at a “desk job.” He is not permitted to carry a weapon and must also stay within a 100 mile radius of his Northern Virginia home.
Deedy’s lawyer states that he acted in self defense of himself and others when he allegedly shot and killed unarmed local Hawaiian guy Kollin Edlerts at a Waikiki McDonald’s. A separate civil suit is being filed against Deedy by Elderts’ family.
In its print-only edition, the Honolulu Star Advertiser quoted Deedy’s attorney as saying his client has the “complete support of the State Department.” He also explained that his client’s bond was posted by the equity in his parents’ $455,000 home, and that Deedy has educational loans totaling $85,000, which were cosigned by his sister and aunt, who would be left with the debt if Deedy fled. The lawyer, in arguing for the change in bail conditions, said Deedy cannot afford to pay the $1400 monthly rent for his Virginia home and his current $900 a month rent for a one-bedroom unit in a hotel-condominium building in Honolulu. Deedy’s most significant asset, the lawyer said of his client, is a 2001 auto worth about $1800. Deedy has has worked about 2.5 years at State.
So, let’s ask some questions:
1) There exists a security camera video of the shooting, which presumably would make it pretty clear what happened in McDonald’s that night. Honolulu cops used the tape to charge Deedy with Second Degree Murder. Why is a trial not underway now, already some two months after the shooting, and why won’t a trial commence until September, almost ten months after the shooting? Is this the normal pace of things in laid-back Hawaii? Or time for the civil suit to play out, ending with an NDA and charges dropped in return for $$$?
2) Apparently you can be charged with Second Degree Murder and still work at a desk for State’s Diplomatic Security as long as you don’t peak at Wikileaks. That’d be a real killer.
3) Apparently you can be charged with Second Degree Murder and still enjoy the “complete support of the State Department.” That support includes Diplomatic Security “do[ing] what we can to ensure Agent Deedy’s well-being, and have already provided assistance to his family” and sending out a helpful memo to all staff ahead of any discovery requests, cheerfully reminding them that “all written communications, on either government or private accounts, may be subject to discovery in legal proceedings relating to this incident.”
4) Apparently you can work 2.5 years for State’s Diplomatic Security, be $85k in debt, not be able to make your own bail on a murder rap and count an 11 year old car worth $1800 bucks as your most significant asset and still hold a security clearance and carry a gun on behalf of State. No questions asked? Maybe like about judgement and suitability?
5) And how’s the lawyer getting paid? Air travel from Hawaii? Per diem? How much State Department money is involved here?
Following the gunning down of a man in Hawaii by an off-duty State Department Diplomatic Security (DS) special agent bully-boy, the director of Diplomatic Security, Scott P. Bultrowicz, sent this message to his entire DS staff, several of whom immediately leaked it (thanks, please stop sending additional copies, and emphasis added):
I regret that my initial message to the organization is about the tragic incident involving Special Agent Christopher Deedy early Saturday morning in Honolulu. Many of you know that Agent Deedy was involved in an altercation that ended in the fatal shooting of a 23-year-old local man. The story has been widely reported.
I am not at liberty to discuss the investigation. However, I want to let everyone know that DS has been in communication with the Honolulu authorities from the time we were first notified about the shooting. We will do what we can to ensure Agent Deedy’s well-being, and have already provided assistance to his family. We also are mindful of the terrible loss suffered by the deceased’s family and friends.
I remind everyone that there is an ongoing investigation of this matter by the Honolulu Police Department. Discussion about what happened in Honolulu, Agent Deedy’s state of mind, and/or whether his actions were justified should be limited to the agents investigating the matter.
Also, please keep in mind that communications over the internet that are publicly available (such as blogs, tweets, and bulletin boards) and are on matters of official concern (which this case is) must be reviewed by the Department. Additionally, all written communications, on either government or private accounts, may be subject to discovery in legal proceedings relating to this incident.
I look forward to communicating with you on other matters throughout my tenure. Please do not reply to this message.
When in doubt, begin the cover up immediately. Remind everyone everything they write is gonna end up in court.
Still no word about whether Agent Deedy’s security clearance has been suspended or not.