It was a case that gripped the state, and it’s not over yet.
On Monday, Oahu Circuit Court Judge Karen Ahn declared a mistrial in the Christopher Deedy murder case after jurors told her they could not agree on a verdict, even if they had more time to deliberate.
Federal Agent Deedy is accused of second-degree murder for shooting Kailua resident Kollin Elderts in a Waikiki McDonald’s two years ago.
Deedy was in Hawaii to provide security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference at the time.
KHON2 News spoke with a juror on Monday night, on the condition that the juror remains anonymous.
“What was it like being in that room for the deliberations for the past five plus days?” KHON2 asked.
“At first it was pretty interesting. Everybody had an idea of where we were at. As time went, then strong opinions came into play,” the juror responded. “There was a core on both sides that were kind of stuck on their decisions. So there were maybe two or three votes that would go back and forth.”
“And when did you folks decide — you know what, we can’t come to a unanimous decision?” KHON2 asked.
“When it seemed like we were just going in circles and we couldn’t sway anybody in either direction,” the juror responded.
After taking three or four votes throughout the deliberation, the juror says in the end, the decision was almost split in half.
“I’m not going to say any numbers, but it had a good deal of guilty and quite a few not guilty, so it was kind of in the middle,” the juror said.
The jurors sat through 20 days of testimony.
“The thing that made me go ‘wow’ was with today’s technology, the types of surveillance cameras McDonald’s had was just very poor,” the juror said.
“Was there any particular sticking point with any of the jurors?” KHON2 asked.
“A sticking point would be as far as use of force or use of deadly force,” the juror responded. “Some of us seen it as not enough evidence for him to use of force, use of deadly force. And on the other side, some of us just couldn’t come to the fact that the prosecution didn’t present a harder case or a stronger case to prove that.”
“And the other part we got stuck at was as far as ‘under the influence’ because 12 people with 12 different minds, everybody looks at ‘under the influence’ in different ways, ” the juror said. “So that played a role as far as if he was ‘under the influence’ as a responsible person, or was he an absolute drunk.”
“We all knew who threw the first kick, but leading up to it was a big factor if he should have. Why did he? That’s all the things that came through our minds. Could he have walked away?” the juror added.
The lesser charge of manslaughter was not an option.
“And did you folks ever talk about manslaughter being option, how you folks would’ve voted?” KHON2 asked.
“Not really,” the juror responded. “We’re not supposed to look at it.”
“What was it like for you being part of this?” KHON2 asked.
“It was strenuous. It actually took a lot of time our of our lives and work so it was challenging,” the juror responded.
The trial started on July 8 and the jurors were released seven weeks later to the day, and can now get back to their normal lives.
“We tried. As our duty we tried our best to put everything in front. We didn’t leave anything behind. So I think we did as best as what the law gave us. And what the prosecution put in front of us, it was a tough decision,” the juror said.
The jury consisted of 12 people — eight men and four women. They ranged in age from early 30s to 60s and they got paid $30 a day plus gas money.
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- Prosecutors: Deedy could have walked away from the confrontation
- Special agent Deedy explains why he drew his gun
- Special agent accused of murder takes the stand
- Nurse: Special agent did not appear drunk the morning of deadly shooting
- Friend told special agent ‘Let’s just go’ moments before the deadly shooting
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- Friend of victim cross-examined, explains why he didn’t leave
- Deedy’s friend back on the stand, claims he was severely beaten before the shooting
- Deedy’s friend chronicles night of deadly shooting
- Bullet expert takes the stand in Deedy murder trial
- Evidence specialist: Deedy smelled of alcohol hours after deadly shooting
- Former Marine describes threat made before deadly shooting
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- Prosecutors show surveillance video in Deedy murder trial
- Deedy trial day 2: Victim’s friend gives emotional testimony
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