Defendant Christopher Deedy was not in Friday’s hearing to schedule his retrial date, but his new lead counsel was.
Attorney Thomas Otake has been brought on board and asked Circuit Court Judge Karen Ahn for an August 2014 retrial date.
“I need time to prepare, witnesses need time to plan accordingly, and most importantly, we need time to let the jury pool throughout Honolulu let their memories fade,” Otake said.
Deedy is accused of killing 23-year-old Kollin Elderts two years ago.
Last month, Judge Ahn declared a mistrial.
“I would submit that the old adage, justice delayed, is justice denied,” Deputy Prosecutor Janice Futa said.
Judge Ahn decided to return next summer with jury selection beginning June 16.
Even though the prosecution wanted to return to court as soon as possible, defense attorney and former prosecutor Victor Bakke believes a June retrial date will actually help the prosecution.
“It’s going to allow this hostility or reaction, this backlash that was launched towards the government in this case, that they had somehow mishandled this case. I think it’ll give them time to die down,” Bakke said.
Bakke says, the defense will likely file a motion to dismiss the case.
Whatever is decided, Brook Hart, who was the lead counsel in Deedy’s previous trial, will take a back seat this time around and serve as a consultant.
Legal experts say it’s a common move.
“We’ll do whatever Mr. Otake wants us to do and whatever Mr. Deedy wants us to do,” Hart said.
If this case returns to court as scheduled, attorneys will have a large jury pool to choose from — 750 potential jury members.
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