The jury reached a unanimous verdict of not guilty for second-degree murder in Christopher Deedy’s murder re-trial Thursday.
The jury was hung on all other offenses including reckless manslaughter and assault. The judge said it is possible that the federal agent could be retried on these charges. A status conference is set for August 29 to discuss a third trial.
Related Story: Legal experts say a third trial unlikely for Deedy
Earlier Thursday morning, the jury foreperson said the jury was unable to reach a verdict and possibly more time was needed. Of the 12 jurors, eight said more time may help them decide, while four said it would not.
Judge Karen Ahn sent them back to continue deliberations and they returned with the verdict at around 2:30 p.m.
“We’re very disappointed in the verdict for obvious reasons,” said prosecuting attorney Janice Futa. “He was charged with murder and I believe the facts and the law support that charge.”
Futa said she would recommend a third trial. “I believe that Kollin Elderts and his family and his friends and our community deserve that kind of justice, at least a resolution, and I think it’s been delayed for too long.”
“(The jury) could not reach a decision on the lesser charges,” said defense attorney Thomas Otake. “We firmly believe that there are legal motions that we can file to dispose of those charges and that this case should not ever have to go to trial again. We will be pursuing those options as soon as we can and we look forward to this being over once and for all.”
The federal agent is charged with the shooting death of Kollin Elderts in a Waikiki McDonald’s in November 2011.
The defense claimed the off-duty federal agent fired his gun in self-defense, while the prosecuting attorney said it was an over-reaction.
Families on both sides of the aisle had different reactions. Deedy hugged his family members and smiled while Elderts’ family quickly exited the courtroom with heavy hearts.
“They’re utterly devastated by another hung jury and are unable to come forward and say the statement themselves,” said family spokesperson Kalama Niheu.
New rulings by Judge Karen Ahn meant instead of second-degree murder, jurors had the option to convict Deedy of reckless manslaughter, extreme mental and emotional distress manslaughter, first- or second-degree assault.