Mistrial in Hawaii for US agent accused of murder
by Jennifer Sinco Keller, Associated Press, August 26, 2013 (excerpts)
…A judge declared a mistrial Monday after jurors said they couldn't unanimously decide whether a federal agent 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 polled the jurors after the jury foreman said more time would not resolve the impasse in the trial of State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy. All the jurors, who began deliberating Aug. 15, agreed they could not reach a verdict.
Ahn set a hearing for Friday to determine a date for a new trial, after mentioning possibilities next spring.
"Mr. Deedy does need to go back home and back to work," defense attorney Brook Harttold the judge….
Deedy hugged his lawyers after the mistrial was declared. Hart said Deedy told him, "I love you, you did a good job."
Elderts' family left without commenting to reporters, and a bailiff said jurors declined to speak with the media.
"My reaction is Agent Deedy is not guilty, pled not guilty, is not guilty," Hart told reporters outside of court. "The jury did not find him guilty."
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Janice Futa's reaction: "Very disappointed."
Jurors were not given the option to consider a lesser charge of manslaughter. Futa said there are no regrets about not asking for manslaughter and that it's not likely prosecutors will request it next time around.
"Not unless there's new evidence that comes out that supports that charge," she said.
Michael Green, the lawyer representing Elderts' family in a civil suit against Deedy, said he spoke with Elderts' stepmother after the mistrial.
"It's a feeling of extreme depression, shock sadness," Green said. "We talked about the possibility of a hung jury as soon as there was no manslaughter instruction given."…
The family believes Elderts was murdered, Green said. "They didn't want manslaughter, they wanted murder," he said. "But they needed closure. They wanted the jury to have an opportunity to decide the verdict with every alternative possible. That would be better than him waking out of the building with nothing."…
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