Federal agent accused of Hawaii murder takes stand

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By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER, Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — A State Department special agent accused of murder after he shot and killed a man at a Waikiki McDonald's in 2011 took the stand in his own defense on Tuesday.

Federal agent Christopher Deedy began testimony one month into trial in the killing of Kollin Elderts of Kailua.

After an expert witness finished testimony on training for federal agents, Deedy confirmed to Judge Karen Ahn that he had decided to testify.

He took the stand a few minutes later in front of a packed courtroom, with news outlets streaming his testimony live online.

Deedy began by describing his training. He said he started working for the State Department in June 2009.

When asked by his attorney Brook Hart whether he carries a weapon at all times, Deedy said: "I personally choose to."

Deedy's defense lawyers contend he was acting in self-defense and identified himself as a law enforcement officer during the deadly altercation in the early morning hours at the crowded restaurant.

Prosecutors have argued the shooting was caused by intoxication and Deedy's inexperience.

Deedy, from Arlington, Va., was out bar-hopping with friends. He was in Honolulu to help provide security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Elderts died of a single gunshot wound to the chest during a fight with Deedy.

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Sinco Kelleher can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jenhapa

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