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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii State Supreme Court–No. SCAP-15-0000440

No. SCAP-15-0000440, Thursday, February 2, 2017, 9:45 a.m.

STATE OF HAWAIʻI, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. CHRISTOPHER DEEDY, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

The above-captioned case was set for argument on the merits at:

Supreme Court Courtroom
Aliʻiolani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Attorney for Petitioner:

Thomas M. Otake

Attorney for Respondent:

Donn Fudo, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

NOTE: Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 05/13/16.


[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

In 2011, defendant Christopher Deedy, an agent for the U.S. Department of the State, was in Hawaiʻi for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting. On Deedy’s first night in Hawaiʻi, he fatally shot a man in Waikiki. Deedy was indicted for second-degree murder under HRS § 707-701.5 (Count 1) and using a firearm to commit a felony under HRS § 134-21 (Count 2). After the close of evidence during the first trial, the Circuit Court of the First Circuit instructed the jury on the charged crimes and not on any lesser included offenses. The first trial resulted in a hung jury, and the circuit court found manifest necessity to declare a mistrial.

A retrial commenced, during which the circuit court instructed the jury on the charged crimes and, over the parties’ objection, on the lesser included offenses in Count 1 of reckless manslaughter, assault in the first degree, and assault in the second degree. The jury acquitted Deedy of second-degree murder, but it could not reach a verdict as to the lesser included offenses in Count 1 and the charged offense in Count 2. The circuit court entered a verdict acquitting Deedy of second-degree murder and ruled that the State could retry Deedy on the offense of reckless manslaughter in Count 1 and on Count 2.

Thereafter, Deedy filed a motion to dismiss on State v. Moriwake grounds, a motion to dismiss on federal constitutional grounds, a motion to dismiss on state constitutional grounds, and a motion to dismiss grounded on Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) §§ 701-109 to 701-111. The circuit court denied all of the dismissal motions. The circuit court then granted Deedy’s request for interlocutory appeal of its denial of the dismissal motions.

On appeal, Deedy argues that this case should have been dismissed on double jeopardy grounds pursuant to article I, section 10 of the Hawaiʻi Constitution because the State abandoned the lesser included offenses, because the circuit court previously acquitted him of the lesser included offenses by not instructing the jury to consider them during the first trial, and because the State has been collaterally estopped from proceeding upon any of the lesser included offenses by the circuit court’s ruling during the first trial that there was no evidence to support a reckless state of mind.

Deedy also contends that the facts and circumstances of this case satisfy the requirements of the double jeopardy statutes of Hawaiʻi (HRS §§ 701-109 to 701-111) such that this case should have been dismissed. Further, Deedy asserts that, had the circuit court properly applied Moriwake to the facts of this case, it would have resulted in the dismissal of this case. Deedy also maintains that this case should have been dismissed pursuant to the Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. Constitution for reasons similar to those that he asserted under state constitutional provisions. Finally, Deedy argues that under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, he is immune from state prosecution because he was performing his duty as a federal agent when he fatally shot the deceased.

The State contests the arguments that Deedy raises, arguing that by failing to assert them before the second trial, Deedy waived them pursuant to Hawaiʻi Rules of Penal Procedure Rule 12(b) (2015). In addition, the State contends that it did not abandon the lesser included offenses, the circuit court did not acquit Deedy of any of the lesser included offenses in the first trial, the State is not collaterally estopped from pursuing the lesser included offenses in the third trial because no issue of ultimate fact was determined by a valid and final judgment in the first trial, the Hawaiʻi double jeopardy statutes do not bar a third trial, the circuit court did abuse its discretion in denying Deedy’s Moriwake motion, and the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution does not grant Deedy federal immunity.