Shooting victim beat me, agent’s friend says
By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU — The friend of the federal agent on trial for a 2011 Waikiki killing said he took a beating from the man who was later shot and killed in the early-morning altercation at a fast-food restaurant.
Adam Gutowski testified Tuesday he was “severely beaten” by Kollin Elderts, who was killed at the McDonald’s on Nov. 5, 2011.
It was the second day on the stand for Gutowski, called by the prosecution to testify in the trial against State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy, his former college roommate and fraternity brother.
“I’m getting pretty severely beaten by Kollin,” he said when asked to describe various frames in silent surveillance footage from the restaurant.
He had been living in Waikiki for about a year, working at the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center, while Deedy was in town to help with security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
The friends went to various bars with Gutowski’s girlfriend, Jessica West, before ending up at the McDonald’s.
Gutowski said he remembers hearing Elderts say something about also having a gun, but he didn’t tell police that. “I hadn’t slept. I had taken a pretty severe beating at that point,” he said of an interview with police hours after the shooting. He said he also didn’t mention it to the grand jury more than a week later.
He also testified that he doesn’t remember anyone saying “haole” during the altercation.
The defense claims Elderts was bullying a customer with racial slurs.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Brook Hart, Gutowski continued to maintain that Deedy wasn’t drunk that night. “As far as I was concerned, he was sober,” Gutowski said. “He was very much in a controlled state.”
Gutowski’s testimony hasn’t provided answers about what exactly transpired between Deedy and Elderts, who Gutowski described as angry and aggressive.
Deedy claims he was acting in self-defense and protecting others.
Gutowski said he and Deedy haven’t had any contact since talking briefly in a hospital emergency room after the shooting.
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