State roundup for July 26


Cashier testifies on deadly fight

HONOLULU (AP) — A Waikiki McDonald’s cashier says she could tell a federal agent was drunk even before he and his two friends reached the counter.

Brandalynn Salzbrenner continued testifying Thursday in the trial against State Department agent Christopher Deedy, accused of shooting and killing a man in the restaurant in 2011.

Prosecutors claim Deedy was intoxicated, while the defense maintains the agent was sober and acted in self-defense.

Salzbrenner says she had earlier asked shooting victim Kollin Elderts to cut it out when he was joking around with a customer. The defense claims Deedy was protecting that customer from being bullied by Elderts.

She says she saw Deedy kick Elderts, who then beat up the agent. She says the agent pointed his gun at Elderts and fired.

Body found in carpet identified

HONOLULU (AP) — A woman found dead and wrapped in a carpet has been identified as a Honolulu realtor and aspiring actress.

The death of 58-year-old Mary Beth San Juan is being investigated as a homicide.

San Juan was the principal broker for Happy Hawaii Homes, which is listed at the Punahou Street address where her body was found in the driveway by her ex-husband Tuesday evening.

Family members say San Juan and her husband split about six years ago, but were still close.

Waimea River complaint filed

HONOLULU (AP) — A Kauai group is filing a complaint against a state agency and its tenant, arguing they’re wasting water they’re diverting from Waimea River.

Earthjustice filed the complaint Wednesday with the state Commission on Water Resource Management on behalf of Poai Wai Ola/West Kauai Watershed Alliance. The complaint names the Agribusiness Development Corp. and its tenant, Kekaha Agricultural Association.

The entities operate plantation ditches created by the now-defunct Kekaha Sugar Co.

Poai Wai Ola claims current tenants cultivate only a fraction of the former plantation land and with less water-intensive crops. It says excess water is dumped in gullies and over cliffs instead of being returned to the river.

James Nakatani, the executive director of the Agribusiness Development Corp., said the agency needs to look into the matter.

 

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