Former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha has accepted a plea deal with federal prosecutors. That’s according to her attorney Earle Partington.
As for her husband Louis, his attorney says no deal has been reached.
Partington says he met with Katherine Friday and it was a difficult decision for her. But she wanted to get a shorter prison term, and this deal should accomplish that.
“She’s decided to plead to the charges the government wants her to plea to, and you can draw the logical conclusions from that,” said Partington.
He says he can’t say too much more on what exactly Katherine agreed to. When we spoke with him on Wednesday, the offer from the government was for her to plead guilty to two counts in the bank fraud case, one misdemeanor count in the drug case, and to cooperate in the ongoing investigation.
In return, prosecutors are willing to recommend that she gets 8-11 years instead of 11-14 total for all three cases, which include the trial in which she and Louis were found guilty of conspiracy and obstruction.
“How hard of a decision was this for her?” KHON2 asked.
“I think it was a very difficult decision because some of the terms the government wants were very difficult to accept,” said Partington.
He had said some of the difficult terms include Katherine agreeing to set aside the verdict from the civil trial, which ordered her relatives, Florence and Gerard Puana, to pay Katherine $658,000. But Partington says ultimately, less prison time was appealing for Katherine.
“I think this is her best hope for her shortest term in prison,” said Partington.
The former police chief filed for divorce against Katherine on Tuesday. In the previous weeks, Partington said she was trying to get the charges dropped against Louis in the bank fraud case. But prosecutors wouldn’t agree to it. Partington says this week’s negotiations regarding Katherine and Louis have been done separately.
“Originally, it was presented as a deal for both of them. But lately, all of the negotiations have been without him or his lawyer, so I’m in the dark as to what he’s doing,” said Partington.
Louis Kealoha’s attorney, Rustam Barbee, says his client has not agreed to a plea deal. Katherine is scheduled to plead guilty to bank fraud and drug charges on Tuesday morning.