Federal judges agrees to sale of Kealohas’ home, discusses jury selection for upcoming trial

Local News

A federal judge on Friday has agreed to allow the sale of the Kealohas’ Hawaii Kai home.

Earlier this year, Louis and Katherine Kealoha agreed to sell their home to help cover legal fees in the federal crime corruption case. The Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union also filed a lawsuit against the couple for defaulting on a $1 million mortgage for their home. 

Attorney Cynthia Kagiwada said the Kealohas continue to pay the maintenance and association costs, but failed to make mortgage payments. 

The Kealoha’s owe over a million dollars in late fees and interests on the home, which we’re told is valued at around 1.3 million.  

After getting indicted last year, Kagiwada said Katherine was suspended from her city prosecutor job, cutting the couple’s income in half. 

Click here for a timeline of events in case against the Kealohas.

In a federal courtroom on Friday, Judge Richard Puglisi said:

“Obviously, a private sale is in every body’s best interest. I think everyone has agreed a private sale is the best approach under the circumstances. You want to always avoid a foreclosure sale. I think the stipulation in general is a very responsible and reasonable way to approach sale of the property.”

Following the sale of the home, there will be a court hearing to determine where the proceeds from the sale will go. The bank will be paid first, then stakeholders will get a chance to argue for a share of the proceeds.

The former HPD chief and city prosecutor then made their way to Judge Michael Seabright’s courtroom to discuss jury selection. 

Their attorneys hired David Weinberg, founder of the jury consultant company JuryScope. Weinberg recently worked on the high-profile trial involving Bill Cosby. 

“It’s a form of preparation. So you’re getting information they believe is relevant to the trial, and if they apply it the correct way it will solidify the chance for a verdict for their client,” explained former city prosecutor Peter Carlisle. 

Carlisle says hiring a jury consultant isn’t unheard of in Hawaii, but it is rare. 

“They go one step further and look at this specific case and say this is what you need to do, this is the kind of person you want to select as your potential juror. Everybody in the courtroom is trying to get their side to win. So yes, it’s an effort for their client to get a favorable verdict,” said Carlisle.    

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