HONOLULU (KHON2) — Federal prosecutors are stepping back on some of the allegations against a Kapolei couple charged with identity theft. That move has the defense attorneys for Walter Primrose and Gwynn Morrison asking the judge for their release.
Court documents show that the lead prosecutor in the case has sent an email to the defense attorneys that said the letters found in the Kapolei home of Primrose and Morrison referring to them with different names were not actually aliases used by the couple.
The email said, “The United States retracts that argument. Two individuals have said that those references were nicknames… and some of them were the product of inside jokes.”
Last week, the feds also sent an email that sent the KGB uniform seen in an old photo did not belong to Morrison and Primrose. Because of that, Morrison and Primrose said they should be released. Her attorney filed a motion that said, “These spy allegations have damaged the defendants’ reputations, have caused them to be held without any basis, and have been reported on internationally.”
“This doesn’t appear to be a case anymore that they should be detained and I would suspect that the court will release them,” said Ali Silvert, a retired federal public defender.
Silvert said, given the changes in the prosecution’s case, the defendants are not a flight risk and not a danger to the community.
“Whether or not they took other people’s identities, they’ve actually lived law-abiding lives for the last 20, 30 years. Given that reality, I don’t think the law calls for detaining someone on that basis,” Silvert said.
Primrose and Morrison are accused of stealing the identities of two dead infants. They’re charged with conspiracy, aggravated ID theft, and lying to get passports. Other experts said those are serious enough charges to keep them locked up.
“They pose a danger to the community. Identity theft is a very serious offense and it requires some sort of sophistication stealing someone’s identity and using it,” said Randal Lee, a retired Circuit Court judge.
Lee added that they also could be a flight risk.
“The fact that they manipulated the passport system to get a fraudulent passport indicates that they have the propensity to flee the jurisdiction,” Lee said.
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A judge has scheduled a hearing on Monday to decide if Morrison and Primrose should be released. We will let you know what happens.