Kealoha attorneys file defense theory ahead of jury instructions

Local News

New filings reveal how defense attorneys for the Kealohas plan to state their case during closing arguments.

This, as attorneys for both sides finalize jury instructions.

The attorneys for Louis and Katherine Kealoha filed what’s known as “Theory of Defense” to add to jury instructions. 

Both of them, along with three HPD officers, face charges of conspiracy for allegedly framing Gerard Puana for mailbox theft. But they also face additional charges. 

The attorney for the former police chief wants to tell the jury, “If you cannot find beyond reasonable doubt that there was a conspiracy… you must find him not guilty as to all the counts.”
Similarly for Katherine’s case, her attorney says, “If you cannot find beyond reasonable doubt that Ms. Kealoha was a member of the conspiracy… then you must find her not guilty as to all the counts.”

“It’s just a way to be able to frame what their closing argument is gonna be all about so that way the jury will understand that’s their theory of the case,” legal expert Doug Chin.

Throughout the day, attorneys for both sides tried to come up with an agreement on the exact phrasing of jury instructions. 

Legal terms like “overt act” and “strict and heavy burden” were argued upon as each side tried to gain some sort of advantage. 

“Words like that will matter if the judge allows them to go in and it goes back to the jury room because later on, when the jury is trying to decide how seriously they should be taking the facts or how they should be deciding the case,” Chin said.

He points out that the jury will have a lot of decisions so deliberations could take some time. Jurors have to unanimously agree on two, three, four, or all five defendants on the most serious charge of conspiracy. And, there are the additional charges.

“And because of the 80 or so witnesses that were involved in this trial, it could take a while for them, possibly because they get hung up on certain issues,” said Chin.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday.

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