HONOLULU (KHON2) — The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to overturn the convictions and sentences of two former Honolulu police officers in connection with the Kealoha mailbox conspiracy.
Derek Hahn and Bobby Nguyen were found guilty in 2019 of conspiracy and three counts of attempted obstruction.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
A jury found that the officers helped Katherine and Louis Kealoha set up and then cover up a frame job on Katherine’s uncle, Gerard Puana, to make it look like Puana stole the Kealohas’ mailbox in the midst of a family financial dispute.
The officers appealed to a higher court, arguing insufficient evidence and prosecutorial misconduct, and also wanting their sentences reconsidered.
Last month a panel of three federal appeals court judges heard oral arguments challenging their convictions.
The court affirmed the convictions and sentences today, in a ruling that said: “There is no basis for this court to find the witness lacked credibility or to disturb the jury’s conclusions. There was also sufficient evidence to convict … There is no basis for reversal.”
Further, they write, “There was no prosecutorial misconduct” and while “Appellants raise several issues with respect to sentencing … the district court did not err at sentencing.”
Separately, Katherine Kealoha, who has been filing various motions from prison challenging her conviction, has also initiated proceedings with the 9th Circuit on constitutional violations but no arguments have been scheduled in those cases.