Retired police chief Louis Kealoha and his deputy prosecutor wife Katherine were back in federal court this morning to answer to more charges. They pleaded not guilty.
Also in court today, four former police officers implicated in the case, who also pled not guilty.
Louis and Katherine Kealoha entered the federal courthouse holding hands, pleading not guilty to the charges that were filed last week. They also pleaded not guilty to the charges of obstruction, conspiracy, as well as bank fraud that were filed in October.
“Just like with all the other charges we pled not guilty because we’re not guilty. We definitely look forward towards our day in court and we continue to thank the community, our friends and family for their continued support and love. Thank you,” said Louis Kealoha.
After the Kealohas told the court that they can no longer afford a private attorney, they were each granted court appointed ones. KHON2 has learned that they can charge up to $127 an hour. Because they have to start from scratch, they have to go over all the documents that have already been filed, estimated at more than 250,000 pages.
“There’s a great deal of time that goes into it that if you were a private attorney billing your client for this, just to a review a quarter million pages is probably a quarter million dollars,” said defense attorney Myles Breiner, who’s no longer associated in the case.
He points out that regular private attorneys can charge two to three times what court appointed attorneys are allowed to charge, sometimes more. So appointed attorneys are doing this as a public service. Other defense attorneys have estimated that by the time the trial is over which could take two years, legal fees could total two million dollars.
“Whether they’re sitting in a conference room like we are and they’re going over discovery or meeting with a client. Hypothetically if you were my client I would have to note the time, how much time I put in and what did I do,” said Breiner.
Breiner points out that all the fees will be scrutinized by a panel to make sure that they are all justified.