Two years before the mailbox theft, Gerard Puana was arrested for illegally entering a neighbor’s house.
That led to a string of events that prosecutors painted as abuse of power by the Kealohas. That was the testimony heard at the trial on Wednesday, May 29.
Witnesses for the prosecution told jurors about illegal searches inside Puana’s house.
And Katherine Kealoha telling relatives that Puana was dealing drugs and making special arrangements for him to get admitted to a drug treatment center.
Puana’s niece Jaunette de Mello, said Kealoha called her in June 2011 to let her know Puana was about to get arrested for unlawful entry, so she should leave the house.
De Mello said she came back to the house a couple of hours later and saw Kealoha with several officers searching the house including Puana’s computer. She said Bobby Nguyen was one of the officers.
She testified that Kealoha told her that drugs were found in the house.
“She told me that they just found over a hundred pure ecstasy tablets,” de Mello said.
She asked if she could see them but Kealoha told her they were on the way to the lab. She then asked, “How do you know it’s pure?” And de Mello said Kealoha then changed the subject.
Carolyn de Mello, Puana’s sister testified that Kealoha told her not to visit him in jail, so she never did.
She said Kealoha came to the house and wanted to search for drugs or weapons.
At one point she suggested that someone might have broken in and while they were looking around, Kealoha took out a gun. She said Kealoha also took some items from Puana’s filing cabinet by picking the log.
And then gestured to her to be quiet about it.
When Puana was in custody a deputy sheriff who worked in circuit court testified Kealoha asked him to make special arrangements, so she and Puana can meet in his holding cell privately.
He also made arrangements to have Puana admitted to the Sand Island Treatment Center, as requested by Kealoha. Cayetano said there’s usually a long waiting list, but he arranged for Puana to do a phone interview with the treatment center from the holding cell, and he was admitted.
Prosecutors point out that no judge ordered Puana to get treatment. Cayetano arranged it only because Kealoha asked him to do it.
During cross-examination, defense attorneys pointed out that relatives are normally allowed to visit someone in a holding cell.
And that the treatment center would not admit someone unless the patient admits having a drug problem. =