New trial date set after judge grants delay for Katherine Kealoha’s medical condition

Local News

A federal judge has granted a request by former city deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha to push back her trial date.

A criminal trial for Kealoha and her husband, former chief of police Louis Kealoha, was supposed to start Nov. 14. They face eight counts of bank fraud, while Katherine Kealoha was also indicted for identity theft and obstruction of justice.

It will now begin on June 18, 2019.

The charges stems from accusations that money was taken from two people who were under Katherine Kealoha’s guardianship when they were children.

But Katherine Kealoha’s attorney filed a motion to delay the trial, because she suffers from a medical condition.

It’s not known what exactly what medical condition she suffers from. The judge made it clear to keep that confidential, so arguments on both sides could not make any specific reference to her health.

After hearing from both sides, federal magistrate Richard Puglisi agreed with the motion that she would not be able to attend the November hearing.

More details will be set during a status hearing scheduled for Thursday.

“At this time, we don’t know, because we don’t even know what this new trial date is going to look like, and so we’ll just have to wait and see,” said Kealoha’s attorney, Cynthia Kagiwada.

Kagiwada adds that she couldn’t say if and when her client will be healthy enough to go on trial.

Prosecutors had asked the judge to deny her request. Court documents presented the following arguments:

“No doubt, the pendency of a criminal trial must place significant pressure upon Defendant. But that pressure is attendant in every criminal trial, and Defendant has not demonstrated that her present situation renders her unable to prepare for or participate in her trial. …

“Second, the timing of Defendant’s request is suspect. The first time Defendant raised an issue concerning her medical condition was in her under seal filing of September 12, 2018, but at that time she did not seek to continue the trial. Now, just one month before trial, Defendant claims her and her counsel cannot be ready for a November trial because of her medical condition. In Defendant’s prior court appearances, no mention was made of any condition which would justify the instant request. …

“Third, as outlined in the United States’ Supplemental Response in Opposition, Defendant has previously attempted to manipulate others by claiming to suffer from serious medical infirmities. The instant motion appears to be just another in a series of tactics designed to avoid the consequences of her actions.”

The Kealohas are also defendants in a separate trial.

They, along with members of an elite police squad, are accused of framing Katherine Kealoha’s uncle, Gerard Puana, for stealing their mailbox in 2013.

The date for that trial remains set for March 19.

Related Stories: https://www.khon2.com/kealoha

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