New evidence for prosecutors in the Kealoha trial. While defense attorneys want jurors to hear more about a civil lawsuit between Katherine Kealoha against her grandmother.
This, as the trial is set to resume on Monday.
Prosecutors say the new evidence is about a living trust naming Katherine Kealoha as the trustee. Legal experts point to it as more evidence of a cover up and motive for a conspiracy.
Prosecutors have already presented evidence that a living trust for Gerard Puana, which designates Katherine Kealoha as a trustee, might have been forged because Puana testified that he never signed it. And it was notarized by Alison Lee Wong, who does not seem to exist.
Court records say prosecutors just got information that shows a similar trust agreement was purchased in 2009 under the name Florence Puana, Kealoha’s grandmother. But it was sent to Kealoha’s address and used her email address.
Legal expert Doug Chin says these are all building blocks to show there was a conspiracy.
“All of that evidence is absolutely critical because if there was no fake activity going on, then there’s nothing to cover up and there’s no conspiracy,” said Chin.
Prosecutors are also asking the judge to allow them to submit a list of charts showing that the Kealohas depleted the funds from Florence Puana’s reverse mortgage.
A total of $540,000 spent on what prosecutors describe as living beyond their means. And proof that the Kealohas had 15 bank accounts, even though Katherine had made a statement that she only had one.
“Being able to introduce that kind of summary report is key because if the jurors don’t get it if they don’t understand how to put all this together that’s a not guilty verdict right there,” said Chin.
Defense attorneys on the other hand, want the judge to allow them to present more details of the civil lawsuit from 2014, when a jury ruled in Katherine’s favor and ordered the Puanas to pay her more than $600,000.
“To bolster the fact that Ms. Kealoha was found to be credible by another jury. In other words they believed her story over Mr. Puana’s,” said Chin.
The civil lawsuit is under appeal. We’ll find out on Monday just how much of the evidence requested will be allowed by the judge.