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Charges against officer dismissed after document disappears

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:02 p.m. HST, Oct 23, 2012

WAILUKU >> A criminal complaint against a former police officer was dismissed because the time limit for a speedy trial lapsed when the document went missing for months after being received at the Maui Police Department, a newspaper reported today.

Christopher Kealoha, 28, was accused of abusing his wife last November. The document in Kealoha's case was received by the Maui Police Department in February but went missing for months before a second copy was sent and processed.

Kealoha was arraigned on Aug. 7 on allegations that he abused his wife Rachel, also a police officer with the department.

The Maui News reports that the charge was dismissed Friday because the 180-day time limit for a speedy trial had lapsed by the time Kealoha was arraigned. Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen cited the "unusual occurrence" that led to the delay and dismissed the charge without prejudice, meaning it can be brought again.

Deputy Prosecutor Emlyn Higa said that the state would refile the charge alleging that Kealoha abused his wife at their Haiku residence on Nov. 24.

In a tape of her 911 call played in court on Friday, Rachel Kealoha says, "Chris just kicked me in the face."

Lt. Arthur Dadez, a nearly 27-year police veteran and the Wailuku Patrol District watch commander, testified that he was assigned to find the complaint against Kealoha on July 18, after an internal inquiry about whether it had been served.

When he couldn't locate the document, he asked the prosecutor's office to send him another copy, which he received the same day. He assigned his watch to serve the summons on Kealoha. Court records show that it was served that same day.

Police records show the original document from the prosecutor's office was received at the Police Department's Records Section on Feb. 1.

On Jan. 17, about a week before the complaint was filed, Rachel Kealoha had gone to the prosecutor's office to sign a document requesting that her husband not be prosecuted. She was told that the prosecutor's office might proceed with the charge.

Dadez said in his more than 26 years he had never seen a summons go missing. Even if it was placed in the wrong bin, it would be returned to the correct bin or sent somewhere that could be tracked.

"So how do you explain a physical document going from the prosecutor's office to the Police Department and then totally disappearing?" Bissen asked.

"It got intercepted," Dadez said. "Somebody picked it up and made it go away."

Kealoha resigned from the department earlier this year.

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Classic_59Chevy wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on October 23,2012 | 12:40PM
stanmanley wrote:
I wouldn't call it incompetence. I think intentional is more appropriate.
on October 23,2012 | 01:16PM
lowtone123 wrote:
I agree someone hid it in the attempt to make the criminal charge go away.
on October 23,2012 | 01:28PM
allie wrote:
true..PD takes care of their own
on October 23,2012 | 01:48PM
Compassionate_Cat wrote:
"...Kealoha resigned from the department earlier this year." The report states both worked as Police Officers, so which one resigned?
on October 23,2012 | 12:42PM
ezridah wrote:
if it was the kicker...then the wife that is still a cop can arrest him if ...when there is a next time
on October 23,2012 | 01:02PM
mcc wrote:
She should shoot him in self defense when he kicks her again. See if they can make the bullet disappear.
on October 24,2012 | 07:43AM
Descartes22 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on October 23,2012 | 01:11PM
kahu808 wrote:
And that is based on, what?
on October 23,2012 | 02:29PM
poidragon wrote:
It's called a 'cover-up' and happens quite a bit more than the public thinks it would in police departments in Hawaii and around the country; the police work to cover each others mistakes, in the mistaken belief that 'solidarity' will keep them employed.
on October 23,2012 | 01:57PM
localguy wrote:
This "Black Eye" on the Maui PD reflects on their police chief and every officer, putting their credibility and honor on the line. If they can't keep track of a single document, what else has gone missing, intentionally or unintentionally? Sad to say this makes Maui PD look like a little 4th world PD, no integrity, no honor, a vote of no confidence. Maui Police Chief knows his job is on the line for this failure of his officers. Clean it up quick, fix the problem and move on.
on October 23,2012 | 02:10PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Hmmmmm. How convenient!
on October 23,2012 | 02:14PM
hanoz808 wrote:
and the wife wanted to not proceed w/the charges? just dumb
on October 23,2012 | 02:56PM
1R1E wrote:
on October 23,2012 | 03:07PM
islandboy1562 wrote:
If tampering with the document occurred, a thorough investigation should be launched into the goings on in the Maui Police Department -whats at stake is the publics confidence in the Maui PD. If a coverup or tampering with an official document is substantiated -suspensions and dismissals of all involved should be initiated since its a serious matter.
on October 23,2012 | 03:22PM
Anonymous wrote:
The Chief of the MPD should be held accountable for this. It happened on his watch and involves his two officers. Everyone will be watching closely here, not the least of whom are other MPD officers. This is an opportunity for the Chief to do the right thing. I'm betting he won't...What, and screw up his retirement and future relationships with his chums?
on October 23,2012 | 03:44PM
mcc wrote:
...somebody just made it go away. How convienent.
on October 23,2012 | 04:28PM
bigislandkurt wrote:
what a convenient coincidence. Lost report. Yeah right.
on October 23,2012 | 05:01PM
kaiakea wrote:
It's obvious what happened. Cops take care their own. Unfortunately, these are the bozos charged with protecting the innocent.
on October 23,2012 | 05:22PM
niimi wrote:
Da buggah went look da oddah way.
on October 23,2012 | 05:47PM
sailfish1 wrote:
They should investigate this and fire and prosecute the person who took the file.
on October 23,2012 | 06:27PM
fishguy wrote:
WOW! and ignorant me thought these things only happens in movies.
on October 23,2012 | 07:34PM
soundofreason wrote:
"Chris just kicked me in the face.">> Ahhhhhh. Young love. Crazy kids.
on October 23,2012 | 07:55PM
808warriorfan wrote:
It's not missing...it was sent tot he Maui Liquor Commission by mistake and used as a cocktail napkin when the inspectors got free drinks, food, and "physical contact".....
on October 23,2012 | 09:39PM
PaPakoolau808 wrote:
on October 23,2012 | 10:45PM
LMO wrote:
See how seriously we take doemstic violence? He got a Gimmee!
on October 24,2012 | 02:03AM
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