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Massive jury pool summoned for Mayor Kenoi’s theft trial

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  • GEORGE F. LEE / APRIL 2015

    A theft case against Mayor Billy Kenoi is set to start Monday and 1,600 potential jurors have been summoned.

HILO >> A theft case against Mayor Billy Kenoi is set to start Monday and 1,600 potential jurors have been summoned.

State Judiciary spokeswoman Tammy Mori told the Hawaii Tribune Herald that between 300 and 500 jurors are usually summoned for high-profile cases.

She said in an email that the goal is to ensure a fair and impartial jury is selected for the trial.

Jury selection could last two weeks.

Kenoi is charged with theft, tampering with public records and making a false statement under oath related to county credit card purchases.

A prosecutor said a lack of funds for personal purchases was an explanation for Kenoi’s card use.

Attorney Todd Eddins says his client would not have donated thousands to the Hawaii Island United Way if he couldn’t afford it.

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  • ([Sorry, off-topic] Dear SA, I enjoy listening to classical music from Interlochen Public Radio while reading content on your site. I do not enjoy the audio ads that keep playing. Yes, I turn the sound off on your site but I shouldn’t have to do that each time I refresh the browser tab. If I could actually understand what the ads were saying, I would contact the companies to let them know that I never purchase goods of services from companies that take part in such intrusive advertising.)

  • No amount of jurors will change what everyone already knows to be true, Kenoi is guilty and has already admitted as much by repaying the money that he felt was inappropriately charged to his government Pcard. There’s no way to defend $800 strip club tabs, five star hotel stays on his home island and the purchase of expensive personal sporting equipment. He would have done better to go with a guilty plea and thrown himself at the mercy of the court. Now we’ll have to waste taxpayer money to hold a mock trial for which there can be only one outcome, guilty.
    The Dems stick together, if it comes to it I’m sure Brother Ige will put in a call to the democrat controlled Judicial Selection Committee to make sure the judge doesn’t give Kenoi jail time. That’s how things are done in a single party political system.

    • Billy Boy is going down hard, is guilty, will spend time in Jail. Even Michael Weatherly AKA Bull and his jury working expertise can’t save him.

      Not to worry. The inmates will take the new prison rookie under their wing, teach him how to survive, how to behave.

      Be afraid of prison Billy, be very afraid.

    • I’m guessing this is the primary reason why they estimate jury selection for this case could take up to two weeks, since in most high profile cases, most in the general public have read about the case and may already have preconceived notions/biases of his guilt or innocence. This sorta reminds me of the O.J. Simpson robbery-kidnapping trial where a pool of 500 jurors was whittled down to less than 250 by means of a 26-page questionnaire. So I’m wondering if a similar questionnaire will be used in order to expedite the jury selection process.

  • You can have an opinion but if you can weigh the evidence presented and only the evidence, you can still be a juror and render a fair decision.
    If Kenoi had any class, he would have plead to this case as he himself admitted to the wrongdoing but then it does seem he is able to do the right thing.
    Kenoi clearly abused his position but then so did many others who were unwilling to call him on it. They are also responsible and would like to see them identified and
    sanctioned as well. I guess, it was go along and get along or was it the three monkeys philosophy. You know, see no evil, hear no evil, say nothing.

  • I say he’s innocent with the stipulation that he works and lives with the homeless for 5 to 10 years for the betterment of society on the Big Island. He’ll be a better man after this.

  • Don’t count on conviction – this is a state court trial, not a federal court trial, where the one hand washing the other syndrome is not as prevalent. This is not Al Hee Two.

    • agree..there may be pressure on the court from powerful Democratic insiders.Kenoi knows where the bones are buried out here and may squeal if he is found guilty.

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