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Kealoha trial: Gerard Puana’s sister testifies man in mailbox video is not her brother

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GEORGE F. LEE / 2015

Katherine Kealoha’s uncle Gerard Puana, shown here in 2015, was not the person seen in a surveillance video taking the Kealohas’ mailbox, his sister testified today.

The jurors in the federal conspiracy trial of retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife former deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha this morning watched surveillance video of a person removing and driving off with the Kealohas’ mailbox.

The government says the person in the video is not Katherine Kealoha’s uncle Gerard Puana.

Federal prosecutors say the Kealohas and a co-defendant, Honolulu Police Officer Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen, falsely identified Puana as the mail thief as part of a conspiracy to frame and discredit Puana.

In the second day of testimony in the Kealoha trial today, U.S. Postal Inspector Brian Shaughnessy told the jurors that when he interviewed witnesses in preparation for Puana’s 2014 federal criminal trial for mailbox theft, Katherine Kealoha and Nguyen identified Puana multiple times as the person in the video.

Shaughnessy said Kealoha and Nguyen told him that the person in the video and Puana have the same build and wears the same type of clothing. He said Kealoha told him Puana was wearing the same shorts in the video that he was wearing when she saw him two days earlier.

Kealoha and Nguyen also said Puana and the person in the video has the same walk. Shaughnessy said Nguyen described it as a “strut” and Kealoha described the walk as a “cocky stride.”

When Louis Kealoha testified in Puana’s trial, he said the person in the video wore the same type of clothes Puana favors, long-sleeve T-shirt and baggy cargo shorts. He also said the person has the same type of “weightlifter’s” walk as Puana.

Puana’s oldest sister Charlotte Malott testified after Shaughnessy.

When she saw the video for the first time she said she immediately knew the person in the video was not her brother.

She said the person in the video looks younger, has a smaller build, longer neck and walks with more bounce in his step than her brother.

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