Current and former Honolulu police officers testify in Kealoha trial
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Current and former Honolulu police officers testify in Kealoha trial

  • DIANE S. W. LEE / DLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Former police chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine, exited federal court Friday evening. Two Honolulu police officers and a former officer testified this morning in the federal conspiracy trial of retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his former deputy prosecutor wife, Katherine Kealoha.

Eight former and current members of the Honolulu Police Department testified today during the third day of the federal conspiracy trial of retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife Katherine Kealoha, a former deputy city prosecutor.

The officers offered evidence that prosecutors hope will help prove that the Kealohas, along with three former and current Honolulu police officers, conspired to frame Katherine Kealoha’s uncle Gerard Puana in the theft of a mailbox to discredit him in a family financial dispute.

The trial is the culmination of a nearly two-year-long FBI and federal grand jury investigation that resulted in the indictment of the Kealohas, Lt. Derek Wayne Hahn, officer Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen and retired Maj. Gordon Shiraishi.

Among the testifiers today were Deputy Police Chief John McCarthy, who said he met with Katherine Kealoha at her request shortly after the mailbox theft in the summer of 2013 to discuss a potential elder abuse case against her uncle Puana.

The case didn’t go anywhere after he indicated he would have to dig deeper into evidence, he said.

Also testifying today were former HPD officer Nalei Sooto, who said he was directed to arrest Puana for theft in the summer of 2013, and David Chang, former commander of the department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit, who said that in 2018 he found documents linked to the Puana incident in a file that was slated to be destroyed.

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