Katherine Kealoha mingles with fellow inmates at Federal Detention Center
Katherine Kealoha, the former deputy prosecutor- turned-convicted-felon, has been moved out of a segregated cell into the general population at the Federal Detention Center, where she has her Bible and rosary beads but still has not seen her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha.
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Katherine Kealoha, the
former deputy prosecutor-
has been moved out of a
segregated cell into the
general population at the Federal Detention Center, where she has her Bible and rosary beads but still has not seen her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha.
“She was segregated as an ex-prosecutor but she only tried state cases, not federal ones,” said her attorney, Earle Partington, who visited her Tuesday at the facility
located near the Daniel K.
Inouye International Airport and expects to return Saturday.
“She doesn’t feel any threat at all,” Partington said. “She’s pleased to be in general population and the women have been nice to her. I’m surprised at how
upbeat she is.”
Kealoha, 48, requested that she be moved into general population and is planning to ask that her husband be allowed to visit her, Partington said.
“Louie’s forbidden to meet her because he’s a co-defendant,” Partington said. “Kat’s requesting an exception because they’re married.”
A federal jury last week convicted the Kealohas,
Honolulu Police Department officer Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen and Lt. Derek Wayne Hahn of four felony counts each of conspiracy and three felony counts each of obstruction. They face a maximum sentence of 20 years
in prison for the obstruction convictions and up to five years for the conspiracy
Only Katherine Kealoha was ordered into custody
after a federal prosecutor called her “a walking
U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright ordered her held until her scheduled sentencing in October, saying at a bond hearing that he had “no doubt about Ms. Kealoha’s attempt to obstruct justice. She made a determined and consistent effort to have an innocent man incarcerated.”
On Wednesday, the Hawaii Supreme Court suspended Kealoha from practicing law in Hawaii effective immediately, in response to a petition by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. She graduated from the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law and was admitted to the Hawaii bar in 1996.
In a two-page ruling, the court noted the crimes spelled out in the indictments against Kealoha involved acts of “dishonesty” and that she was convicted of multiple felonies.
The Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Board will hold formal disciplinary proceedings once her sentencing and any appeals are final, according to the court’s order.
The Kealohas used their positions to stage the theft of a mailbox at their Kahala home in order to frame Katherine Kealoha’s estranged uncle in an effort to cover up stealing thousands of dollars from her grandmother.
She is facing two additional trials: one for bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and obstruction of an official proceeding in connection with a home mortgage loan application; and another for conspiracy to distribute and dispense oxycodone and fentanyl, along with other drug-related charges.
Earlier this week, her court-appointed attorney, Cynthia Kagiwada, filed a motion in U.S. District Court to be removed from the case.
In her motion, Kagiwada cited “an irretrievable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship, which cannot be reconciled.”
A hearing on Kagiwada’s motion to be removed from the case is scheduled for
In the meantime, Partington said he has been ferrying messages to Kealoha from her mother in Colorado.
The mother, who is paying Partington’s legal bills, has been inquiring about “motherly stuff,” Partington said. “Her mother gave me all sorts of messages. She’s a Roman Catholic and wanted to make sure Katherine has her own Bible and rosary. … She does.”
Partington is also working to arrange cancer treatments for Kealoha.
She had a malignant tumor partially removed from her neck but some of it is still attached to her spine, Partington said.
“She does have cancer,”
he said. “It’s not life-threatening.”