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Judge grants new civil trial to Katherine Kealoha’s grandmother and uncle

  • GEORGE F. LEE / 2015
                                Florence Puana, left, and Gerard Puana in court following the 2015 verdict in a suit against Katherine Kealoha. A state judge has granted them a new civil trial against the former deputy prosecutor.

    GEORGE F. LEE / 2015

    Florence Puana, left, and Gerard Puana in court following the 2015 verdict in a suit against Katherine Kealoha. A state judge has granted them a new civil trial against the former deputy prosecutor.

A state judge has granted Katherine Kealoha’s grandmother and uncle a new trial against the former deputy prosecutor.

Acting Circuit Judge James McWhinnie signed an order last week granting Florence and Gerald Puana a new trial in their civil claims against Kealoha.

The Puanas sued Kealoha in 2013, seeking the return of money Kealoha took from a reverse mortgage Kealoha arranged on Florence Puana’s Maunalani Heights home and money Gerard Puana gave Kealoha to invest, which he never got back. The case went to trial in 2015 and a state jury found in favor of Kealoha.

In the new trial, Florence and Gerald Puana are renewing their demand that Kealoha pay them back the money she took from the reverse mortgage and the money she was to invest for Gerard Puana.

Following the federal convictions in June of Kealoha and her husband, retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, for conspiring to frame Gerard Puana of a crime he didn’t commit, the Kealohas’ last month agreed to repay the Puanas $289,714. The agreement is part of a larger settlement involving two other federal criminal cases against the Kealohas.

The Puanas asked for a new state civil trial because they said evidence that was presented in the Kealohas’ federal criminal trial shows that Katherine Kealoha lied in their civil trial.

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