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Oahu grand jury indicts adoptive parents of Isabella Kalua on murder charges

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm discusses the grand jury indictment murder charges for the adoptive parents of Isabella Kalua.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm discusses the grand jury indictment murder charges for the adoptive parents of Isabella Kalua.

  • COURTESY HONOLULU POLICE DEPARTMENT
                                Pictured are Lehua and Isaac Kalua, the adoptive parents of Isabella Kalua.

    COURTESY HONOLULU POLICE DEPARTMENT

    Pictured are Lehua and Isaac Kalua, the adoptive parents of Isabella Kalua.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / SEPT. 14
                                A flyer for Isabella Kalua, 6, who was reported missing in Waimanalo.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / SEPT. 14

    A flyer for Isabella Kalua, 6, who was reported missing in Waimanalo.

An Oahu grand jury has indicted 6-year-old Isabella Kalua’s adoptive parents on second-degree murder and related charges in her death, City Prosecutor Steve Alm announced this afternoon.

Alm said that if convicted, his office will take the rare step of seeking an extended term for Lehua and Isaac Kalua, which would mean life without the possibility of parole.

He said the facts of the case are so heinous in nature, and the law does allow for such a measure because Isabella, known to her adoptive and biological families by her birth name Ariel, was under the age of 9 when she was allegedly murdered.

Police announced their arrest Nov. 10 and that Ariel’s older sister revealed Lehua Kalua deprived Ariel of food and kept her in a dog cage. The adoptive mother allegedly duct-taped Ariel’s mouth and nose, causing her to lose consciousness. Lehua Kalua employed the sister to help carry Ariel and place her in a bathtub, allegedly to revive her, then placed Ariel’s lifeless body on her bed.

The indictment also alleges that the Kaluas subjected the 12-year-old sister of Ariel to abuse.

Lehua Kalua was indicted and charged with:

>> One count of second-degree murder;

>> One count of hindering prosecution;

>> Two counts of abuse of a family member;

>> Two counts of “persistent nonsupport”; and

>> Two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor

Isaac Kalua faces:

>> One count of second-degree murder;

>> One count of hindering prosecution;

>> Two counts of “persistent nonsupport”; and

>> Two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor

The couple was arrested last week and accused of killing the 6-year-old Waimanalo girl. They remain in custody.

“The allegations in this case are heinous beyond description,” Alm said in a press release. “And we will hold Lehua and Isaac Kalua accountable for their alleged crimes against this defenseless child.”

Second-degree murder carries a mandatory penalty of life in prison with the possibility of parole. But if convicted, the couple face an extended term of life without parole because their child was under the age of 9, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Kaluas Indictment 2021-11-17 by Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Scribd


Staff writer Leila Fujimori contributed to this story.


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