Judge seeks more information on Kealoha’s cancer claim, trial delay request
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Former deputy city Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha is seeking a trial delay, claiming she needs “immediate treatment” for cancer.
The revelation was included in a court document filed Friday.
Federal Judge John Michael Seabright will decide if the trial should be pushed back. On Friday, he said he’d need more information on Kealoha’s health and has set a hearing for Monday so Kealoha’s doctor can elaborate.
[SPECIAL SECTION: The Case Against the Kealohas]
Seabright also has to consider a series of other motions filed in advance of Kealoha’s first trial, which centers on allegations that she, her husband ― the former police chief ― and a number of police officers framed her uncle with a mailbox theft in an effort to cover up financial fraud.
That trial is set to begin March 18, but Kealoha’s attorney is asking that it be delayed until May 20.
An exhibit filed with the motion, which would apparently include more information on the diagnosis, is sealed.
And the motion itself does not specify what type of cancer Kealoha has been diagnosed with or what type of treatment she needs.
Kealoha faces three separate federal trials, covering a host of charges ― from public corruption to drug counts. Her husband, ex-Police Chief Louis Kealoha, also faces charges in connection with two of the trials.
If Kealoha’s medical delay is approved, it would be the third time she’s gotten approval to push back a court proceeding for medical reasons.
Ken Lawson, of the University of Hawaii Law School, is skeptical of Kealoha’s claim.
“I have no idea if she has it or not, but at this point it’s like the boy who cried wolf,” he said.
In October, a magistrate judge approved delaying another trial for Kealoha ― for alleged financial crimes ― because of a still undisclosed medical condition.
At that time, prosecutors accused her of lying.
Kealoha also delayed being questioned in a lawsuit against her in 2013, where a doctor who is also a family friend diagnosed her with transient global amnesia ― a condition that causes sudden and temporary memory loss.
Lawson, an attorney and convicted felon himself, said he also used medical conditions to delay court proceedings.
“Is this an imminent condition to where we have to prolong this trial because a lot of witnesses are coming?” he said. “A lot of lawyers have moved their schedules. The court has moved its schedule.”
Some 481 potential jurors have already been summoned to appear on March 18 at the Blaisdell Center for a one-day selection process to narrow down the list to 60 and then 16.
The news of the cancer diagnosis comes a day after federal authorities alleged in court filings that Katherine Kealoha used cocaine while she was a deputy city prosecutor.
This story will be updated.
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