HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Louis and Katherine Kealoha want to waive their right to a jury trial for the upcoming case on alleged financial crimes.
The ex police chief and former deputy prosecutor want a federal judge to instead decide guilt or innocence.
Earle Partington, one of Katherine’s attorneys calls it a calculated move because the case could be difficult for jurors to follow.
“This is primarily a paper case for which there will be a lot of technical objects and juries aren’t into technical objections so it’s far better to have a judge trial in a case like this,” Partington said.
But Michael Green, the attorney for the alleged victims, has different theories.
Green believes it’s actually a way to please the court ahead of sentencing for their convictions of obstruction and conspiracy because the court doesn’t have to waste time and resources finding a jury pool for the next case.
“This is what we call in the business a ‘slow plea of guilty’. She’s going (to prison) and I only say that because I have all the checks, I’ve got everything she wrote.” Green’s clients, siblings, say Katherine Kealoha stole almost $200,000 from their trust account, money they received after their father’s death.
The jury that convicted the Kealohas took less than 9 hours to find the former law enforcement leaders plus two police officers guilty of conspiracy and obstruction this past June.
Green says federal, financial cases are a slam dunk for prosecutors so he says another possible reason for the request, Katherine can try to take the blame to keep her husband from getting a second conviction.
It’s been widely known that she wants Louis dropped from the upcoming case.
“They’re not giving her the deal she wants," Green speculates, "So I guess she figures, she’s not coming out anyway, so last ditch effort to try and help Louis.”
Partington agrees that getting Louis dropped is something Katherine has been proposing in plea negotiations with the prosecutors.
“The U.S. Attorney has been hard nosed up until now, but I think there are reasons they may want to reach an agreement," Partington says Kealoha can possibly provide evidence that they need in ongoing investigations.
A hearing has been scheduled for next Wednesday regarding the jury trial waiver request.