Katherine Kealoha’s loved ones ask federal judge for leniency in sentencing

Katherine Kealoha’s loved ones ask federal judge for leniency in sentencing
Katherine Kealoha (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -Seven of Katherine Kealoha’s loved ones wrote letters to federal judge J. Michael Seabright describing her service to the community in their request for leniency when she’s sentenced in March. The letters were unsealed this week.

The authors include Kealoha’s parents, who wrote, “our daughter has always been a source of pride for us.”

Other letters were from her sister, brother-in-law and other family members.

A few friends sent in writing, including a former babysitter and a member of the Carmelite Nuns of Hawaii, Sr. Agnella, who described Kealohas as always being “well-behaved, generous and upright; always eager to serve and to help others.”

Olive Zanakis, who said she is Kealoha’s second cousin, said, “Katherine is not the monster the media portrays her to be.”

Kealoha, an ex-deputy prosecutor was convicted of obstruction and conspiracy in June for setting up a relative for a crime he didn’t commit. That relative was threatening to expose her for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Kealoha’s elderly grandmother.

Last month, Kealoha pleaded guilty to bank fraud and identity theft. She will be sentenced in March.

Alexander Silvert, the attorney who represented the Kealoha victims, says letters for leniency to a judge are a common practice.

“Every case is different and every judge is different,” Silvert said. He says it shows that the defendant has future support upon release.

Silvert said judges do seem to take into consideration letters of remorse from the defendants themselves.

If Katherine Kealoha, or her husband, Louis Kealoha, wrote one, it has not been unsealed yet.

Louis, the ex-police chief, will also be sentenced in March for conspiracy, obstruction and bank fraud.

Last week his letters of support were unsealed. Fifteen people wrote to the judge on his behalf, mostly officers who used to work for him.

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