Judge approves sentencing date in Hawaii corruption case

Judge approves sentencing date in Hawaii corruption case
The Kealohas leave federal court after learning of their guilty verdicts (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (AP) — A U.S. judge on Tuesday approved a November sentencing date in Hawaii’s biggest corruption case after it was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright set sentencing on Nov. 3 for former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his now-estranged wife, Katherine Kealoha, who was a former high-ranking city prosecutor.

A jury convicted them last year of conspiracy in a plot to frame a relative to keep him from revealing fraud that financed their lavish lifestyle.

Sentencing hearings for the couple had been originally scheduled for March.

Seabright set a Nov. 4 date for sentencing of two former officers convicted with the Kealohas.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys previously agreed on the dates.

Seabright warned that there may be another postponement. He issued an order this week that essentially shuts down jury trials until Oct. 13 to protect people from the virus in court. After that, only one trial at a time will be allowed. Because trials will take priority, the sentencing hearings may need to be rescheduled.

If so, there will be about a month’s notice, Seabright said

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