Third officer accused in corruption case against ex-police chief wants separate trial

Third officer accused in corruption case against ex-police chief wants separate trial
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A third Honolulu police officer is seeking to be tried separately in a high-profile public corruption case involving Honolulu's former police chief.

Danny Sellers is one of six accused in a massive case including charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, lying to a grand jury and financial crimes.

Former Maj. Gordon Shiraishi was the first to file the motion Tuesday, and current HPD Lt. Derek Hahn filed his motion Wednesday.

Officer Bobby Nguyen is expected to make the same request in the next few days.

The remaining defendants are the former chief himself, Louis Kealoha, and his wife Katherine, a deputy city prosecutor who is on leave.

In the federal indictment, the four former or current officers have been accused of helping the Kealohas frame a relative for a crime that he didn't commit.

The defendants want separate trials because some of the charges only apply to the Kealohas, mainly Katherine, who faces crimes of bank fraud and identity theft.

Shiraishi's motion says he's only charged with one count of obstruction for allegedly lying to a grand jury about the reported theft of the Kealohas' home mailbox, a theft that federal authorities say was staged to frame her uncle for a felony crime.

The defense attorneys say their clients shouldn't be lumped into the case against the Kealohas.

All have pleaded not guilty.

A hearing has been set for Wednesday but it's not clear if the court appearances are in response to the motions to separate the case or another issue as the summer trial approaches.

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