(Source: Star Advertiser)
The pool of prospective jurors for the federal conspiracy trial of retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha; his wife Katherine, a former deputy prosecutor; and three former members of the Honolulu Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit is down to 249.
U.S. District Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright excused 164 people Wednesday from the 413 who showed up at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall Monday after he, the government and the defendants reviewed their questionnaires. The 413 were among 1,500 people who received an initial questionnaire in the mail.
Some were excused for illness, others because they had pre-existing travel plans or questionable command of the English language. One was starting a new job, another cares for a parent, another claimed to be claustrophobic.
Seabright scheduled the remaining prospective jurors to be in court for further screening in batches of 45 per day starting today.
The Kealohas, retired Maj. Gordon Shiraishi, Lt. Derek Wayne Hahn and officer Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen are charged with staging the theft of the Kealohas’ mailbox, framing a Kealoha relative for it and lying to investigators about what they did.
Seabright said he hopes to empanel 12 jurors and four alternates in time for opening statements and the start of evidence presentation next Thursday.