Louis Kealoha wants out of his marriage with Katherine Kealoha.

The former Honolulu police chief filed for divorce from his wife, an ex-deputy city prosecutor, in the First Circuit Family Court Tuesday afternoon.

The marriage is irretrievably broken, Louis Kealoha indicated in his complaint for divorce. He also indicated Katherine should not be entitled to any spousal support.

Louis Kealoha’s attorney, Rustam Barbee, declined to comment.

Former HPD Chief Louis Kealoha and Katherine Kealoha arrive at District Court. May 31, 2019.
Former HPD Chief Louis Kealoha and Katherine Kealoha arrive at District Court during their trial on conspiracy and obstruction charges in May. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The couple still faces a trial together in January in a federal bank fraud case where they are accused of stealing from the trust funds of children that Katherine Kealoha was a guardian for and banking institutions.

Katherine Kealoha also faces identity theft and obstruction charges.

The Kealohas have already been convicted of conspiracy and obstruction charges in a previous trial after being found guilty of framing Katherine Kealoha’s uncle for the theft of their mailbox. Sentencing is set for Oct. 31 in that case.

Louis Kealoha remains out on bail, while Katherine Kealoha has been jailed at the Federal Detention Center since the June conviction.

Katherine Kealoha faces an additional trial on top of the bank fraud trial for drug trafficking charges. Her younger brother, Rudolph Puana, is a co-defendant in that case.

Her attorney, Gary Singh, declined to comment.

The step toward divorce creates distance between the couple, who showed up to federal court almost every day during the last trial in matching outfits and holding hands, said Ken Lawson, a University of Hawaii criminal law instructor who has been watching the corruption investigation.

They were trying to show the jury that they were close, he said, although a Big Island firefighter had admitted to having an “intimate relationship” with Katherine Kealoha.

“That didn’t work,” Lawson said. “Now it’s plan B.”

Removing himself from Katherine Kealoha may be Louis Kealoha’s best shot at getting acquitted in the bank fraud case, he said.

However, spousal privilege, a legal term that means spouses cannot be compelled to testify against each other, would still apply even if the Kealohas are going through divorce or the divorce is concluded during trial, Lawson said.

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