Two former Honolulu police officers who were convicted for their roles in a conspiracy to frame an innocent man were unsuccessful in their appeals to reverse their findings of guilt, an appeals court ruled on Friday.

Derek Hahn and Bobby Nguyen challenged the sufficiency of the evidence that got them convicted of conspiracy and obstruction charges in 2019.

The men were tried alongside their former boss, ex-police chief Louis Kealoha, and his wife, the former prosecutor Katherine Kealoha. The Kealohas are now both in federal prison for setting up Katherine’s uncle for the bogus crime of stealing the couple’s mailbox, among other crimes.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that there was sufficient evidence to convict Hahn and Nguyen. The court rejected several of the defendant’s arguments, including allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.

“There is no basis for reversal,” the appeals court wrote in its opinion. “There was no prosecutorial misconduct.”

The court also found that Hahn and Nguyen were properly sentenced.

“There was no abuse of discretion,” the appeals court said.

Help power our public service journalism

As a local newsroom, Civil Beat has a unique public service role in times of crisis.

That’s why we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content, so we can get vital information out to everyone, from all communities.

We are deploying a significant amount of our resources to covering the Maui fires, and your support ensures that we can pivot when these types of emergencies arise.

Make a gift to Civil Beat today and help power our nonprofit newsroom.

About the Author