HONOLULU (KHON2) — Convicted felon Katherine Kealoha was back in federal court on Friday. This time represents herself as she tries to appeal her conviction and get released on bail. The judge denied both, and at times scolded the former prosecutor for her court filings.
Since July 27, Katherine Kealoha has filed six handwritten filings in court arguing that she should be released on bail because her first attorney was ineffective. And she thought her second attorney Earle Partington had filed an appeal of her conviction, which he didn’t.
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At one point, she also said prosecutor Michael Wheat should be removed from the case.
In court on Friday, the judge told Kealoha, “I’m left somewhat confused as to what your intent is… honestly, it’s just a mess right now.”
The judge added, “You just can’t keep filing things… That’s got to stop!”
She told the judge, “It’s very difficult, I don’t have access to paper… So when I’m filing these things, a lot of it has to do with what I recall.”
She tried to argue with the judge when he refused to release her on bail. And he immediately replied, “Ms. Kealoha, that’s not gonna happen… Let’s deal with realities!”
We asked Partington why the appeal wasn’t filed.
“The last time I talked to her about an appeal was right after her sentencing, and she wanted to think about what she wanted to do, and I didn’t hear from her for months,” Partington said.
As for her claim that her attorney was ineffective, the deadline to file it has passed. But the judge is giving her a chance to argue why she should be allowed to file it anyway. Legal experts said she has little chance of success.
“She’s going to have to prove that she really had no knowledge of the deadline. And in her particular case, that’s difficult, given that she’s a former attorney,” said Ali Silvert, a retired federal public defender.
Kealoha said she has already filed the motion and it’s in the mail. Prosecutors will have to respond to it by the end of the month.
Silvert added that the judge had every right to scold Kealoha for her filings.
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“I’ve read her filings and they are confusing and the challenges she’s making are unclear. So I think Judge Seabright was somewhat concerned about the number of filings and wanted to clarify what they really were about,” said Silvert.