Week in Review
- Grand Jury indicts adoptive parents of missing 6 year old Isabella Kalua on murder charges
- No further action taken on Christopher Deedy murder case
- Replay available of Thursday's zoom panel on rethinking prosecution
This past week, City Prosecutor Steve Alm hosted a press conference to discuss the Isabella Kalua murder case. The adoptive parents, Lehua Kalua and Isaac “Sonny” Kalua, were indicted on murder charges Wednesday. Pictures of the pair, and the full list of charges are below ⬇️.
A legal takeaway from the press conference, was Alm's use of enhanced sentencing guidelines passed by the legislature. When a crime is committed against a victim of such "vulnerable age," enhanced sentencing typically applicable to defendants charged with either murdering a law enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney, or witness, can be applied. So upon conviction, the sentence of "life without the possibility of parole" is possible for the Kuluas. A secondary consequence of the penalty enhancement, is that the Kaluas qualified to be held without bail. As of today, the Kaluas remain in custody under the status of "no bail."
Below is a link direct from the Hawaii State Legislature website, to provide further details on the enhanced sentencing the prosecutor's office was able to utilize.
Prosecutor's Office will not pursue 3rd trial against Christopher Deedy
"I have determined that the Honolulu Prosecutor's office will not proceed with any further prosecution of Christopher Deedy,"
said City Prosecutor Alm in a press conference this week.
In a separate news conference, Thomas Otake, the attorney whom represented Mr. Deedy in the second trial, responded with:
“This isn’t a day to celebrate, we’re very mindful of the loss to the Elderts’ family."
Otake also added:
"Prosecutors are given so much power. And for many years integrity and ethics were lacking at that office. We appreciate Mr. Alm and the decision he made today.”