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State briefs for May 14

Ex-lieutenant asks to remain free during appeal

HONOLULU — A former Honolulu police lieutenant scheduled to begin serving a three-and-a-half year prison sentence next month in Hawaii’s biggest ever corruption case is asking a judge to let him remain free while he appeals his conviction.

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Derek Wayne Hahn’s attorney said Wednesday that the appeal could take several years.

A jury convicted Hahn, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his former prosecutor wife, Katherine, and another former police officer of conspiracy in a plot to frame a man to preserve the couple’s lavish lifestyle, prosecutors said.

Hahn is scheduled to surrender June 1 at a federal detention center in Oregon, but his attorney filed the motion Wednesday, saying Hahn should remain free until the conclusion of his appeal.

The appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will focus on instructions to jurors before they deliberated and other issues, said Hahn’s motion by Sacramento, California attorney Timothy Warriner.

Hahn, who has been free on a $50,000 bond since 2017, is not likely to flee or pose a danger, the motion said.

A U.S. judge in Honolulu will consider the request during a hearing on May 25.

Monk seal mom with new pup needs space

HONOLULU — Wildlife officials want people on a Waikiki beach to give an endangered newborn seal and its nursing mother lots of space.

Kaiwi, a Hawaiian monk seal mom and her pup, PO2, are nursing and bonding at Kaimana Beach. State and federal officials want people to go to another beach for swimming and paddling for the next several weeks.

“Like all mothers, monk seals are very protective of their pups,” said David Schofield, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine mammal coordinator, in a release. “While they are resting on the beach, they look docile, but once they go into the water they can move very, very fast, like lightning speed. If a mother seal detects any threat to her pup, she is likely to attack and that is a major concern for us.”

NOAA says monk seal mothers spend about 6-8 weeks with pups before weaning.

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Officials want people to stay at least 150 feet away from the pair and not use drones or flash photography to take pictures.

As the baby monk seal starts to move around and explore, a perimeter set up might have to be adjusted.

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