Judge Denies Bail for Waimanalo Man Accused of Adopted Daughter’s Murder, Citing Flight Risk and Obstruction Concerns

HONOLULU, Hawaii – A Waimanalo man accused of murdering his adopted 6-year-old daughter in the summer of 2021 was denied bail on Friday by a Circuit Court judge. Isaac “Sonny” Kalua III and his wife, Lehua, have been held without bail at Oahu Community Correctional Center for the past two years since their indictment in November 2021 on charges of murder and related crimes. Their trial is scheduled for October.

Deputy Prosecutor Tiffany Kaeo argued against granting bail to Kalua, citing his potential to flee and the risk of him obstructing justice, possibly harming witnesses or jurors. The state’s main witness is Isabella’s 14-year-old sister, who provided a detailed account of the circumstances surrounding the case. Isabella’s body has never been found.

If found guilty of second-degree murder, the Kaluas may face life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The state informed the court that they could be eligible for an extended term of imprisonment. The prosecution countered Kalua’s motion for bail, emphasizing that it is irrelevant whether the charge is based on omission or commission.

Due to the serious hindering prosecution charge, along with the second-degree murder charge and two counts each of persistent nonsupport and endangering the welfare of a minor, Judge Paul Wong concluded that there is a significant risk of obstruction. He decided to adopt previous findings made by the Circuit Court.

During the court appearance, Kalua’s physical appearance had changed, with a thinner frame, longer gray hair, a full beard, and glasses. He filed a motion to have bail set for himself, arguing that his charge should be regarded as murder by omission, as opposed to the commission charge his wife faces.

Kalua’s court-appointed attorney, Donovan Odo, expressed that Kalua’s mother has returned to Hawaii to support him, taking care of various matters including the sale of his Waimanalo residence, where the alleged incident occurred. Odo noted that Kalua had a prior assault conviction more than two decades ago.

Suggestions were made by Odo regarding the use of electronic monitoring and compliance with stay-away orders. The hearing concluded without bail being granted.

In summary, a Waimanalo man accused of killing his adopted 6-year-old daughter in 2021 was denied bail by a Circuit Court judge. The prosecution emphasized the risk of obstruction posed by the defendant, and the state’s key witness, Isabella’s 14-year-old sister, provided detailed information about the case. The trial is scheduled for October, and if found guilty, the Kaluas may face life imprisonment without parole.