The murder trial for Isabella ‘Ariel’ Kalua’s foster parents delayed to May
The murder trial for Isabella “Ariel” Kalua’s foster parents has been pushed back five months to May due to COVID-19 delays, according to court documents.
Isaac and Lehua Kalua were charged with nine charges, including two counts of second-degree murder charges. Prosecutors are seeking life sentences without the possibility of parole. The Kaluas pleaded not guilty to all.
The couple fostered six-year-old Isabella and her siblings for several years before adopting the three of them on January 26, 2021, according to HawaiiNewsNow.
The three siblings were removed from their biological mother’s custody because of substance abuse and housing issues, according to prosecutors.
Isabella’s biological family are also said to be considering a lawsuit against child welfare service officials in Hawaii for placing her with the adoptive parents.
According to records viewed by Insider, in 2000, Isaac Kalua was convicted on four felony charges of assault, attempted assault, and terroristic threatening, to which he pleaded guilty and served five years probation.
The Kaluas reported their adopted daughter Isabella missing on September 13, but Hawaiian authorities believe the girl had been dead at least a month before that time and that the parents covered it up and hid evidence, according to the Honolulu Police Department.
In court documents, Hawaiian investigators wrote that Isabella’s 12-year-old biological sister told them that Isaac and Lehua duct-taped Isabella’s mouth and nose and left her in a dog cage for days, where she died.
The trial, which was set to start at the end of January, was delayed due to a rise of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, according to documents.
An attorney representing the Kaluas could not be immediately reached for comment.
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