Ireland slaying chargeBy Rod Thompson
may be reinstated
HILO -- Big Island prosecutors are asking a Hilo court to reinstate a charge of murder by omission against Dana Ireland murder suspect Frank Pauline Jr.
Visiting family on the Big Island, Ireland was attacked and killed on Christmas Eve 1991 at a remote location in the Puna district.
Pauline was one of three men indicted for the crime in 1997. Since then charges against two other suspects, brothers Albert Ian and Shawn Schweitzer, have been dropped, although prosecutors have told the court that the charges may be reinstated.
The charges for all three suspects, which included murder, rape, and kidnapping, stated that they committed murder by committing certain acts. But the original charges also said they committed murder by failing to notify authorities, such as county paramedics, where Ireland lay bleeding and dying.
Pauline's former attorney, Brian De Lima, successfully argued previously to Judge Riki May Amano that requiring a person who commits a crime to notify authorities that someone is injured is equivalent to requiring him to incriminate himself, a violation of his constitutional rights.
But prosecutors say in new documents filed with the court this month that Pauline is expected to argue during his trial, set to begin March 1, that he was just along for the ride with the Schweitzer brothers and he didn't commit any acts against Ireland.
A hearing on the motion to reinstate the murder by omission charge is set for Jan. 29.