Delay of Ireland
case angers family
Frank Pauline Jr.'s lawyerBy Rod Thompson
claims he hasn't read all the
material in his year
on the case
HILO -- The parents of murder victim Dana Ireland are taking no comfort from Judge Riki May Amano's detailed plan of action to bring suspect Frank Pauline Jr. to trial June 14.
"We have had it up to our ears," said Ireland's father, John Ireland, by telephone from his home in Virginia. "I thought there was going to be forward motion five years ago."
Ireland, 23, was struck by a car Christmas Eve 1991, taken to a remote spot where she was beaten and raped, and then left to die.
In 1994, Pauline confessed several times to joining in the attack, but later denied he was present.
Jury selection in Pauline's trial was set for yesterday, but defense attorney Clifford Hunt asked for a delay, saying he'd read only about 1,000 pages of 5,300 pages of prosecution material.
A skeptical Judge Amano asked Hunt how long he had been on the case, and Hunt answered a year.
John Ireland criticized Hunt.
"My contention is this guy is playing games with the system. He's like a lot of defense attorneys, delay, delay, delay."
Deputy Prosecutor Charlene Iboshi accepted the delay, saying it would be unpopular, but she couldn't risk giving Pauline grounds to claim later that his attorney wasn't prepared.
Amano set out a detailed plan with jury selection beginning April 12 from among 500 juror candidates.
The seven-week trial starts June 14.
"I don't trust no one over there," said Dana Ireland's mother, Louise Ireland. "I am sick of this."
For the first years of the case, police said little, although then-Chief Victor Vierra said possible suspects had been identified.
When Pauline, serving time for an unrelated crime, began talking in 1994, he also phoned the Irelands.
"Pauline called us from prison and more or less implicated himself," John Ireland said.
Louise Ireland said Pauline told her he was present when another man attacked Dana Ireland.
Pauline wasn't indicted until three years later, in July 1997. No explanation was given for the delay.
Pauline's first two attorneys were removed because of conflicts.
His trial was set for January 1998, then July 1998, then for yesterday. Now there's a fourth date.
Meanwhile, two brothers were also indicted in 1997, but their charges were dismissed in October after DNA results cast doubt on their involvement.
The dismissal agreement with the brothers' attorneys says the two may be charged again by June, which coincides with the new date for Pauline's trial.
With a gag order imposed by the judge on public statements by attorneys, there has been no explanation of what would happen if the prosecution wants to bring charges against the two after June.