The judge says opening statementsBy Rod Thompson
are slated for Wednesday
HILO -- Even before Judge Riki May Amano imposed a gag order in the case of Frank Pauline Jr., accused of the 1991 murder of Dana Ireland, prosecutors often said they couldn't comment.
Details would be clarified when the case went to trial, they said.
That clarification may finally be nearing as attorneys today began the final selection of 12 jurors to decide Pauline's fate.
Four alternates will also be chosen. The judge told jurors this morning that jury selection would take no more than two days. And she said they will begin hearing the case on Wednesday, with opening statements at 10 a.m.
The pool from which jurors were being drawn was selected in April. The question the jurors must decide is whether Pauline, then 18, allegedly high on cocaine with at least two other suspects who will be tried separately, took part in the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Ireland, 23, on Christmas Eve 1991.
Pauline confessed he was present and hit Ireland with a tire iron, but later withdrew the confession. His lawyer, Clifford Hunt, says a gash on Ireland's head didn't match one a tire iron would make.
Deputy Prosecutor Charlene Iboshi and her assistant Lincoln Ashida must convince jurors that Pauline's confession was valid.
They also have to convince the public, frustrated by more than seven years of delays, that authorities did a reasonable job in the case, and that their promise of eventual clarification was valid.
Dana Ireland Archive