Wednesday, August 25, 1999

Dana Ireland Trial

Associated Press
A Volkswagen confiscated by police was a
key piece of evidence in the case.

Jury starts
deciding the
fate of Pauline

He's on trial in the
abduction, rape and
murder of Dana Ireland

Jury must consider varied evidence
Ireland's father has day in court

By Dana Williams


HILO -- A jury of six men and six women began deliberations today to determine whether Frank Pauline Jr. was responsible for the murder of Dana Ireland.

Pauline, 26, faces charges of second-degree murder, kidnapping and first-degree sexual assault.

Ireland, 23, was riding a bicycle in Puna on Christmas Eve 1991 when she was struck by a car, adbucted, raped and left to die.

Before giving the case to the jury this morning, Judge Riki May Amano told the panel they must weigh both the direct evidence and the circumstantial evidence in the case.

The jury heard the testimony of more than 50 witnesses over several weeks before attorneys gave closing statements in the case yesterday.

Deputy Prosecutor Lincoln Ashida said "the forces of human nature" led Pauline to confess his involvement in the crime.

In 1994, Pauline was serving a 10-year prison sentence for an unrelated sexual assault when he told police he had information about the Ireland murder.

Pauline told police he was riding in a Volkswagen Beetle with brothers Albert Ian and Shawn Schweitzer when they saw Ireland on the street. He said they ran over her, stuffed her in the car's trunk, drove away and raped her. Pauline said he struck Ireland in the head with a tire iron to kill her.

"What's going through Frank Pauline's mind as he sits in that prison cell and his accomplices are out? I'll tell you what, two things," Ashida said. He said for that moment in time, Pauline had a conscience, and he had to let others know what he had done. He also wanted to go to the police first, before his accomplices, so he could get a better deal from prosecutors.

Pauline smiled as Ashida said, "By the way, ladies and gentlemen, don't let him fool you for a second. He's sharp. He's smooth. You saw that."

Defense attorney Clifford Hunt described Pauline as a "punk."

"You think Frank's smart? I don't know. I don't know about you, I don't think talking himself into a murder charge is particularly bright," Hunt said.

Hunt said Pauline is not a likable man, and suggested the jurors would not want their daughters to date him.

"But you know, whether or not Frank Pauline is a nice guy or we like him isn't really the issue in this case," Hunt said. He said the issue before jurors is whether the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Pauline was guilty.

Hunt also discussed sperm examined by investigators. DNA from the sperm, which had been recovered from Ireland's body and from a sheet on which she lay dying, did not match DNA from any suspect.

"Let's see," Hunt said, "we got no medical evidence, no DNA evidence, no vehicle or bike evidence, no scene evidence. We got a stupid story by Frank Pauline, a shoddy police investigation and just about every witness the state calls has a reason to lie or try to help the state. You think there's maybe some reasonable doubt in this case?"

Ashida said Pauline was one of several men who attacked Ireland. He said the DNA evidence "merely proves one thing -- that Frank Pauline is not the contributor of that particular semen sample, or that sperm sample. It cannot and will not ever say anything about his responsibility, his involvement both as principal and accomplice in this case."

"Look at those photos of Dana Ireland," Ashida said, "this was not a single person who mauled that body. She was mauled by a pack of animals."

Hunt said, "What happened to Dana Ireland was something that should never happen to a human being. She was brutally murdered and apparently raped. And whoever did that should be convicted and punished very seriously.

"But the person who did it is not Frank Pauline Jr.," he said.

Jury must
consider varied
evidence, witnesses

By Dana Williams


HILO -- As jurors in the Frank Pauline Jr. murder trial begin deliberations today, they will be faced with the task of sorting through autopsy photos, accident reports, expert statements and more than 100 hours of witness testimony.

Here are some of the key pieces of evidence in the case:

Bullet The confession: In 1994, Pauline, an inmate at Halawa prison, told police he was present when Dana Ireland was kidnapped, raped and murdered. Then he told police that he hit Ireland on the head with a tire iron to kill her. Pauline frequently changed details of the story, then recanted his confession.

The defense said he made up the story to get a deal for a brother who was facing drug conspiracy charges, and to get transferred from Halawa to another prison.

Deputy Prosecutor Lincoln Ashida said that explanation doesn't make sense. "What is the No. 1 way you guarantee you're going to spend the rest of your life in Halawa prison?" Ashida asked. "Confess to a murder."

Bullet The bloody T-shirt: Detectives found a blood-soaked JimmyZ-brand T-shirt in the area where Ireland was abandoned. Tests later determined that the blood belonged to Ireland. Witnesses, including Pauline's former girlfriend, linked the shirt to him.

Although the former girlfriend said Pauline's shirt size was large, the defense said Pauline weighed 210-220 pounds in 1991, and his shirt size was double extra-large. Defense attorney Clifford Hunt held up the bloody shirt yesterday and said it wouldn't fit on a man that size.

"It's a large. Big shirt, yeah? Now we know it didn't get washed, and we know it hasn't been shrunk, so we're not dealing like with O.J.'s glove, right?"

Bullet Christmas Eve witnesses: Prosecution witnesses described seeing Pauline with Albert Ian and Shawn Schweitzer at a surf spot Ireland passed on her bicycle, and described how the suspects headed in the same direction as Ireland. That night, other witnesses saw Pauline crying and wearing no shirt. The witnesses said the Schweitzers' Volkswagen was damaged, reportedly by hitting a dog, then repaired and repainted within a few days.

The defense said the witnesses all had reasons to want to hurt Pauline or help the state.

Bullet The bicycle and the car: Jurors will have to decide if Ireland's mangled bicycle was damaged by the Volkswagen confiscated by police. A prosecution expert said the bike was hit by a Volkswagen, but a defense expert said it was hit by a truck or van.

Bullet The DNA: Investigators recovered sperm from Ireland's body and from a gurney sheet where she lay dying. DNA from the sperm does not match Pauline, the Schweitzers or anyone else tested, including Ireland's boyfriend. The defense said that proves Pauline didn't rape and murder Ireland. The prosecution said that only proves Pauline wasn't the source of the sperm that was recovered.

The sperm was found by a defense witness, and further DNA tests on the sperm were done by agreement of prosecutors and the defense.

Bullet The medical experts: Defense witness Dr. Werner Spitz, former Detroit coroner, said Ireland couldn't have received a direct blow from a tire iron. He said a glancing blow was possible, but unlikely. Prosecutors said Pauline never admitted to delivering a direct blow to Ireland's head.

Bullet The investigation: The quality of the police investigation became an issue in the case. Detective Steven Guillermo testified he generated 2,800 pages of reports, yet investigators never attempted to fit a person Ireland's size in the trunk of a Volkswagen Beetle. Police also did not tape record Pauline's confession or videotape Pauline's reconstruction of the crime.

Ireland’s father
finally gets his
day in court

Listed as a witness, the father of
the murder victim had been unable
to observe the proceedings

By Cynthia Oi


HILO -- John Ireland was ready to go to court.

He had waited almost eight years for someone to be brought to trial for the murder of his daughter, Dana. Then, because he was listed as a witness and legal rules don't allow witnesses to observe proceedings, he had waited again as six weeks of jury selection and testimony took place outside his presence.

Yesterday, dressed in a blue blazer, a crisp blue shirt, a red, blue and golden-yellow tie and sharply creased gray slacks, Ireland walked briskly through a gap in the hedge surrounding a parking lot straight toward the courthouse. He was ready.

He had never been called to testify, but now, evidentiary matters completed, the lawyers were to argue their cases to the jury, and Ireland, his wife, Louise, his daughter, Sandra, and her husband, Jim Ingham, could join the 50 or so people in the small Hilo courtroom.

There, the waiting continued as the lawyers sparred about how a car that may have been used in the crime had been presented to the jury.

The fits and starts of the trial were not a surprise to observers. Walter Grace was undisturbed.

"Always get something like this happen," he said with a shrug.

Grace said he sat through most of the trial of Frank Pauline Jr., as have several others who, for various reasons, have borne the discomfort of long hours on the courtroom's hard, wooden benches.

Some came because it was something to do. "It's better than movies or TV," said a woman who with her husband retired to Hilo after living in Aiea for 40 years.

Others, like 25-year Manoa resident Natalia Purinton, came in sympathy for the Ireland family.

She and her husband moved to Hilo in 1994 to be with her grandchildren.

Three weeks before Christmas that year, her grandson, Dana Williams, was assaulted as he rode his bicycle, leaving him permanently maimed.

Because her grandson shares Ireland's first name and because they were both hurt while cycling, she said she felt a "powerful familiarity."

"I wanted to come because of the pain we both have," Purinton said.

Still others were there because they have a stake in the trial's outcome.

Pauline's elder sister, Pebbles, took the day off from work to be with her mother, father and other relatives and friends. She said she believes her brother is innocent.

"At times, yeah, I had my doubts because you hear all these things. He had his radical side, but he simmered down quite a bit."

She is not sure if he will be acquitted.

"There is no solid evidence against him," she said. "Nothing matches up. But you cannot really say what's going to happen. You just gotta wait. Just all we can do is wait."

She is right. As the jury begins deliberations today, John Ireland was to wait this time for a verdict.

But he predicts it won't be for long. Leaving the courthouse, he said, "I think this thing will end Thursday."

Dana Ireland Archive

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