It's going to be very difficultBy Rod Thompson
to convict the Schweitzers
if Pauline is not convicted
HILO -- Removal of attorney Brian De Lima from the defense of Frank Pauline Jr., charged with the 1991 murder of Dana Ireland, will make conviction of two other suspects difficult, says the victim's father, John Ireland.
But the removal of De Lima yesterday by Judge Riki May Amano was a victory for the prosecution. Deputy prosecutor Charlene Iboshi wanted De Lima out on the grounds of potential conflicts of interest.
Dana Ireland, 23, was hit by a car at Kapoho on Christmas Eve 1991, taken to another location where she was raped, then left to die.
Pauline was indicted for murder, kidnapping and sexual assault last year, and brothers Shawn and Albert Ian Schweitzer were separately indicted on the same charges. The brothers are to be tried separately from Pauline, whose trial had been scheduled to come first.
Speaking by telephone from his home in Virginia following De Lima's removal, John Ireland said, "It's going to be very difficult to convict the Schweitzers if Pauline is not convicted."
Finding a new attorney for Pauline is likely to be a lengthy process, Ireland said, delaying Pauline's trial until after that of the Schweitzers, set for April.
Pauline helped police crack the case by making several statements and confessions starting in 1994.
Pauline told police all three suspects were smoking cocaine while Ian Schweitzer drove around in a Volkswagen "bug." Ian initiated the attack by hitting Dana Ireland with the car, court testimony has indicated.
"Pauline's the guy that's got all the information," John Ireland said. "The Schweitzers have never opened their mouths."
The Irelands had planned to fly to Hawaii tomorrow to be present for the Jan. 20 start of Pauline's trial. The delay caused by De Lima's removal left their plans in doubt.
Deputy Prosecutor Iboshi gained De Lima's removal by telling the court that she might call four witnesses who are defended by De Lima in unrelated matters.
One of them, Frank Perreira, told the court yesterday that he had no problem with De Lima cross-examining him if he is called as a prosecution witness.
Perreira initially told police he had information about the night of Dana Ireland's death, Dec. 24. He later said his memories were irrelevant because they were from Dec. 23. A polygraph test indicated he was telling the truth.
But Iboshi said Perreira has other information about the case. De Lima shot back, "Let's have a look at it," but got no response from her.
Perreira finally said he wouldn't talk to the prosecution without De Lima present, leading Amano to say, "There's a conflict."
Her ruling against De Lima pushed aside another pending matter, whether Pauline's confessions were voluntary.
It also brought an outburst from Pauline, who refused to be quieted by the judge.
"I'm not going to trust any other attorney," he said.
"If you call other attorneys, I'll just keep turning them down. I feel this is wrong!"
Outside the courtroom, Pauline's mother, Pat, let out cries that were heard on the other side of the building.
"My son is innocent," at home with her the night of Ireland's death, she said through tears.
She said police have refused to investigate the alleged real killer, whom she identified.
Court records identify the man as having Big Island convictions for robbery and drugs.
Pat Pauline said the man told her son about the attack on Ireland when her son gave him a ride.
John Ireland said Frank Pauline called him from jail one night with the same story. "That's garbage," Ireland commented.
Pat Pauline also said former policeman John Kalawe held a "secret meeting" in which he tried to tell prosecutors Frank Pauline was innocent.
Kalawe told the Star-Bulletin he took a statement from Pauline at Oahu Prison at the prosecution's request because Pauline refused to speak to anyone else.
He declined to describe the contents of the statement but revealed that as recently as last year, authorities had another suspect in the case.