Tuesday, February 9, 1999

By Rod Thompson, Star-Bulletin
Wayne Nasario ducks under a towel while being led from
District Court in Hilo yesterday. Police documents link Nasario
to the Ireland murder case, although his attorney
denies any connection.

Lawyer: Ireland case
arrestee wasn’t involved

By Rod Thompson


HILO -- Attorney Stanton Oshiro has denied that Big Islander Wayne Nasario has anything to do with the case of murder victim Dana Ireland, despite police documents linking him to it.

But Oshiro convinced a District Court judge that Nasario's life could be in danger, although he faced only contempt of court and traffic charges.

Following Nasario's appearance for contempt, Oshiro led him to a waiting car with Nasario hiding his head in a sweatshirt.

Why police linked Nasario, and two other men not yet located, to the case hasn't been explained.

Three other men were indicted in 1997, but charges against two were dropped last year with minimal explanation.

New court documents may shed light. "Police and prosecution have consistently believed a fourth person may have been present and participated in this kidnapping, rape, and murder," Deputy Prosecutor Lincoln Ashida wrote.

The theory of a fourth attacker was not made public previously.

Ireland, 23, a visitor from Virginia, was hit by a car, abducted, beaten and raped on Christmas Eve 1991. She died at midnight.

Last month, police documents with a special identification number showed police were seeking three additional men in the Ireland case. One was located Friday and identified as Nasario, 35, of Mountain View.

Oshiro began yesterday's hearing by objecting to news cameras being used in the courtroom.

Without naming any case, he told Judge Sandra Pechter Schutte that other witnesses had received death threats, and Nasario could receive them, too.

He told the judge, who agreed to ban the cameras, that the news media believed Nasario was a suspect in the Ireland case or related to it. "That's not true," he said.

Schutte accepted a no-contest plea from Nasario on the contempt charge, set March 22 for sentencing, and freed him on supervised release.

Attorneys in the Ireland cases have been under a court ban against discussing the matter, which prevented an explanation of why charges against two of the three suspects indicted in 1997 were dropped last year.

A recent document by defense attorney Clifford Hunt says a DNA test showed sperm found on a sheet where Ireland lay dying came from a single person. Charges against brothers Shawn and Albert Ian Schweitzer were dropped because the DNA didn't match theirs, or that of five other people with whom the DNA was compared, Hunt wrote.

The remaining suspect, Frank Pauline Jr., has said he did not rape Ireland.

Hunt, Pauline's attorney, wants Pauline's charges dropped, too.

Meanwhile, Judge Riki May Amano has approved an order allowing police to obtain DNA in saliva from other people and to obtain bite marks from those people to compare with bite marks on Ireland's body.

Although the title of the order is given in a court index, the order itself is locked in a cabinet, and there is no public indication whether it covers Nasario and the other two men being sought.

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