Monday, April 12, 1999

Jury selection
starts in long-delayed
Ireland case

But testimony in the girl's
slaying won't get under way
until June 14

By Rod Thompson
Big Island correspondent


HILO -- More than 500 people will be called, and 16 will be chosen to decide whether Frank Pauline Jr. participated in the 1991 kidnapping, rape and murder of Big Island newcomer Dana Ireland.

Jury selection in Pauline's trial started today, part of plans by Judge Riki May Amano to assure that a trial really does take place in the long-delayed case.

Amano began jury selection this morning by presenting initial questions to 78 potential jurors who arrived out of a first group of 180 who were called. Late this morning, two additional groups of 180 were still to be questioned.

The judge granted a defense motion to provide the name of a supposedly anonymous person who had provided a tip to police. However, Amano refused to grant the release of other tipsters' names.

Ireland, 23, was hit by a car while walking her bicycle in the rural Puna District on Christmas Eve 1991. She was taken five miles away where she was raped, beaten and left to die.

The case achieved notoriety because of police dispatchers' delay in notifying Fire Department paramedics about Ireland's injuries, inaccurate directions given to the paramedics and the paramedics' initial refusal to drive down an unpaved road to find Ireland.

But the biggest delay in getting help to Ireland was caused by a lack of telephones in the area.

Until 1994, police didn't have enough evidence to charge anybody. Then Pauline confessed.

Finally Pauline was indicted in 1997, but more delays ensued when his attorney was changed several times.

Amano has set a schedule:

Bullet From today through Thursday of this week and next, potential jurors will be questioned individually.

Bullet Five weeks later, those who survive that first round will be recalled for final selection in the week of May 24.

Bullet Three weeks after that, June 14, the presentation of the case will begin to the 12 jurors and four alternates, running Monday through Thursday for seven weeks.

Since Pauline confessed, then recanted his confession, one question for jurors will be which of his various stories they believe.

Defense attorney Clifford Hunt, writing in court documents, has not denied that Pauline was present at the attack on Ireland, although Pauline's mother, Pat, has said her son has denied that.

But Hunt does deny that the evidence shows Pauline joined in the attack.

The prosecution is expected to argue that the seven years since Ireland's death have not been wasted, that false leads have been eliminated and the remaining evidence points to Pauline.

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