Tuesday, April 13, 1999

Defense rips police
work on Ireland murder

By Rod Thompson


HILO -- Judge Riki May Amano has agreed to give the attorney for Dana Ireland murder suspect Frank Pauline Jr. some of the material he wants, material he says will show "shoddy" police work.

Indicating Pauline during a hearing yesterday, attorney Clifford Hunt said, "Our defense is my client, this man, was improperly charged because of a shoddy police investigation."

Pauline, 25, with his goatee shaved off and his hair neatly trimmed, and dressed in black slacks, a pinstriped white shirt, and a gray tie, listened.

Ireland, 23, was attacked on Christmas Eve 1991, while returning to a family gathering after a bicycle ride.

As jury selection began yesterday, Amano read the charges to prospective jurors: that Pauline, "with others," kidnapped Ireland, sexually assaulted her, and murdered her by committing certain acts.

Those acts included hitting her with a car and with a tire iron.

The judge mistakenly read to one group of jurors an old version of the charges, which said that Pauline also committed murder by omitting certain acts, especially by failing to get medical help for her.

Amano herself had twice ruled earlier that the "murder by omission" charge had to be dropped.

Following the mistake, Hunt asked for a mistrial. But Amano said the mistake can be corrected in jury instructions at the end of the trial.

Of 538 prospective jurors called, 203 were exempted and 79 failed to show up. Amano warned of $100 fines for the no-shows.

Selection from among the remaining 259 was interspersed with hearings on five motions by Hunt seeking evidence of allegedly poor police work.

"My job is to attack the investigation," Hunt told Amano. "What do I say, the police and prosecutor did a fine job, but they got the wrong guy?"

"The defense is going to be that Mr. Pauline is the wrong guy," he repeated.

Hunt asked for the names of anonymous tipsters, including one who told police a month after the attack on Ireland that he overheard three brothers saying they attacked a woman.

Hunt said those brothers may be the true killers. The prosecution said they were cleared long ago.

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