DANA IRELAND CASE
for secret hearing
The lawyer for one of
Dana Ireland's alleged killers
seeks the closed-door session
A look at the defense's witness listBy Rod Thompson
HILO -- In a case already clouded by secrecy, the attorney for a man charged with the 1991 murder of Big Island newcomer Dana Ireland is asking for more secrecy.
In documents filed yesterday, attorney Clifford Hunt, who represents Frank Pauline Jr., is asking for a closed-door hearing in Judge Riki May Amano's office Tuesday. Hunt's documents don't give a reason for secrecy.
In 1997, Amano imposed a gag order preventing the prosecution and defense from discussing the case publicly.
No explanation was given when charges against two brothers, also suspects in the case, were dismissed last year. The charges were renewed this year.
No explanation was given when Hunt asked for a delay of the trial in May. Amano ordered documents that might give an explanation to be locked up.
Pauline, 26, is accused of kidnapping, rape and murder for allegedly participating with brothers Albert Ian Schweitzer, 28, and Shawn Schweitzer, 23, in the Christmas Eve, 1991, attack against Ireland, 23.
They allegedly ran over Ireland with their car, raped and beat her, then left her in a remote area to bleed to death.
Pauline confessed to police several times, then withdrew his confession.
The brothers are to be tried later in the year. They have not confessed to police, but allegedly confessed to other jail inmates.
Jury selection for Pauline is set to resume Monday, and the trial will likely start later in the week.
Hunt's request for a hearing deals mostly with routine matters, such as keeping witnesses out of the courtroom until their turn to testify arrives.
The only suggestion of an explanation for secrecy is Hunt's brief reference to possible discussion of evidence.
Hunt accuses the prosecution of improperly releasing information about lie detector tests in April, suggesting he is trying to avoid release of other information now.
Hunt doesn't explain what the alleged improper information was. A prosecution document confirmed that Pauline took at least one polygraph test, but it didn't say what the results were.
Hunt himself had asked for the polygraph information.
The prosecution noted that the law prohibits the polygraph information from being used in court.
Hunt also wants to keep jurors from hearing any police comment on Pauline's statements to them or comment on his exercising his right to remain silent.
It's not clear whether Amano is going to grant Hunt a secret hearing. One document signed by Hunt tells prosecutors a hearing will be held by Amano "in her courtroom."
The judge could start the hearing in open court and then move it to her office.
The purpose of secrecy is to prevent potential jurors from hearing improper information.
But Amano has already ordered a preselected pool of potential jurors not to read or listen to news reports or other talk about the trial.
An estimated three or four days are needed for final jury selection. The case will run Mondays through Thursdays and is expected to last seven weeks.
Pauline defense witness
list totals 377
Some people on the list areBy Rod Thompson
political figures with little or no
connection to the case
HILO -- Dana Ireland murder trial defense attorney Clifford Hunt has expanded his witness list to include political figures who appear to have little or no connection to the case.
Hunt, representing suspect Frank Pauline Jr., yesterday added nine more names to the ones he listed previously.
The new ones include Mayor Stephen Yamashiro, not known to have any connection with the case, and Lorraine Rodero Inouye, mayor at the time of Ireland's death in 1991, now a state senator.
They include Jay Kimura, the head of the prosecutor's office, and Jon Ono, head of the office in 1991.
They include Brenda Carreira, a deputy prosecutor associated with the case until about 1994 but not since then, and Kay Iopa, a former deputy not connected with the case. Iopa left the office under a cloud after Judge Riki May Amano accused her of improper conduct in another case and declared a mistrial.
Hunt's previous list also included as defense witnesses the chief prosecutor in this case, Charlene Iboshi, and her assistant, Lincoln Ashida.
The purpose of calling a large segment of the prosecutor's office is unknown, although Hunt has stated that police did a sloppy job and got the wrong man.
He might attempt to show that the prosecutors also did a poor job.
While Hunt's list now covers 377 names, the prosecution also has a long list, 274 names. Lawyers often list more names than they actually call.
Dana Ireland Archive