Wednesday, July 21, 1999

Dana Ireland Trial

Ireland trial gets under way
Pauline told
a friend the next day,
says prosecutor

Opening statements reveal
that Pauline admitted his actions
to a friend on Christmas day

Jurors start to hear case
The Judge
The Witnesses

By Rod Thompson


HILO -- Dana Ireland murder suspect Frank Pauline Jr. told a friend on Christmas Day 1991 that he was involved in an attack on a young woman, prosecutor Charlene Iboshi told jurors today in his murder trial. Pauline's statement came just one day after the attack on Ireland.

Dana Ireland Pauline, now 26, made numerous statements amounting to confessions starting in 1994. Iboshi's revelation was the first disclosure that Pauline admitted his participation immediately after the attack.

Iboshi revealed the information in an opening statement to jurors as the trial got under way this morning. Defense attorney Clifford Hunt was to give his opening statement this afternoon.

Police didn't get a break in the case until Pauline started talking to them in 1994. He did it because his conscience was bothering him, Iboshi told jurors.

He told police he'd had dreams of Ireland coming to him and asking for his help.

But Pauline told some of his friends right away, Iboshi said.

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
Eva Uran, a Big Island resident who rides her bicycle to get
around the island, waits outside the court room
in Hilo this morning.

"They didn't come forward right away," she said. "They didn't want to get involved."

"The fact that one of the defendant's friends will say that even the next day, Frankie had come -- and this is Christmas Day now -- had come over to his house and said they had banged the girl, hit her, and left her to die ..."

Iboshi did not reveal the name of the friend who heard Pauline's story.

The revelation could undercut the defense argument that Pauline heard the story of the attack from someone else and falsely confessed to police 2-1/2 years later. The purpose was allegedly to use the information as a bargaining chip to help relatives who were facing unrelated charges.

But if Iboshi's disclosure shook the defense, they gave no indication of it.

Pauline, wearing a white shirt with dark pants and a dark tie, sat through much of Iboshi's statement appearing to look directly at jurors with a neutral expression on his face.

After Iboshi concluded and jurors were dismissed for lunch, Hunt remained in his seat, a smile on his face.

Jurors start to
hear case of Christmas
’91 murder

Pauline's defense says he
confessed to buy freedom for
relatives facing trials

By Rod Thompson


HILO -- Did Dana Ireland murder suspect Frank Pauline Jr. tell police and the news media he participated in the crime because he's guilty?

As the prosecution says.

Or did an innocent Pauline spread false confessions as a way of buying freedom for relatives, some of whom were facing their own criminal charges?

As the defense says.

It's time for some answers.

Five years after Pauline confessed his involvement in the Christmas Eve, 1991 attack on Ireland, a Big Island jury is ready to hear the case today.

Thirty to 40 spectators crowded outside the courtroom this morning , and metal detectors were set up in front of the doors. Two days of jury selection concluded yesterday with a panel of six men and six woman, plus four alternates also equally divided according to gender.

They were to hear prosecution and defense attorneys give 45-minute opening statements this morning as a preview to massive amounts of testimony expected in the next six to seven weeks.

The prosecution lists 313 possible witnesses. The defense, 377.

In a rare move, Judge Riki May Amano will let jurors take notes.

All this to explain what happened to Dana Ireland, 23, an athletic college graduate from Virginia who came to Hawaii in 1991 to visit her older sister Sandy, then was killed on Christmas Eve that year.

Her bicycle was found crushed in an area south of Hilo. She was found five miles away, beaten, raped and nearly incoherent. She died at midnight as Christmas Day began.

For the next 2-1/2 years, police couldn't find out exactly what happened.

Then in mid-year 1994, Frank Pauline Jr., now 26, already serving time for an unrelated crime, told police he was present during the attack carried out by two brothers, Albert Ian and Shawn Schweitzer, while the three of them were high on cocaine.

Pauline admitted to hitting Ireland with a tire iron.

At the end of the year, he told the story to a newspaper and television station.

Two years later, he denied being present. His mother Pat has recently said Pauline learned Ireland's fate from someone else, then told police he was involved, trying to make deals for three of his relatives facing unrelated charges.

Jurors got a taste of opposing views yesterday during juror questioning in a story about children and a cookie.

Deputy Prosecutor Lincoln Ashida told prospective jurors during jury selection that his 3-year-old son had eaten his 1-year-old daughter's cookie.

His son first confessed to the "crime," then denied he ate the cookie when Ashida told the boy he would be punished.

The similarity to Pauline's confessions followed by denials was obvious.

But defense attorney Clifford Hunt turned the story around. He said the little girl might have eaten the cookie without permission. The older brother might have made a false confession to eating the cookie to protect his sister, Hunt said.

One prospective juror got the point.

"Just because there's crumb lying around, doesn't necessarily mean (older brother) Scotty ate it," he said.

Despite the prospective juror getting the point of the defense version of the argument, the defense soon excused the man from the jury.




Bullet Riki May Amano, a former football player and mediator, is running the trial. She's already been called upon to use her skills of playing hard in a rough game and resolving disputes as smoothly as possible.


Bullet Henry Lee, above, Werner Spitz and Edward Blake are among the hundreds of people listed as witnesses in the murder trial of Frank Pauline Jr. The three men are experts in the field of forensic science. They also have something else in common. They were all involved with the O.J. Simpson case.

experts will take
the stand

All three famous forensic
consultants took part in the
Simpson murder trial

By Crystal Kua


They tell it like it is, even when what they say isn't what those who asked for their help want to hear.

But that's what makes the three famed forensic consultants all the more credible, those familiar with their work say.

Henry Lee, Werner Spitz and Edward Blake are all slated as witnesses during Frank Pauline Jr.'s trial in the murder of Dana Ireland.

The three experts have something else in common. They were all involved in what arguably was the most publicized murder case of the century -- the O.J. Simpson case.

Simpson was accused and then acquitted of killing his wife, Nicole, and her friend Ronald Goldman. A civil jury trial later found Simpson liable for their deaths and ordered he pay damages to the victims' families.

Jurors and spectators in the Hilo courtroom will watch as some of the most respected minds in forensic science explain what they found when they examined evidence from the Ireland case.

Lee, Connecticut state public safety commissioner and director of the state police crime lab, has many fields of expertise, but the substance he is often associated with is blood, as in the Simpson trials as a defense witness.

But it wasn't the 1994 Simpson case that first brought Lee to the public's attention in Hawaii.

State Deputy Attorney General Kurt Spohn was a deputy in the Hawaii County Prosecutor's Office in 1992 when then-county police Sgt. Kenneth Mathison was a suspect in the death of his wife, Yvonne.

Mathison said he accidentally ran over his wife with their van. He was discovered cradling her bloodied body in the back of the van.

When Spohn was assigned to examine the evidence in the case, he looked at photographs of the inside of the van and noticed large deposits of blood and blood smears.

He also saw blood droplets on an unusual site -- the van's instrument panel -- located in the front of the van.

Spohn received Lee's name after asking an office investigator to check for the best blood spatter expert.

Lee's analysis of the blood spatter proved to be a critical in proving that Yvonne Mathison's death was no accident. Kenneth Mathison was convicted of murder and is now serving a life sentence.

Lee's lab has examined swabbings taken from Ireland as well as other physical evidence thought to contain semen.

Spohn, who has no knowledge of the details of the Ireland investigation, said there are several reasons why Lee is a credible witness.

"He's very skilled in dealing with people," Spohn said. "He's a good person and you know it and you trust him."

Spohn said that Lee is also a solid scientist. "I don't think it's an exaggeration to say he's brilliant."

Lee is also good at cutting through the scientific "mumbo jumbo" and getting to the heart of his findings, Spohn said. "He uses his position not as an advocate but as a scientist. He has no preconceived agenda. He's not trying to prove or disprove anything. He's giving you the facts."

Hilo attorney Brian De Lima, who was Pauline's original attorney before prosecutors had him removed from the case, sought pioneer DNA researcher Blake as a defense witness in the case.

De Lima, who is also using Blake as an expert in another murder case, said Blake also believes in laying it on the line whether or not his findings agree with what the people who hired him are trying to prove.

Blake, who is a native of Honolulu, becomes irritated with scientific results deemed "inconclusive."

De Lima said the scientist uses the analogy of a wife asking her husband fisherman, "How was your fishing?" and the fisherman replying, "inconclusive."

"Either you caught the fish or didn't," De Lima said.

Several pieces of evidence were sent to Blake's Forensic Science Associates in Richmond, Calif., for testing. Blake was the first to find semen on the hospital sheet that a dying Dana Ireland lay on.

Spitz, a renowned forensic pathologist, was also a witness in the Mathison case. Spohn found Spitz through another expert with a Simpson connection.

In the Mathison case, Spitz showed jurors that a long pipe with threading marks was consistent with the type of object used to beat Yvonne Mathison.

Spohn said that Spitz is very methodical in his testimony, moving from step-to-step in an orderly way while Lee is very gregarious and will defuse hostility during cross examination through laughter.

They both, however, like to get out of the witness stand and demonstrate what they're talking about. "They provided the scientific corroboration for what the other witnesses testified to," Spohn said.

Spitz, a former Detroit coroner, has also sat on the commissions looking into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

Lee has worked on other high profile cases such as the William Kennedy Smith case as a defense expert and was sought out a consultant in the investigation of JonBenet Ramsey homicide.


Among the witnesses tentatively scheduled for today in the murder trial of Frank Pauline Jr., accused of the 1991 killing of Dana Ireland:

Bullet Officer Robert Wagner: The first police officer to arrive in Vacationland when Dana Ireland's wrecked bicycle was found.

Bullet Sandy Ireland: Dana Ireland's sister. Dana had come to Hawaii to visit Sandy, and Sandy was among the first people to arrive at the scene of the wrecked bicycle.

Bullet Mark Evans: Dana Ireland's boyfriend. She was riding her bicycle from his house to her parents' rental home when she was struck by a vehicle, abducted, raped and murdered.

Bullet Louise Ireland: Dana Ireland's mother. Dana was less than half a mile from the Irelands' rental home when she was struck.

Pauline judge knows
how to play rough

By Rod Thompson


During the 1970s, well before Riki May Amano became a judge, she used to play football on a women's team.

In 1982, young lawyer Amano also became interested in mediation, taking training in the process at the Neighborhood Justice Center in Honolulu.

The two activities illustrate major aspects of her character, an ability to play hard in a rough game and a desire to resolve problems with a minimum of squabbling. The Dana Ireland case has been rough. A smooth resolution has been impossible.

Amano was appointed a District Court judge in 1992, followed by an appointment as a Circuit Court judge in 1993. She had spent her career doing non-criminal cases, such as child protection cases.

She also spent 10 years working as a mediator on the Big Island.

As a judge, she continued to apply mediation skills where possible, such as the 1997 case in which a suit by the United Public Workers against Hawaii County raised doubts about the validity of hundreds of county contracts. Amano sorted it out with shuttle mediation, a series of separate, back-to-back meetings with the two sides. She also got tough, openly warning UPW attorney Herbert Takahashi not to play a "political game."

She shows flashes of the same toughness in criminal cases, sometimes cutting wordy lawyers short.

When Frank Pauline prosecutor Charlene Iboshi tried to upgrade a petty misdemeanor failure-to-render-aid charge to a felony murder charge, Amano slammed the door on the idea."That's too broad a reading (of the law) and you know it," she told Iboshi.

Despite clear frustration with defense attorney Clifford Hunt, she has granted him more and more time for his case.

Dana Ireland Archive

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