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Wednesday, April 12, 2000

Shawn Schweitzer
may enter plea
in Ireland case

Big Isle sources say he
will make a plea to a charge
less than murder in the
rape-slaying case

By Rod Thompson
Big Island correspondent


HILO -- Shawn Schweitzer would enter a plea to some charge less than murder in connection with Dana Ireland's death under an agreement in the making, according to sources.

Dana Ireland The pending agreement is linked to a delay yesterday in the sentencing of Schweitzer's brother Albert Ian, 28, who was convicted in February of the same charges still facing Shawn, 24, sources say.

Ireland, 23, a Virginia resident who had been visiting her sister, Sandy, on the Big Island for less than three months, was run over by a car while riding her bicycle on Christmas Eve 1991. She was taken to a remote part of the Puna District, raped, beaten and left to die.

Court documents and previous testimony have indicated that Shawn participated in the attack, but to a lesser extent than two other suspects, his brother and Frank Pauline Jr., 26.

Shawn was 16 at the time; his brother was 20 and Pauline was 18. Documents said Shawn cried during the attack and wanted to leave.

All the suspects faced the same charges: murder, kidnapping and sexual assault. Following conviction of Pauline last year and Albert Ian Schweitzer this year, Shawn was scheduled to be tried Aug. 21.

Sources say new documents could be filed in Shawn's case this week, to be followed by a court appearance for him next week. The exact charges he would plead to were not described. As with Pauline, prosecutors had filed documents regarding Albert Ian seeking a life sentences for each of the three charges.

But in court yesterday, Deputy Prosecutor Lincoln Ashida asked Judge Riki May Amano for a delay connected to written police information which he received earlier in the day. He gave no further description of the information and declined to comment afterward.

Amano rescheduled sentencing for April 24. The judge then will also hear the prosecution motion for three life sentences and two defense motions, to acquit Albert Ian Schweitzer outright or to set aside the jury verdicts, possibly leading to a new trial.

Dana Ireland Archive

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