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Monday, April 17, 2000

Dana Ireland

expected to go
free on bail

The Dana Ireland slaying
defendant then is likely to
go to the mainland

By Rod Thompson


HILO -- Dana Ireland murder suspect Shawn Schweitzer pleaded guilty today to reduced charges that will let him go free on bail until sentencing, then move to the mainland on probation.

Schweitzer, 24, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and kidnapping. He had been charged with murder, kidnapping and sexual assault in the Christmas Eve, 1991, attack on Ireland, 23, a Virginia woman visiting relatives on the Big Island.

Schweitzer must be returned to Oahu Community Correctional Center for formal release, which could happen today.

He then will be free on $4,000 bail, but must remain on Oahu, Judge Riki May Amano said. After sentencing, his probation could be transferred to another state.

Deputy prosecutor Lincoln Ashida said Schweitzer told police he did not touch Ireland.

"He pleaded guilty to what he's guilty of," Ashida said outside the courtroom.

Speaking by telephone from Viriginia, Ireland's mother, Louise Ireland, told the Star-Bulletin, "He's just as responsible (as Albert Ian Schweitzer, his brother, and Frank Pauline Jr.) for killing Dana."

But she added, "It's good that everything is being settled."

Schweitzer gave only "yes" and "no" answers to questions asked by Amano today.

Ashida revealed the information that Schweitzer gave in a March 23 statement to police.

On Dec. 24, 1991, Schweitzer, then 16, was in the back seat of a Volkswagen "bug" driven by his brother Albert Ian, then 20.

Front-seat passenger Pauline, then 18, said, "Get that bitch," Ashida said. Ian Schweitzer then ran over Ireland with the car, and Pauline dragged her into the car.

At remote Waawaa, Schweitzer saw Pauline undress Ireland, pull down his pants, and rape Ireland. Schweitzer did not see his brother rape Ireland, Ashida said.

"He can only say what he saw," Ashida said. A polygraph test confirmed the statements, he said.

Schweitzer said there was no fourth attacker, but Ashida said police will continue investigating DNA from sperm found in Ireland, which didn't match the suspects'.

Amano set sentencing for May 9. She said she will abide by an agreement between prosecution and defense, which gives Schweitzer credit for 16 months served in jail and will require about four more years of probation, for a total of five years.

Ireland's father, John, said he and his wife will not attend the sentencing, since they have gone to the Big Island so many times, only to find events were delayed. Ireland's sister, Sandy, was in court today and is expected to make a statement at sentencing.

Dana Ireland Archive

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