HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) — Unsealed documents in the decades-old Dana Ireland murder case show no hidden DNA evidence, but a Seattle-based nonprofit justice group isn’t giving up on the search.
The Hawaii Innocence Project claims the mainland organization is interfering with its efforts to exonerate one of the defendants.
In 1991, Dana Ireland was hit by a vehicle, raped and left for dead in Puna. Three men, Frank Pauline and his brothers, Shawn and Albert Ian Schweitzer, were convicted of the crime, but controversy over the case continues more than 30 years later.
Judges for Justice, which produced video documentaries about the case, believe the men were wrongly convicted.
The group convinced a Hilo circuit judge to release documents from 2007 and 2009 containing a list of items sent for post-conviction testing. The 2009 document is heavily redacted and lists several items such as clothing, Irish evidence, hair, and rugs.
“There may be evidence that the 2007 DNA test was intentionally withheld from Frank Pauline. If that’s in there, it’s attorney malpractice. Now I’m not saying that’s the case “I’m just saying it’s possible. We don’t know. It’s blacked out. We don’t know what’s out there,” said Ret. Judge Mike Heavey of Judges for Justice.
Pauline was killed in prison. Shawn Schweitzer received a short sentence with credit for time served. The Hawaii Innocence Project and the New York Innocence Project are trying to exonerate Albert “Ian” Schweitzer who is still behind bars.
“So some evidence should not be released because we know one thing, the real perpetrators are still out there. The DNA does not match any other defendants,” said Ken Lawson of the Hawaii Innocence Project.
He says Heavey is interfering with the case.
“Finally, the judge said to him in court last week, look at all these accusations you’re making are false. These files, these sealed files contain absolutely no DNA results. Did he apologize? No,” Lawson said .
“The man is a threat,” he added.
“I would tell them, I love you. I come in peace and I am not trying to do anything to upset you. I’m just pursuing justice,” Heavey said.
The Hawaii County Attorney says he is sharing information with the Hawaii Innocence Project.
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