LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO (HawaiiNewsNow) - New Mexico State Police say an inmate has confessed to the murder of Frank Pauline Jr., one of three men convicted and sentenced to life for the 1991 murder of Dana Ireland in Hawaii.
Pauline was found dead on April 27 in the recreation yard at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Investigators say another inmate, Daniel Hood, confessed to the murder, claiming "he killed Mr. Pauline because he thought Pauline was a snitch and he walked around like he owned the place."
Hood has now been charged with first-degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon by a prisoner.
At the time of his death, Pauline was serving a 180-year sentence for the murder of Dana Ireland on the Big Island of Hawaii. The gruesome crime occurred on Christmas Eve of 1991. Ireland was run over by a car while riding her bicycle to her family's rented vacation home. She was then taken to a remote area in Puna where she was beaten, raped and left to die.
In 1994, Pauline told authorities that he along with brothers Albert 'Ian' and Shawn Schweitzer were responsible for the attack, but many years later he denied any wrongdoing.
Since then, The Hawaii Innocence Project has taken up the case, believing all three men were wrongly convicted. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald published a report about The Project, which is affiliated with the University of Hawaii's William S. Richardson School of Law, on April 26. The following day, Pauline was found dead.
John Gonsalves, Frank Pauline's brother told Hawaii News Now that he worried his brother was killed because of the newspaper report.
"It doesn't add up. It's just too coincidental how that came out to the public and then he gets murdered like that," said Gonsalves.