Unsealed documents in Dana Ireland murder case show no hidden DNA evidence

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 looking.
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 3:33 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 17, 2022 at 10:04 PM HST
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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 looking.

The Hawaii Innocence Project says the mainland organization is interfering with its efforts to exonerate one of the defendants.

In 1991, Dana Ireland was hit by vehicle, raped and left to die in Puna. Three men, Frank Pauline and brothers, Shawn and Albert Ian Schweitzer, were convicted for the crime, but controversy over the case continues more than 30 years later.

Judges for Justice which produced video documentaries on the case believes the men were wrongfully convicted.

The group convinced a Hilo Circuit judge to release documents from 2007 and 2009 containing a list of items sent for testing after the conviction. The 2009 document is heavily redacted and lists several items like clothing, evidence from Ireland, hair and carpet.

“There may be evidence that the 2007 DNA test was intentionally withheld from Frank Pauline. If that’s in there, that’s attorney misconduct. Now, I’m not saying it is. I’m just saying it’s possible. We don’t know. It’s blackened out. We don’t know what’s 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 New York Innocence Project are trying to exonerate Albert “Ian” Schweitzer who’s still behind bars.

“So certain evidence should not be disclosed because we know one thing, the real perpetrators are still out there. The DNA does not match any other defendants whatsoever,” said Ken Lawson of the Hawaii Innocence Project.

He says Heavey is interfering with the case.

“Finally, the judge told him in hearing last week, look all these accusations you’ve been making are false. These files, these sealed files contain absolutely no DNA results. Has he apologized? No,” said Lawson.

“The man is a menace,” he added.

“I would tell them, I love you. I come in peace and I am not trying to do anything that would upset you. I am merely pursuing righteousness,” said Heavey.

The Hawaii County Prosecutor says it’s sharing information with the Hawaii Innocence Project.

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