HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Shayne Kobayashi, whose body was found last week Friday off the Stainback Highway in Hilo, was a witness in the Dana Ireland murder trial of Frank Pauline, Jr., in 1999.
Kobayashi was a friend of Pauline. He placed Pauline and two other suspects, brothers Albert Ian Schweitzer and Shawn Schweitzer, at the location where Ireland was last seen alive on Christmas Eve 1991.
Kobayashi took the witness stand on Aug. 2, 1999, and testified that he and the three men were at a beach park where Ireland was seen shortly before she was attacked.
"Did you folks notice her there?," asked deputy prosecutor Lincoln Ashida.
"Yes," replied Kobayashi.
"How did you notice her?"
"'Cause people in our group were talking like, 'Wow, look at that nice lady over there.'"
Kobayashi said Pauline and the Schweitzers then left in the same direction as Ireland, and that the three men never showed up at a gathering set for later that night.
Kobayashi also was convicted of sex assault in 1995. He served just three years of a ten-year prison sentence in exchange for his testimony.
"Now, you have a deal with the government, don't you?," Ashida asked Kobayashi on the witness stand.
"Yes, I do," replied Kobayashi.
"You have a felony conviction, don't you?"
"Yes, I do."
Now, Kobayashi is dead, the cause unknown.
Pauline and the Schweitzers were eventually convicted in connection with Ireland's death. Pauline was sentenced to 180 years in prison.
When asked in the trial why he came forward to testify against Pauline, he replied, "For justice. I feel that what they did was wrong. If it was one of my family I would hope someone would come forward so people can sleep."
Authorities are now hoping someone will come forward with information on Kobayashi's death. Police ask that anyone with information on this case call Detective Todd Pataray at 961-2382 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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