Three decades later, an young 23 year old Virginia tourist was abducted and sexually assaulted, and then left to die in a remote area located in Puna in the night of Christmas the following day, an Hilo judge has vacated an indictment against the last prisoner following the discovery of new evidence to prove that he wasn’t guilty of the crime.
Albert “Ian” Schweitzer The 51-year-old was allowed to return to the family following 23 years of prison. Third Circuit Court Judge Peter K. Kubota was able to hear testimony from an analyst in the DNA lab as well as expert forensic tire and bite mark experts who described how the evidence never connected the two suspected co-conspirators to the murder in 1991 of Dana Ireland.
Kubota mentioned Kubota mentioned a “great outrage within communities” and the media, which could have played a role in Ian Schweitzer’s conviction. He also noted the fact that DNA analysis technology has significantly improved since the trial in 2000.
The jury was able to hear the testimony, an over seven-hour hearing, Kubota concluded that the evidence “conclusively shows that during a trial that the jury will likely come to the same verdict of acquittal.”
The DNA evidence gathered by an rape kit, or blood-stained clothing items was the property of Schweitzer and the brother of Shawn and Frank Pauline Jr., according to a memorandum filed in support of a petition to revoke the ruling, filed on Monday.
The DNA’s source is “all the evidence from biology in this instance, is a single person unidentified male number. 1.”
The person’s “skin and sperm” cells were found in an Jimmy Z’ brand T-shirt which was soaked with Dana Ireland’s blood that was discovered close to her body; Unknown Male No. 1’s sperm was also found by Dana Ireland’s. Ireland’s vaginal swab as well as a the hospital gurney sheet utilized to move her and the Unknown Male No. 1’s DNA is in line with the DNA of Ms. Ireland’s pubic hair and her underwear” as per the note.
NEW THIS MORNING: The man convicted in the 1991 rape and murder of Dana Ireland will have his case heard once again in court. Attorneys cite new DNA evidence.
Evidentiary hearing is set for 9 a.m. in Hilo. pic.twitter.com/iM6usHzwBG
— Lia Kamanā (@LiaKamanaTV) January 24, 2023
“The DNA test results prove that they’re not guilty… The male who is not known as No. 1 has committed this horrible criminal act,” said Barry C. Scheck who was speaking in the courtroom.
The Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Shannon M. Kagawa, attempted to claim that the identity of the suspect as well as the absence of DNA evidence were evident to jurors and prosecutors 23 years ago, and they were still convicted of him.
“The idea in the trial was that there was a third party in the mix,” said Kagawa, during his testimony in the courtroom. “The jury was aware of that yet they decided that the accused was guilty.”
Kubota The Japanese politician urged Schweitzer to “hug and cherish the people in your life” and not be focused at the anger, resentment and frustration towards the process or the people who kept him in prison for the third time in his life.