Police hunt for DNA match after wrong man imprisoned for Dana Ireland murder
Hawaiʻi County's police chief says his department is still working to identify the unknown male whose DNA was found in connection with a murder for which another man was wrongly convicted and imprisoned for more than 20 years.
Albert “Ian” Schweitzer was convicted in 2000 and sentenced to 130 years in prison for the murder, kidnapping and sexual assault of Dana Ireland, a 23-year-old visitor to Hawaiʻi. But a judge on Tuesday ordered Schweitzer released after his attorneys presented new evidence and argued he didn't commit the crimes he was convicted of.
Chief Benjamin Moszkowicz said in a statement Thursday the Hawaiʻi Police Department has never stopped trying to identify the unknown man. He said the department has used additional DNA testing over the years to exclude potential people of interest.
“Moving forward, we will continue to use new technologies to help not only identify Unknown Male #1, but to determine what his role may have been in this heinous crime,” Moszkowicz said.
DNA evidence previously submitted in the case belonged to an unknown man and all three of the men convicted for the crime were excluded as sources.
New DNA evidence, according to a petition filed by Schweitzer's attorneys, showed that a “Jimmy Z” brand T-shirt found near Ireland and soaked with her blood belonged to the same unknown man, and not to one of the three men, as prosecutors claimed.
Attorneys are now turning to exonerating the other two. They include Schweitzer’s younger brother Shawn, who took a guilty plea deal after his brother was convicted. The younger Schweitzer recanted in October, which helped bolster the case for his brother’s release.
The third man, Frank Pauline Jr., was killed by a fellow inmate in prison in 2015. His family's attorney plans to file a motion seeking to have him posthumously exonerated.