Judge to consider freedom for Hawaiian man in '91 murder

HONOLULU (AP) — Attorneys for a Native Hawaiian man who has been imprisoned for more than 20 years for the 1991 sexual assault, kidnapping and murder of a white woman visiting

Hawaii will ask a judge Tuesday to dismiss his conviction due to new evidence — including DNA testing — in the case. A petition filed late Monday outlines additional

evidence in one of Hawaii's biggest murders, which unfolded on Christmas Eve in 1991 on Hawaii Island, commonly known as the Big Island. Dana Ireland, 23, was found barely

alive in the bushes along a fishing trail in Puna, a remote section of the Big Island. She had been sexually assaulted and beaten and later died at Hilo Medical Center. The

mangled bicycle she had been riding was found several miles away and appeared to have been run into by a vehicle. The murder of the blond-haired, blue-eyed visitor from

Virginia gained national attention and remained unsolved for years, putting intense pressure on police to find the killer. “Whenever you have a white, female victim ... it

gets a lot more attention than people of color and Native Hawaiians,” said Kenneth Lawson, co-director of the Hawaii Innocence Project. “The parents, understandably, were becoming

more and more infuriated. ... There was insurmountable pressure to solve this case. And when that happens, mistakes are made. Some intentional and some unintentional.” With

help from the Innocence Project in New York, the co-counsel in the case, Lawson's group is representing Albert “Ian” Schweitzer, the last of three Native Hawaiian men convicted in

Ireland's death to remain imprisoned.