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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, December 27, 2002

2 murder convictions upheld

By David Waite
Advertiser Courts Writer

The Hawai'i Supreme Court upheld the murder convictions of two of Hawai'i's most notorious killers — Byran Uyesugi, who gunned down seven of his Xerox coworkers in a Nimitz Highway warehouse in 1999, and Frank Pauline Jr., who took part in the 1991 slaying of 23-year old Dana Ireland in the Big Island's Puna district.

The convictions of both men were affirmed unanimously by the five Supreme Court justices.

Uyesugi was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole, the harshest sentence allowed under Hawai'i law.

The multiple murders by Uyesugi, a disgruntled copy machine repairman who had a history of anger control problems, shocked Hawai'i and made many employers reevaluate their policies on problem employees.

Uyesugi, who had raised the insanity defense, had argued in his appeal that Circuit Judge Marie Milks erred by not defining the words "appreciate" and "wrongfulness" for the jury in his case.

The words were used in a jury instruction explaining that under Hawai'i law Uyesugi could not be held criminally responsible for his actions if at the time of the Nov. 9, 1999 shootings he was suffering from a mental or physical disorder that kept him from realizing that what he was doing was wrong.

But the Supreme Court justices found that Milks did not need to define the term "appreciate" nor did she err by not defining the word "wrongfulness."

The court also rejected Uyesugi's other points of appeal, including his contention that Milks should have stopped prosecution witnesses from testifying about the victims' families, their hobbies and personal details about their lives and that Milks should not have allowed the prosecution to introduce a photograph of 24 other weapons Uyesugi owned.

The high court also rejected his claims that his lawyers did not adequately represent him.

In the Pauline case, the Supreme Court justices also rejected all of the points of appeal raised by the defense.

Pauline confessed in June 1994 to taking part in the murder of Ireland. During the confession, Pauline admitted he was riding in a 1956 Volkswagen with Shawn Schweitzer and that Schweitzer's brother Albert Ian Schweitzer was driving the car.

Pauline said the group saw Ireland on the side of the road near Kapoho and that Albert Ian Schweitzer turned the car around and drove it into Ireland at about 40 miles an hour. Ireland was riding a bicycle when she was struck Christmas Eve 1991, according to the prosecutors. Pauline said Schweitzer then reversed the car and ran over Ireland's body a second time.

Pauline said in his confession, which he disavowed at trial, that the men loaded Ireland into the front trunk of the Volkswagen and took her to a dirt road where Albert Ian Schweitzer raped her. Pauline admitted in the confession to swinging a tire iron at Ireland's head to ensure that she was dead.

The Supreme Court yesterday rejected claims by Pauline that Big Island Judge Riki May Amano wrongly denied a request to transfer the case to another circuit; excluded a videotape made by an expert witness for the defense who created a computer simulation of the Volkswagen striking Ireland, and allowed the jury to view the car in the parking garage under the Hilo courthouse, during which time the trunk lid was opened and closed.

Pauline was sentenced to three life terms. Albert Ian Schweitzer was sentenced to life in prison, plus two 20-year terms. His brother, Shawn, received one year in prison and five years of probation after pleading guilty to kidnapping and manslaughter.