Big Island man free after decades imprisoned for murder, rape he didn’t commit
Albert “Ian” Schweitzer from the Big Island has spent more than two decades imprisoned nearly 3,000 miles from Hawai‘i for a horrific crime he did not commit.
Hilo-based Judge Peter Kubota ruled Schweitzer should be freed immediately on Tuesday, following new DNA evidence that excludes Schweitzer from the scene of a rape and murder committed on Christmas Eve 1991, according to the Associated Press.
Virginia resident Dana Ireland, 23, was found clinging to life in a remote section of Puna when she was transported to Hilo Medical Center. She died soon after of blood loss.
Schweitzer was convicted in 2000, one of three Native Hawaiian men convicted and later found innocent of the crime, the Associated Press wrote Tuesday.
Schweitzer is the last to be released. Frank Pauline Jr. was killed in a 2015 New Mexico prison riot. Schweitzer’s brother, Shawn Schweitzer, pled guilty in receive a lighter sentence, but later recanted.
“The air is good … The water is good,” the Associated Press quotes Schweitzer as saying, when asked about his return to life in Hawai‘i.