A New Mexico prison inmate convicted of murder has confessed to killing fellow inmate Frank Pauline Jr.
Pauline’s body was found on April 27 in the recreation yard of Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility with a rock wrapped in a prison-issued shirt near his body.
He was serving two consecutive life terms for the kidnapping, rape and murder of 23-year-old Dana Ireland on Hawaii Island in 1991.
On Thursday, May 14, New Mexico State Police charged Daniel Hood, 34, with first-degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon by a prisoner. He was already serving time for first- and second-degree murder.
According to court documents, during a search of Hood’s cell on April 29, a prison official “observed what appeared to be blood on Mr. Hood’s shoes and his sweat top.”
Then in his interview with the police, Hood told investigators he took a rock and hit Pauline in the back of the head three times in the recreation yard.
In a press release, authorities said Hood claimed he killed Pauline “because he thought Pauline was a snitch and he walked around like he owned the place.”
Records show Hood told investigators that they had fought before and that Pauline had information Hood did not want to get out, although he did not provide any details.
Hood said the attack on Pauline was premeditated and that they had an altercation in the past. “Mr. Hood knew that what he was going to do was going to seriously injure him or kill him,” the documents said.
Officials tell us that security cameras never recorded the incident.
“There were security cameras at the facility, but this occurred in a very remote section and I do not believe there was video of the incident,” said Sgt. Chad Pierce of the New Mexico State Police.
Prison officials say Hood now faces solitary confinement.
“If he’s found guilty, then he will be living where he cannot hurt someone else. That is 23 hours a day by yourself, one hour for a shower and (recreation) five times a week,” Alex Tomlin, public affairs director of the New Mexico Corrections Department.
Pauline’s brother, John Gonsalves, believes Pauline was killed because of the possibility that he might be proved innocent of Ireland’s murder.
That possibility was raised by the Innocence Project the day before Pauline was killed.
“It’s exactly what I expected before this even came out. I said it’s gonna be somebody that’s serving life in prison and he’s probably gonna confess to it and act like nothing. It’s a setup, I’m telling you,” said Gonsalves.
The Innocence Project says there’s DNA evidence that doesn’t match Pauline or Albert Ian Schweitzer, who was also convicted of killing Ireland.
KHON2 spoke with attorney Brook Hart, who is with The Innocence Project and representing Schweitzer. Hart said he’s concerned that the killing of Pauline might be connected to the case.