Jurors see interview of slain North Dakota children's fatherFARGO, N.D. (AP) — The father of two children slain on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation told investigators that he couldn't explain their deaths because he had been drinking but that he was "not a monster."
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The father of two children slain on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation told investigators that he couldn't explain their deaths because he had been drinking but that he was "not a monster."
The videotaped FBI interview of Travis DuBois Sr. was shown to jurors Tuesday in federal court in Fargo during the trial of Valentino "Tino" Bagola, The Forum newspaper reported. Bagola, 20, is charged with murder in the May 2011 deaths of 9-year-old Destiny Shaw-DuBois and her 6-year-old brother, Travis DuBois Jr.
Prosecutors allege that Bagola — who is the nephew of the children's mother — sexually assaulted the girl and that he stabbed her at least 40 times and her brother at least 60 times. FBI investigators have said Bagola told them he was angry with the elder DuBois but could not find him and instead took out his rage on the children. Authorities allege Bagola's DNA was found beneath Destiny's fingernails.
Bagola's defense attorneys contend that the elder DuBois killed the children in the middle of a multi-day drinking binge.
DuBois acknowledged during the interview with FBI agents soon after the killings that he had been drinking.
"What am I supposed to tell you guys if I don't remember?" he said.
DuBois said he was stunned when the children's mother found their bodies.
"I was in shock and everything," he said.
At the time of the interview, DuBois was considered a suspect. The FBI agents suggested he killed the children but also told him: "You're not a monster."
DuBois told the agents, "I'm not trying to hide anything," but he couldn't recall what happened. "I'm not a monster," he said.
The Spirit Lake tribe is overhauling its child protection system, which came under fire last year. The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs stepped in in October to bolster and oversee the system.