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Published September 18, 2013, 08:45 AM

Expert: Spirit Lake defendant's DNA found under kid's nails

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — DNA from a man on trial for the stabbing deaths of two children on the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota was found under the fingernails of one of the children, forensics expert told jurors.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — DNA from a man on trial for the stabbing deaths of two children on the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota was found under the fingernails of one of the children, forensics expert told jurors.

FBI forensic examiner Chastity Davis said Tuesday that Valentino "Tino" Bagola's DNA likely got under 9-year-old Destiny Shaw-DuBois' fingernails through scratching. However, she said she couldn't tell when the DNA got there or whether the scratches happened through roughhousing or a struggle, The Forum reported.

Bagola is charge with murder in the May 2011 deaths of Destiny and her 6-year-old brother, Travis DuBois Jr. Authorities allege that Bagola stabbed the children to death after he sexually assaulted the girl, and that he did so because he was angry at their father but couldn't find him.

The defense alleges that the children's father, Travis Dubois Sr., killed them. He denies the claim.

Bagola, who is the nephew of the children's mother, lived in the DuBois home for a time and sometimes babysat the children.

Davis also said Bagola's DNA was not found on the knives that authorities believe were used to kill the children.

The prosecution rested its case on Tuesday after about two weeks of testimony. The defense was expected to begin calling its own witnesses.

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