Fargo jury gets case of 2 slain Spirit Lake kidsFARGO, N.D. (AP) — The case a man accused of killing two children on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation went to a federal jury Thursday afternoon, after lawyers from both sides argued about the validity of a pair of confessions.
By: DAVE KOLPACK, Associated Press, Associated Press
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The case a man accused of killing two children on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation went to a federal jury Thursday afternoon, after lawyers from both sides argued about the validity of a pair of confessions.
Valentino "Tino" Bagola, 20, is charged with murder in the May 2011 slayings of 9-year-old Destiny Jane Shaw-Dubois and her 6-year-old brother, Travis Lee DuBois Jr., in St. Michael. The children's mother found their bodies under a mattress at the home she had once shared with their father, Travis DuBois Sr.
The investigation originally centered on Travis DuBois Sr., who was interrogated by authorities but never charged with the crime. Defense attorneys spent much of the 13-day trial focusing on his confession to investigators, which he later recanted.
During closing arguments, defense attorney Christopher Lancaster repeated comments that DuBois Sr. made to investigators.
"I did it. No one else did it," Lancaster, who was appointed by the court to represent Bagola, said, referencing the comments. Lancaster's closing arguments lasted for two hours and 20 minutes.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Myers said the admissions by the elder DuBois followed suggestions from investigators, but that there was nothing to back them up.
"We have admissions, no question about it. But no detail. No detail," Myers said.
The prosecutor said Bagola gave information in his confession that only the killer would know.
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 jury of eight women and four men received the case at 1:45 p.m. Thursday.