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Trial Begins for Child Killings in St. Michael, ND - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

9/5 Update: Trial Begins for Child Killings in St. Michael, ND

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9/5 Update_______________________________

New information tonight on the double murder trial of Valentino Bagola. We're in day two of the trial, but the prosecution has already presented a taped interrogation testimony from Bagola in which he admits killing Destiny Shaw-DuBois and Travis DuBois junior. He would later recant those statements, but the jury will have to decide whether he was coerced into admitting guilt.

Valentino's taped interrogation with the FBI was lengthy but powerful. Jury members watched that testimony in court on Wednesday and Thursday. The FBI agent got Bagola to open up about what he claimed "they already knew" by saying "those kids deserve answers." Over the next several hours of the interrogation, Bagola said the night of the murder he got blackout drunk after having an argument with Travis DuBois, Sr., the victims father who let Valentino baby sit his kids. What happened next has all since been recanted.

In the FBI interview shown in court today, Bagola said "I didn't take it out on Travis like I was supposed to, I took it out on the kids."

Bagola says he left the home he was staying at and walked to DuBois where he snuck into a cracked window in the basement. He claimed he was looking for Travis Sr. but didn't find him so took that anger out on his children. He said he first "slammed" Travis DuBois Jr. to the ground and "I started stabbing them." Next he admitted that he raped Destiny Shaw-DuBois before stabbing her. He claimed that after that he threw away the knife used and went back to where he was staying just down the street. He also said that had Travis Sr. had been home it likely would have been him.

After admitting guilt to the FBI agent Bagola wrote "I'm sorry for everything I did to those kids."

Once again, those statements were recanted. The defense claims Travis DuBois Sr. has also admitted to killing the children in his FBI interview. But he later recanted his statements. DuBois has already served a two year sentence for public intoxication and child endangerment.

We're expecting much more to unfold as the trial is expected last at least two weeks.

9/4/13 Update ______________________________________

Two stories of a murder and who did it started the trial for Valentino Bagola on Wednesday. Bagola is accused of killing his nine and six-year-old cousins back in 2011 on the Spirit Lake Reservation. The defense is saying the children's father, Travis DuBois Sr., admitted to killing his children when interviewed shortly after the murders.

But the prosecution is adamant that Bagola snuck into the home and committed the murders by himself. Valley News team's Eric Crest brings us the latest of Wednesday's trial.

Wednesdays trial started with the prosecutions opening statement. They allege that Bagola was an on and off again babysitter for his cousins Destiny and Travis junior for nearly six weeks. But on the night of May 18th 2011 Bagola left their home where he had previously been staying, only to return later after the children's father passed out from drinking. The prosecution says Bagola then went into the children's bedroom, stabbed the two nearly 100 times, and sexually assaulted the 9-year-old girl.

They also claim that d-n-a evidence was found under 9-year-old, Destiny's, fingernails that highly suggests that Bagola may have been the one who committed the crime.

The defense says the father, Travis DuBois (Senior), has already admitted guilt. In fact just days after the murders he told authorities he did it. He would serve two years for reckless endangerment and public intoxication that he admitted to in Tribal court. But prior to that court hearing he neglected to even report to authorities that he didn't know where his children were for three days. While all along his deceased children were in their bedrooms in his home. Those three days according to both the prosecution and defense were filled with drinking. It was only after the children's mother returned home and asked where the kids were that their bodies were found. Dubois had already fled and hid from authorities until he was found hiding in a cemetery after the discovery of the bodies.

The defense is also leaning heavily on a confession from DeBois where he said "I did it." "No one else." But this trial is far from over, it's expected to last two to three weeks. Today's testimony only included one person, an FBI agent who interviewed Bagola nearly a year ago.

An argument has been made that the initial confession by DuBois, the father of the deceased children, was only given because he felt like he didn't protect his children. The FBI special agent said Wednesday that initially DuBois was the main suspect in the double murder. But it was the discovery of DNA evidence under one of the victims, Destiny's finger nails, that made them change their course and pursue Bagola instead.

9/3 Original Story..._____________________________________________

FARGO, ND - Attorneys in the case of a North Dakota man accused of killing two children on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation are arguing over a pair of alleged confessions obtained during the investigation.

Twenty-year-old Valentino "Tino" Bagola is on trial on murder charges for the May 2011 slayings of 9-year-old Destiny Shaw-Dubois and her 6-year-old brother, Travis DuBois Jr., in St. Michael, North Dakota.

Federal prosecutor Chris Myers said during Wednesday's opening statements that Bagola killed the children after sexually assaulting the girl. Myers says Bagola confessed to the crimes and there's also scientific and medical evidence. 

Defense attorney Christopher Lancaster told jurors that the father of the children, Travis DuBois Sr., admitted to the crimes and that Bagola's confession was coerced by the FBI.

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