Man Charged in 2011 Killings of 2 Children on Spirit Lake ReservationA St. Michael man has been arrested and charged with the May 2011 killings of two children on the Spirit Lake Reservation, U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon announced today.
By: Forum Communications, WDAZ
A St. Michael man has been arrested and charged with the May 2011 killings of two children on the Spirit Lake Reservation, U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon announced today.
Valentino “Tino” James Bagola, 19, faces four counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of 9-year-old Destiny Jane Shaw and her 6-year-old brother, Travis Lee DuBois Jr.
The children’s mother found their lifeless bodies on May 21, 2011, under a mattress in a St. Michael home where she had lived with their father. Authorities said the children appeared to have been dead several days, slain by a knife or another cutting weapon.
The federal grand jury indictment alleges that Bagola killed the two children on or between May 18 and May 21, 2011, by striking and stabbing them numerous times.
One of the murder charges related to the death of Destiny Shaw accuses Bagola of killing her “while perpetrating or attempting to perpetrate the crimes of aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse and child abuse.”
Bagola faces up to life imprisonment if convicted. There is no parole in the federal system.
In Bismarck, Purdon said the indictment unsealed today is the result of months of careful police work by the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
“This investigation included the thorough examination of a great deal of forensic evidence and law enforcement interviews of many, many individuals,” Purdon said in a news release. “The resources and effort brought to bear on this investigation by the federal law enforcement agents and the Assistant United States Attorneys who are involved should leave no doubt as to the Department of Justice’s commitment to ensuring justice for child victims in Indian country.”
The case is being prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys Scott Schneider, Janice Morley and Chris Myers.
The same day the children’s bodies were found, their father, Travis DuBois, was arrested and taken into custody. He pleaded guilty to public intoxication and reckless endangerment, according to a tribal prosecutor.
Purdon had declined to say whether DuBois was a suspect, or whether investigators had identified any suspects in the case. He previously told The Fargo Forum that he understood the frustration at Spirit Lake, and the need for information, but could say little about an ongoing investigation.
North Dakota court records show Bagola was arrested in Grand Forks County on Friday, the day after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest for jumping bail on a misdemeanor theft charge dated Aug. 18, 2011.
Bagola pleaded guilty to the theft charge Friday and was sentenced to one year of probation and 30 days in jail, with 26 days suspended and credit for four days served. He was sentenced to six days in jail on the bail jumping charge, with credit for five days served.
Bagola also pleaded guilty July 10 in Devils Lake Municipal Court to misdemeanor charges of shoplifting, minor in consumption of alcohol and minor in a liquor establishment. The offense date was July 29, 2011. He received a 30-day jail sentence, with 20 days suspended and credit for 10 days served, and was ordered to pay $1,125 in fines and fees.
The news release from Purdon’s office didn’t say when or where federal authorities arrested Bagola.