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Published September 03, 2013, 10:05 AM

Trial opens in Spirit Lake child deaths

The murder trial of Valentino James Bagola began Tuesday in U.S. District court in Fargo. 20-year-old Bagola is accused of killing 9-year-old Destiny Jane Shaw-DuBois and her 6-year-old brother Travis Lee DuBois Jr. He faces four felony counts of murder.

By: Victor Correa, WDAZ

The murder trial of Valentino James Bagola began Tuesday in U.S. District court in Fargo. 20-year-old Bagola is accused of killing 9-year-old Destiny Jane Shaw-DuBois and her 6-year-old brother Travis Lee DuBois Jr. He faces four felony counts of murder.

The bodies of the DuBois children were found under a mattress in the home of their father, Travis DuBois. Officials said it appeared the children had been dead for several days and slain by a knife or a similar type of weapon.

The murder was one of many cases that led to the BIA takeover of the Spirit Lake Tribe's Child Protection Services back in October of 2012. Valentino Bargola has plead not guilty to four counts of murder. In a previous interview, U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon said, Bargola's arrest was the result of months of investigations by numerous law enforcement agencies.

"The effort and the resources that have been dedicated to this investigation, both by the FBI agents involved and the Assistant U.S. Attorney in my office, should leave no doubt to our commitment to ensuring justice for child victims in reservation communities," said Purdon.

Bargola was arrested more than a year after the DeBois children were found dead. While detained he admitted to FBI agents in two taped interviews and a written statement that he sexually assaulted Destiny Shaw and stabbed Travis DeBois Jr. several times. Bargola's defense attorneys attempted to suppress this evidence saying it was obtained inappropriatley. They've also attempted to suppress DNA and palm print evidence. These motions were denied. More than 50 witnesses will be called on, including the parents of the two children who were killed, 11 FBI Agents, and 5 FBI lab technicians." If Bargola is found guilty he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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