SCRANTON — Dozens of family and friends of a homicide victim turned out for a hearing Friday for the two men suspected of killing him.
Because so many people wanted to attend the hearing, there wasn’t enough room in the courtroom.
More than 100 people were there in support of the victim’s family and are expected back when the hearing continues next week.
The two men charged with the murder of Frank Bonacci of Dunmore are Jason Dominick and Neil Pal, both of Scranton.
Police say the pair went into Nay Aug Gorge with Bonacci in July but only Pal and Dominick came out alive.
We now know more about the circumstances leading up to that day. We heard testimony from people about their last moments with Frank Bonacci including from his own mother.
Frank Bonacci’s father wore orange to the Lackawanna County Courthouse and had about 100 supporters in tow, all wearing Frankie’s favorite color for the first day of the preliminary hearing for his suspected killers: Neil Pal and Jason Dominick.
Bonacci’s mother testified about the last time she saw her son as he headed out to a party early in the morning on July 20. She said he asked her to call when it was time for him to get ready for work but when that time came, Frank never picked up the phone.
After a week long search, police found Frank Bonacci’s body in the passenger’s seat of his SUV down an embankment at Nay Aug Gorge and a few days later Jason Dominick and Neil Pal were charged with his death.
A magistrate heard testimony from people who were all at the same party on July 20 but said they never saw any dispute between the three men.
Mary Beth Castaldi of Scranton detailed the next day when she was called to pick up Neil Pal and Jason Dominick on the side of the highway near Nay Aug Gorge where Frank Bonacci was ultimately found.
The only witness to say that there may have been some bad blood was Keri Tucker, who dated both Jason Dominick and Frank Bonacci. She said Dominick was jealous, once tried to fight Frank Bonacci, and Dominick was contemplating suicide just 24 hours before Frank Bonacci went missing.
We also heard testimony about Neil Pal and how he was known to have guns and often fire them at his house, but prosecutors haven’t told us if they’ve found the gun they believe was used to kill Frank Bonacci. Prosecutors expect this preliminary hearing to go at least another day. Testimony will start again after the Columbus Day Holiday on Tuesday morning.