SCRANTON — A magistrate decided that prosecutors have enough evidence to take the Frank Bonacci murder case to trial.
On Tuesday, we heard the defendants Jason Dominick and Neil Pal’s own words when they were first questioned by police when Frank Bonacci was still considered a missing person back in July.
Police testified that one word raised suspicions early on.
Friends and family of Frank Bonacci from Dunmore arrived at the Lackawanna County Courthouse for day two of the preliminary hearing for his accused killers. They wore orange again, Frankie’s favorite color that we now know he was wearing the day he died.
Prosecutors painstakingly went through crime scene photos in court showing where Bonacci was found after a weeklong search.
Jason Dominick of Scranton is charged with first degree murder, accused of shooting Bonacci in the back of the head.
Neil Pal from Scranton is charged with conspiracy. Police believe he was with Dominick when the murder was committed in July and helped him send Bonacci’s car over an embankment near the University of Scranton.
In court, detectives laid out the evidence they have against Dominick and Pal, most of it circumstantial, including text messages they say prove Dominick and Bonacci were fighting over a girl named Keri Tucker.
But, in a recorded interview days before Bonacci’s body was found, Dominick told a different tale saying “even when he was dating Keri, I was cool with him. I’d walk up to Keri and say ‘hi.’ I’d shake his hand.”
Neil Pal also said something that detectives said was inconsistent, telling police that Bonacci was one of his best friends days before Bonacci’s body was found.
“I think the folks that you see behind me, the police officers in this case, did an absolutely tremendous job piecing this thing together, all the small pieces of the puzzle to ultimately tell the story of what happened,” said Lackawanna County Chief A.D.A. Gene Talerico.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a magistrate decided to uphold the charges against both of the defendants. Jason Dominick is charged with first-degree murder. Nail Pal is charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys have said they intend to take the case to trial.