Jury Possibly Deadlocked In Jason Dominick Murder Trial

SCRANTON — There’s yet another development in the murder trial of Jason Dominick.

First, jury deliberations had to start all over again Friday afternoon after a juror was excused for a family obligation and replaced by an alternate.

Then, Friday night, the jury told the judge they didn’t think they could reach a decision.

Jurors will return to the courthouse in Scranton Saturday morning to meet with the judge and determine whether deliberations will continue.

The jury spent the past two days deliberating whether Jason Dominick is guilty of murder, but it hasn’t been without some set-backs.

On day two of deliberations, the jury found themselves having to start back at the beginning after one juror was excused for a family obligation and replaced by an alternate.

Now the jury told the judge they are not sure if they can reach a decision.

Dominick has been on trial at the Lackawanna County Courthouse for the shooting death of Frank Bonacci last July.

Prosecutors say Dominick shot Bonacci in the head while riding in Bonacci’s SUV with another man, Neil Pal, near the University of Scranton on the night of July 19.

Then, prosecutors say, Dominick and Pal put a rock on the SUV’s accelerator and sent it down an embankment.

It was down that ravine where Bonacci’s body was found a week later.

Dominick is charged with first and third degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Pal is charged with helping to cover up a crime.

Prosecutors say both men allowed friends and family to continue to search for Bonacci, knowing he was already dead.

However, during the two-week long trial, Dominick’s attorney say it was Pal who pulled the trigger and Dominick helped cover it up because he feared Pal would kill him, too.

He also told jurors that Dominick didn’t immediately come forward about the murder because he was intimidated by Pal.

18 comments

  • Barbara

    This is not the first time Jason Dominic has been involved in a criminal act. Two years ago, he and a group of his friends acted in a strong arm robbery in Clarks Summit, where there was a gun put to a young woman’s head. If the judge and the D.A. not tried to put the blame on the victim instead of where it belonged (Jason Dominic), he would have been imprisoned and this murder might never had taken place. Shame on the justice system in Lackawanna County. You will be able to find this story in the archives of WNEP.com Again, I say it is a disgrace this death would never have happened if justice was enforced the first time.

      • Barbara

        Johanna,
        No, he did not assist the homeowners at all. I know for a fact because the victim is my granddaughter. 30 days in jail for being involved in a strong arm robbery, involving a gun being held to my granddaughter’s head, by the way she is 4’11″ and 100 lbs., she still relives this nightmare every time she goes to sleep at night. The trauma that she sustained is unbelievable, no human being should have to be woken up in the middle of the night with a gun stuck in their head. This was just the beginning of Jason Dominic’s criminal career. His criminality has cost my granddaughter a lifetime of serenity and peace, she still lives in fear because of this monster, now the Bonnaci family has lost their loved one at his hands, when had he been properly sentenced this family would still have their son, brother, grandson. My heart goes out to them, but there is no justice for the loss of life.

      • Truth only!

        Joahanna , you are correct .. One of the others headbutted one of the victims and jason stopped it before it went to far , they were robbing a drug dealer who burned one of their friends or something …. Still not a good reason to rob someone, but that was the case.

    • jhosk

      That home invasion you reference, Barbara, was revealed during the trial earlier in the week. In fact, Dominick`s attorney, Mr. Brown, raised the issue in his direct examination of Jason. It is my belief that he did so, because he, Mr. Brown, felt the prosecutor would surely do so, had he not. It was a way to deflect the impact of the revelation, if you will. Dominick admitted on the stand that he indeed was convicted of that crime, and I know he said he was sentenced to thirty days in jail, as well as additional penalties. {Perhaps some form of restitution and/or community service?} Whether the defendant actually served that time in a cage, it was not said.

      • Barbara

        jhosk,
        Thank you for posting information on the trial, it is very much appreciated. I only hear what is on the news. I had no idea that his attorney brought up his previous conviction. Thank you again.
        Barbara

  • thatgirl

    Their both low lives and belong in jail, they are playing the system right now. They both knew exactly what they were doing.. i highly doubt Jason is scared of Neil.. he’s just scared to go to jail.. Frankie didn’t get a fair trial, his life was taken by two fake thugs.. they both need to pay.. some kind of closure needs to happen….

  • GramRose

    Such a shame….a young life cut short due to jealousy over a girl…I wouldn’t want my daughter or Granddaughters dating either of these idiots .. these two thug wannabes ( who seemed to have watched too many Godfather movies) are getting away with murder!!!!…and if they do then they will laugh all the way to their next crime ! Wake up jurors and serve justice here! The Bonacci’s family is forever devastated and changed for the rest of their lives…these two murderers need the electric chair…end of story !

  • jhosk

    I strongly disagree. I`ve been attending trials my entire adult life and I`m close to 70, and have a profound understanding of the way the process works. Is not nearly as complicated as you seem to suggest. Dominick`s actions easily meet the bar for a first degree murder verdict. He executed the victim by holding a weapon within an inch of the victim`s head/neck and fired with the clear intent to kill. It was premeditated and was carried out in a manner which meets the legal definition of malice. I would covet being a member of this jury, unlike you. I would invite the challenge and would have no difficulty expressing my strong views and could possibly persuade the unenlightened to come to the conclusion justice needs to be served on this miscreant. It would surely be a miscarriage of justice to leave this case in limbo. The man in the moon did not murder Frankie. It was those who drove away in that vehicle from the Pal residence July 20, 2013 with the clear intent to terminate their passenger`s life. Wake up, juserve615.

  • Stick

    Invariably, hung juries and acquittals are almost always the result of a poorly presented case by the prosecution. You have a group of men and women who are tasked with determining the fate of a person who can’t be shown beyond reasonable doubt to have pulled the trigger. Certainly one of these two are guilty of murder, but which one? The other is guilty, but of a lesser offense. It sounds like the prosecution isn’t convincing at least one of these jurors. It’s easy to have a clear conscience when you’re not the one on the jury making the decision, but someone is clearly struggling with the possibility that they won’t be able to sleep at night, perhaps the rest of their life, afraid they’re going to convict the wrong one. Wrongful conviction is a greater evil than letting the guilty go free. If only more of society understood this instead of having a taste for vengeance at any cost.

    Don’t be so quick to blame jurors. Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman–both examples of incompetent prosecutions and yet the jurors received all of the blame.

  • Lisa Lee

    They should have never granted them separate trials of course they are pointing fingers at each other not just them, their lawyers and, forensic teams. They were praying for a dead lock. Regardless who pulled the trigger tthey are both guilty!!

  • jhosk

    This is a revolting development, as Chester Riley often asserted on a tv program named “The Life of Riley” back in the fifties. I attended the trial and am very confident the defendant needs to be found guilty of first degree murder. He more than deserves that. It was proved he had to have been the shooter and he executed Frankie. His low life co-conspirator Pal supplied the weapon and fully participated in the conspiracy. And for the two to permit searches to be conducted for a week with hundreds of folks taking part, some of whom came from out of state, and with helicopters etc involved, and their not saying anything, is beyond despicable. The jurors who are hanging this body are brain dead. Am surmising it`s just one juror or possibly two at the max, who are throwing a wrench into the process. They are despicable also.

    • juserv615

      With all due respect jhosk I don’t think you fully understand how the jury operates and what it must find beyond a reasonable doubt to be true before they can find Dominick guilty. It is not simply a matter of what “he deserves.” The members of the jury are instructed in a very particular manner and I am sure they have a stringent set of standards on the verdict form.
      I had a feeling this issue would arise when the news came out that Dominick and Pal would be tried separately. I would imagine that if you were in Dominick’s shoes you wouldn’t want the jury to decide “you simply deserved it” and find you guilty. On that note, I give the members of the jury a lot of credit because I cannot imagine being faced with the task that is currently in their hands.

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