Neil Pal Found Guilty of First Degree Murder

neil pall trial

SCRANTON — A jury has found Neil Pal guilty of first degree murder in the shooting death of Frank Bonacci.

The jury deliberated for about an hour and a half on Thursday afternoon.

Pal was the only witness his defense attorneys called. There are only two people who could corroborate his story that he was an innocent bystander to murder. One is already convicted of murder: Jason Dominick. The other, Frank Bonacci, is dead.

On the stand for a second day, Pal stuck to his story that he drove Dominick and Pal to a wooded area for a fight, never expecting Dominick would bring a gun with him.

Then he admitted to lying to his friends, Bonacci’s family, and police to cover up the killing.

In his closing statements, Lackawanna County First Assistant District Attorney Gene Talerico told jurors Pal’s lies in the past mean they shouldn’t believe his testimony now. Talerico said the fact Pal was in the driver’s seat makes him anything but a bystander.

Talerico pointed at Pal and said,”you sent him to slaughter, and if it wasn’t for you he (Bonacci) wouldn’t be there.”

Pal was charged first and third degree murder, along with conspiracy, and a new charge involuntary manslaughter.

Defense attorneys asked to add that charge as a possible compromise for jurors.

In the defense’s closing statements, attorney Paul Walker reminded jurors that most of the evidence against Pal is circumstantial. The gun prosecutors say Pal gave to Dominick was never found and the defense attorney says Pal had no motive to kill his friend Frank Bonacci.

Pal’s attorney then added, “if he knew what was going on, he’s probably the worst conspirator, worst planner, I’ve ever met.”

Prosecutors labeled him as the accomplice to Bonacci’s murder.

Neil Pal’s co-defendant Jason Dominick was convicted of third degree murder in his own trial last month.

Pal faced the same charges and the same potential sentence even though prosecutors don’t believe he pulled the trigger.

Prosecutors said Pal provided the gun used to kill Frank Bonacci of Dunmore in July of 2013.

Bonacci disappeared after a party. His body was found in his SUV at the bottom of a ravine near Nay Aug Park.

Police believe Jason Dominick of Scranton is the one who pulled the trigger. He was found guilty of third degree murder and conspiracy after a trial in Scranton last month. Dominick is awaiting sentencing.

Police also believe Dominick and Pal put a rock on the accelerator of Bonacci’s gas pedal, sending it over the cliff, hiding the vehicle from view for a week.

At his trial, Dominick testified and told the jury he didn’t do it. He said it was Neil Pal who pulled the trigger.

62 comments

  • Anonymous

    Neither deserved a fair trial the facts where there they both deserved what they got how do you kill especially someone who you sit there and call him a friend both scumbags and they thought they could get away with it and the fact he showed zero emotion just means he’s a cold blooded killer

    • Anonymous

      Everyone deserves a fair trial. Regardless of how you feel about these particular people, saying they “don’t deserve” a fair trial is willingly offering up our (as a country) RIGHT to a fair trial. What happened to “innocent until proven guilty”? I for one would rather a justice system I can trust to get justice the right way, rather than one that can bring a case against someone with little evidence and a extremely biased outlook from both the community and media. It really is a shame that this is the world we live in.

  • Ashley

    Neil you wanted to live the “thug life” … Well now you got what you want!! I bet being in jail isn’t as cool as you thought!!! You are getting what is coming to you. Trying to be a bad boy , breaking the law and lying will catch up to you!! You are not a God who is above the law the rules apply to you as well

    • jhosk

      I agree with you, Ashley. Pal is a rotter who is also stupid. How he could expect to get away with this crime is beyond me. He could not have been more sloppy and incompetent and clueless.

  • The harsh truth

    It’s good to see that this county served justice and didn’t fall into their corrupt ways.

    • Against Brianna

      Yeah whats with everyone! Its not like he helped murder his friend and try to cover it up. Oh wait…

      It is worse for us to be neighbors with someone who feels sympathy for a murderer.

  • bill

    Well I am interested to know is either looking at the chance of death penalty? I also believed the gun was thrown into the ravine.

  • Scranton pa

    I believe that pal is the one that killed him I am happy he will never be on the streets again. I am sorry to all the families that have lost a child in the last year

  • Mark

    Neil you sloppy s.o.b you … thought u were a mobster… Yeah you’re not untouchable like you thought huh big guy?

  • Richard C. Mongler

    I really love all the people who are so happy about someone going to prison when it has no effect on their personal lives whatsoever.

    • Lookitup

      What do you mean, you believe in him? He admitted to at least luring Bonacci to his death? A jury found him guilty of murder. I guess that’s what you mean. You believe he’s a murderer, because he is. Why would he drive Bonacci to a wooded secluded area for a fist fight? #naive

    • Lookitup

      “You’re entitled to believe what is in your heart and I in mine.” – Brianna
      Um…so…he confessed to all but bloody murder. why? To be nice? Lol grow up.

    • e

      Wow. Brianna you couldn’t make it more obvious that you’ve been in a relationship with Neil in the past and now you feel guilty. Or maybe you’re a member of his family trying to defend your own honor, doesnt matter. Lol.

  • Trish

    Would be nice if one of these two scum bags would now tell us where that gun is before it ends up in the wrong hands . However I highly doubt either of these monsters care if a child finds it as long as they aren’t held responsible . I hope they both get a good taste of karma while they are caged like the rabid animals they are

  • Joe Schmoe

    Am I missing something? This was over a girl. That’s what the news reported. Probably drugs. Why the thumbs down?

    • ANN

      regardless what is was over…IT WAS DONE!! and may both rot in jail…the girl didnt pull the trigger or make them kill Frankie!!…it was all on both Neil and Jason and JUSTICE IS SERVED!!

    • John Q.

      Thumbs down Bc you are implying that it was somehow her fault that these two idiots carried out a murder over her.

    • Joe Schmoe

      Actually, I’m not implying it’s her fault. I’m implying that these guys are dumb enough to get so wrapped up in some girl that they commit murder. Some girl that’s probably moved onto 3-4 guys since this took place. Actually, it’s not an implication, it was found to be truth! But as another poster said, it’s prolly more over drugs. Either way, 3 lives wasted.

    • Anonymous

      “That’s what the news reported.” There are two things wrong with this statement: 1, the media has been awful throughout this entire thing. They did not remain unbiased, or present the public with strictly facts. 2, if your only source of information is the news you clearly aren’t in any of the immediate family or friends circles, chances are you’re just a citizen that loves the drama and is blissfully ignorant to any other possibilities that go beyond those immediately presented. It’s sad how happy people are to blindly accept what they are told, rather than thinking for themselves or looking at all sides of a situation. I believe Neil is guilty, too and I am happy that justice was served. However, anyone that knows Jason, even briefly, knows he would never kill anyone for any reason, let alone over something as petty as a girl. Also, anyone that knew Neil feared him and knew what he was capable of. Everyone has their beliefs, I get that. I just truly wish we lived in a society where people questioned rather than simply going with the crowd. Put yourself in the other families’ shoes. Just for a moment. And think how you would feel if- god forbid- Jason was wrongly accused, and now, convicted.

  • PaCitizen

    Amen! regardless if he had the gun in his hand or not, he deserves every punishment he is getting! To think everything that happened over a girl! Come on now ! He ruined his life because of this . I hope now he will realize that he made a huge mistake. And its to late!

  • Your Foe

    Yeah , they killed over a girl, but it was not the chick’s fault that this happened. She is not the one that put the gun in their hand. So do not blame it on her.

  • Maria

    Pal belongs in jail. He knew what happened and didn’t help police find Frankie sooner. Worried about being a snitch? What a loser. May the Bonacci family find some peace and closure.

  • ANN

    you can rest easy Frankie…watch over your family..especially your mom…we all can start healing…JUSTICE IS SERVED!! WE DID IT!!! tears of joy…god bless the Bonacci Family xoxxoxoxox

  • bobby

    It was his gun and he has pulled it out and threatened people before but never pulled the trigger , so he found someone drunk and angry and stuck a gun in there hand. and helped them clean up the mess> that is guilty !!

    • Phillip

      You watch too many csi shows on television. Look at the FACTS (or lack thereof) presented in court!

      • bobby

        actually i don’t …and im not bored enough to watch the trial , just know someone who he pulled his gun out on at convenient store near his house , just saying it was a matter of time … but he was too scared to do it himself so he found a vulnerable person to do it for him.

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