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Press Release

Convictions in Life Sentences for Valentino Bagola Upheld by the Eighth Circuit Court Of Appeals

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of North Dakota

FARGO - Acting U. S. Attorney Christopher C. Myers has announced that on August 6, 2015, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentence of Valentino Bagola, 22, of St. Michael, ND. The grand jury indicted Bagola in July 2012, charging him with the deaths of 9-year-old Destiny Shaw and 6-year-old Travis Dubois, Jr., on the Spirit Lake Reservation. After a three-week trial, the jury found Bagola guilty of First-Degree Murder and U. S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson sentenced Bagola to two life sentences, to be served concurrently. In its ruling, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected every legal challenge raised by Bagola and determined that federal prosecutors had presented more than sufficient evidence establishing Bagola’s guilt.

Acting U.S Attorney Chris Myers said: "We are very pleased that the two life sentences given to Valentino Bagola for these horrible crimes were affirmed today by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court’s opinion provides some measure of justice for Destiny and baby Travis, their family, and the Spirit Lake community. Our continued commitment to public safety in Indian country is unwavering. Our skilled appellate team, led by AUSA Nick Chase, expertly drafted the appellate brief and navigated the oral argument with skill and professionalism – both critical to the positive result in this case."

Assistant U. S. Attorneys Clare Hochhalter, Janice Morley, Scott Schneider, and Acting United States Attorney Christopher Myers prosecuted the case; Assistant U. S. Attorney Nicholas Chase presented the appeal argument to the Eighth Circuit.

Updated September 4, 2015