Just before 5 p.m. Thursday Neil Pal of Scranton was found guilty of first degree murder as an accomplice in the death of Frank Bonacci.
Pal was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit first degree.
After nearly two weeks of testimony and dozens of witnesses, it took jurors only about 90 minutes to reach their verdict Thursday afternoon. The decision means Neil Pal will now spend the rest of his life in prison. For family and friends of Frank Bonacci, they say it means they can start the long road of grieving their son, brother, and friend.
Robin Bonacci, Victim's Mother, "I'm so happy it's over. I just lasted way to long."
Family and Friends of Frank Bonacci say justice has been done. With Neil Pal now convicted of first degree murder as an accomplice and conspiracy charges, they can begin to remember who he was instead of how he died.
Robin Bonacci, Victim's Mother, "Now I can start concentrating on the way Frankie lived, not the way he died, everyday coming in, seeing the pictures of his dead body."
After listening to nearly two weeks of evidence in Pal's trial, Bonacci's Family says it was clear that Neil Pal knew about Jason Dominick's plans to shoot their son and did nothing to stop it.
Frank Bonacci, Sr., Victim's Father, "Neil could have turned around going back down that road, he could have turned around by the tennis courts, multiple places where Neil could have turned around and stopped this. Neil knew what was going to happen."
Prosecutors said Neil Pal drove the triggerman, who they say was Jason Dominick, to an area known as step falls with Bonacci last July where the murder took place. They believed Pal's actions were callous and cold-hearted.
Gene Talerico, First Assistant District Attorney, "It speaks to the mind, heart and soul of the person who does those things. It's troubling. It's very troubling to see."
As for Pal's defense, they said he thought the two men were only going to fight. His attorney said he was somewhat baffled by the jury's decision.
Paul Walker, Defense Attorney, "You're in trial for close to two weeks and this jury returns a verdict in an hour. What did they look at? That's what I'm baffled about. You have to look at the evidence."
Last month, Jason Dominick was convicted of third degree murder and conspiracy. He faces a potential of up to 80 years in jail, but not the mandatory life in prison that Neil Pal now will receive. Pal's attorneys say they will look at appeal options.
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