SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A Scranton man who was convicted of killing his friend five years ago is continuing his quest for a new trial.
A Lackawanna County judge held an appeal hearing Thursday for Jason Dominick.
The hearing lasted almost two and a half hours.
In 2014, Jason Dominick was convicted of third degree murder for killing Frank Bonacci.
He was sentenced to between 40 and 80 years in state prison but still maintains his innocence.
Stuart James of Florida has studied blood stain patterns for 40 years.
He brought that expertise to Lackawanna County Thursday, testifying for convicted killer Jason Dominick who wants a new trial.
Prosecutors believe Dominick shot his friend Frank Bonacci in the back of the head in 2013 as they rode in a Jeep driven by a third man, Neil Pal.
Dominick’s trial boiled down to blood stains and forensics.
Stuart James testified that some of the testimony given by police and experts was “unscientific.”
Jason Dominick claims the fatal shot was fired by Neil Pal from the drivers seat of the Jeep and James testified that the blood stain patterns did not say for sure that the shot was fired from the back seat.
On cross examination however, James could not put the gun in Neil Pal’s hand, saying “I can’t determine which person was more likely than not to have fired the shot.”
“Ultimately what we’re showing is that we needed a blood expert at trial in this case. That’s what we wanted to show and I think that Mr. James testimony clearly showed that,” defense attorney Terrence McDonald said.
Jason Dominick’s new attorney says Dominick deserves a new trial because his first attorney was ineffective.
He says Dominick remains hopeful.
“He seems okay, yeah, he has a lot of faith in the system and hopes that it works out in his favor,” McDonald said.
Jason Dominick took part in Thursday’s hearing by video conference from the state prison in Fayette County where he is currently being held.
The judge did not make any immediate rulings.
At a separate trial, Neil Pal was convicted of first degree murder and is currently serving a life sentence.