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After fire kills toddler, Minn. man could face manslaughter and other charges

TOWER, Minn. -- A Hibbing man has been arrested and is awaiting arraignment on several possible charges after an 11-month-old infant died in a house fire Wednesday, Aug. 2, in Tower.

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TOWER, Minn. - A Hibbing man has been arrested and is awaiting arraignment on several possible charges after an 11-month-old infant died in a house fire Wednesday, Aug. 2, in Tower.

Jesse L. Bonacci-Koski, 24, has been arrested and is being held in the St. Louis County Jail in Virginia on suspicion of second-degree manslaughter and child neglect, according to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office. He’s awaiting arraignment, but is anticipated to be formally charged with additional counts of motor vehicle theft, possession of a controlled substance and possession of narcotic paraphernalia.

The arrest stems from a house fire around 7:40 a.m. Wednesday at 813 Third St. N. in Tower, about 27 miles north of Virginia.  The Breitung Police Department, along with the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office and Tower Fire Department, responded to the structure fire.

Upon arrival, law enforcement witnessed smoke billowing out of the second story window and flames coming out of the bottom floor window.  

An 11-month old infant, now identified as Bentley Joe Lewis Koski, was found dead inside the home by firefighters after the fire was extinguished.

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Life Link III air ambulance was called to the scene, but the infant was not airlifted, authorities said Wednesday evening. Earlier in the day authorities had said the child was airlifted to a hospital, but later revised that report.

Bonacci-Koski led law enforcement on a chase, requiring several agencies to assist in his apprehension Wednesday afternoon.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, however it’s not believed to have been started by arson, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The investigation continues and is being conducted by the Breitung Police Department with the assistance of the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office and Minnesota State Fire Marshal's Office.

A search of Bonacci-Koski’s criminal history in state records shows convictions earlier this year of harassment/restraining order violation (a second conviction within 10 years of two previous domestic violence convictions) and fifth degree drug possession. He’s also been convicted of DWI in 2011, felony assault with a dangerous weapon in 2013 and fifth degree assault (with prior assault conviction) in 2014.

Court records give additional details of his lengthy relationship with law enforcement, including several convictions of underage consumption, disorderly conduct, obstructing legal process,  fleeing peace officers, check forgery and drug possession.

Related Topics: TOWERFIRESCRIME
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