Charges: Uncle was off buying drugs when 11-month-old died in fire

He's also accused of stealing a Jeep.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The uncle of an 11-month-old baby who died in a fire in Tower last week is accused of leaving the boy home while going to buy drugs. 

Jesse Lee Bonacci-Koski of Hibbing was babysitting his nephew – Bentley Joe Lewis Koski – when he left him home alone for about two hours the morning of Aug. 2, according to the criminal complaint.

During that time, the house started on fire. Officials found Bentley – who would have turned 1 year old on Aug. 30 – in his crib in a second-floor bedroom. 

He was pronounced dead, with the medical examiner saying he had soot in his esophagus, stomach, and airways.

According to the charges, 24-year-old Bonacci-Koski admitted to investigators that he left the child home, with investigators saying he did so to buy drugs. 

When he went back to the house, he saw firefighters at the scene so he turned around and went to Benchwarmers Bar and Grill, the complaint says. He then stole a Jeep from nearby, later ditching it and running into a woods and swamp. 

He was later spotted coming out of the woods and was taken into custody. 

Bonacci-Koski is charged with second-degree manslaughter, theft of a motor vehicle, and possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine.

A cause of the fire has not been reported

As of Aug. 3, 35 people have died in fires in Minnesota, according to the State Fire Marshal's Office

Next Up

Facebook - Tuey Wilson Comic Stunt Juggler - broken wrists

MN juggler Tuey Wilson breaks both wrists in unfortunate accident

Wilson is a staple of the Renaissance Festival and holds a Guinness World Record.

Pixabay - laptop computer dark screen

Charges: Woodbury man had hundreds of child porn images on devices

He was arrested and charged with six felonies this week.

Dede Westbrook

Report: Dede Westbrook working out for Vikings

Westbrook could sign with the team if the workout goes well.

Flickr - State Patrol Minnesota trooper - uniform crop

State Patrol squad sustains major damage in crash at I-35 ramp in Sandstone

The trooper and other driver involved in the wreck were both injured.

school lunch

Free meals for kids available at 2,500 sites in Minnesota this summer

The state has teamed up with the USDA to provide healthy foods for all children in Minnesota.

695 grand avenue

St. Paul planners gives OK to 5-story development at Dixie's on Grand

The property would include four commercial spaces, but not Dixie's on Grand.

Screen Shot 2021-07-23 at 12.22.13 PM

Family identifies man who died at Menards in Golden Valley

Three people were "temporarily detained" at the Menards on Thursday, police say.

Related

gabriel cruz

Charges: Drug deal goes bad as Bloomington man kills Burnsville man

Gabriel Cruz was meeting up with Bryant Lutgens to buy methamphetamines when he fatally shot him and took off with his belongings, charges state.

minneapolis police

Charges: Ex-Minneapolis cop abused position to obtain illegal drugs

He's also accused of extortion and violating civil rights.

Christian Brown (left) and Byron Jackson (right)

Charges: Hutchinson man shot man in the head while trying to buy cocaine

The other suspect is accused of punching a man to the ground, breaking his arm and dislocating his shoulder.

fentanyl

11 charged in drug trafficking conspiracies in Red Lake

They're suspected of running parallel methamphetamine and fentanyl distribution conspiracies in northern Minnesota.

Charges: Antiques dealer gave woman drugs, watched her die

The 24-year-old woman was found dead in the basement of the southern Minnesota antiques shop.

Teen charged with murder in deaths of man, 7-month-old boy

He told police he had a dispute with the man, so he shot him.

Jeff Kazel duluth pd

35 arrested following months-long drug investigation

Duluth police worked with multiple jurisdictions across the state to dismantle a regional drug trafficking organization.