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Trial Begins for Child's Death in Tower Fire

Baihly Warfield
Updated: September 11, 2018 05:53 PM

VIRGINIA, Minn. - A jury trial began Tuesday for Jesse Bonacci-Koski, a Hibbing man who allegedly left his nephew home alone before the child died in a house fire. 

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Jury selection took all day Tuesday as attorneys chose the people who will decide Bonacci-Koski's fate. 

He is charged with two counts of manslaughter, one of motor vehicle theft and a drug offense. 

The fire happened last August in Tower. Eleven-month-old Bentley Koski died after Bonacci-Koski allegedly left him alone for two hours so that he could go buy drugs. 

Police said in the criminal complaint that Bonacci-Koski returned to the house, saw it was on fire and left again without talking to anyone. 

Court documents say he then stole a car and was later arrested in the Pike Township area. 

In court Tuesday, Judge Gary Pagliaccetti and attorneys on both sides asked potential jurors about their experiences with law enforcement, substance abuse and losing a child. 

Public defender J.D. Schmid warned jurors it would be a difficult, emotional trial.

Opening arguments are expected Wednesday morning, and the trial is expected to go through Thursday.

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Baihly Warfield

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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