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Hibbing man convicted of baby's death arrested again, accused of assaulting pregnant woman

It's the second time Jesse Bonacci-Koski has been charged with felony assault while serving out a manslaughter sentence.

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HIBBING โ€” A man who remains under supervision for the 2017 fire death of his infant nephew has again been arrested, this time for allegedly shoving a pregnant woman down a flight of stairs.

It's the second time in eight months that Jesse Lee Bonacci-Koski, 30, of Hibbing, has been charged with felony assault. Still unresolved is a case from last September in which he is accused of an "unprovoked random attack" on a couple who confronted him while he was urinating in their yard.

Jesse Lee Bonacci-Koski
Jesse Lee Bonacci-Koski

Court records show that Bonacci-Koski has been free since posting a $100,000 bond in February. However, he is still on supervised release with the Minnesota Department of Corrections following a prison sentence for the death of 11-month-old Bentley Joe Lewis Koski, who was left unattended in a Tower home that caught fire.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday in State District Court indicates that the new victim, who was living with Bonacci-Koski, reported the assault to an officer Sunday, one day after it occurred. She reported the defendant had been drinking since Friday and was "angry and yelling" at her, using a series of misogynistic slurs.

VIRGINIA -- Jesse Lee Bonacci-Koski told police that he left his 11-month old nephew Bentley alone for about two hours last Wednesday morning to go buy drugs, according to charges filed Monday.

Bonacci-Koski then pushed the woman down a flight of 10-11 stairs, causing her to land near a young child who had pleaded with him to stop, according to the complaint. The officer wrote that the victim, who reported being nine months pregnant, had multiple injuries consistent with a stairway fall.

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The St. Louis County Attorney's Office charged Bonacci-Koski with felony domestic assault, which carries a maximum of five years in prison.

He awaits a July 11 jury trial in Duluth for the Sept. 4 incident in New Independence Township that reportedly started when the property owners encountered him urinating on their driveway.

Court documents say the couple yelled at him to stop, but Bonacci-Koski allegedly walked up and struck the woman in the head before turning to her husband and hitting him in the shoulder. The two fell into a ditch, and Bonacci-Koski allegedly bit the man in the leg and hand while wrestling with him.

Jesse Lee Bonacci-Koski, 29, is accused of an "unprovoked and random attack" on a married couple.

The couple eventually escaped on a golf cart, and Bonacci-Koski ran off into the woods, according to the complaint. St. Louis County authorities arrived on the scene and apprehended Bonacci-Koski, following two searches involving a K-9 unit.

Authorities said the male victim sustained a broken nose, bites to the leg and hand, and an eye injury, while his wife suffered a concussion and a neck strain.

Bonacci-Koski has pleaded not guilty in that case to felony third-degree assault and misdemeanor fifth-degree assault.

Bonacci-Koski is on supervised release after he was convicted of second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to just over eight years in prison for the August 2017 death of his nephew. Bentley had been left in his care, but Bonacci-Koski reportedly left the child's Tower residence to find drugs and/or to access Wi-Fi service. He returned to find the home on fire, with rescuers unable to save the child before he succumbed to smoke inhalation.

Under Minnesota law, offenders generally must serve two-thirds of their sentence in custody before they are eligible for supervised release. But Minnesota Department of Corrections records showed that Bonacci-Koski was accepted for early work release in February 2022, roughly a year before he otherwise would have been eligible for supervised release.

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Judge Bhupesh Pattni set Bonacci-Koski's bail at $50,000 with conditions or $75,000 without. However, he will likely remain in the St. Louis County Jail for the immediate future due to an alleged violation of release on the manslaughter sentence, which extends to October 2025.

Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or tolsen@duluthnews.com.
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