A Pennsylvania man was arrested on Monday, after he allegedly set fire to his ex-girlfriend’s home, killing her three sons. Oof.
26-year-old Preston Daquen Bonnett faces two counts of criminal homicide and three counts of arson for the October 25 fire, which lead to the deaths of 16-year-old Erik Dupree, 12-year-old Devon Major and 7-year-old Ezekiel Major, Citizen’s Voice reported.
The older boys died of smoke inhalation, while Ezekiel Major was flown to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he passed away on Saturday.
Preston Daquen Bonnett escorted for booking on homicide and ar… https://t.co/8yDwsOPwdk
— Wilkes Barre TV News (@TVWilkesBarre) October 31, 2017
“The investigative team worked three days straight without any sleep,” District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis stated during a press conference on Monday evening. “They are showing amazing strength in such a trying time. It’s unbelievable how strong they are being.”
According to a police affidavit filed in court, the children’s mother, Susan Major, was at a work event at the time of the horrid incident; her three children were home alone. Susan told officers she had security cameras hidden in her home.
Preston and 48-year-old Susan met on Craigslist in 2015. They were involved in fraud charges months later, after the two allegedly used fraudulent debit cards to buy gift cards and other items.
The duo later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge and were given a year of probation.
— Brian Sheehan (@BSheehanTV) October 30, 2017
The couple had a huge fight after 28-year-old Tyla Marie Griffin stay at her home this summer. One evening, Tyla brought Preston to Susan’s home without permission and she kicked them both out of the house. She soon found a device that is used to make fraudulent credit cards in Preston’s belongings and called the police. Preston and Tyla face 25 charges, including felony counts of access device fraud and conspiracy.
The affidavit states that Susan told police that Preston, who was not immediately arrested, was upset with her and had returned several times, attempting to retrieve his things.
Preston Bonnett charged with another count of homicide in Laflin arson https://t.co/jwCoTyxIJr
— jEj_60 (@john_johnson60) November 2, 2017
During questioning, Preston denied having problems with his then-girlfriend and claimed he was not at her home. However, security footage showed him walking around the porch of her house, just minutes before 911 was called to report the fire.
Police arrested Preston and Tyla the day after the fire on charges related to the credit-card fraud case. They are being held at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility.
Bonnett’s bail had initially been set at $150,000 in the fraud case. However, the new charges means he will not be eligible for bail.
Preston Daquen Bonnett is escorted for booking on homicide and arson charges Monday. https://t.co/MazyQm1vgB
— The Citizens' Voice (@CitizensVoice) October 31, 2017
Our love and prayers to the victims’ loved ones.
BREAKING:26 yol Preston Bonnett to be charged with a 3rd count of homicide in connection with that fatal fire in Laflin, Luzerne County. pic.twitter.com/fGKNyEp6z2
— Eyewitness News (@wbrewyou) November 1, 2017