Shocking Details Presented in Court of Deadly Luzerne County Arson

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- Heartbreaking new details were presented in court Tuesday about the arson that took the life of three boys.

A magisterial district judge ruled that there is enough evidence to send the man accused of torching their home to trial.

Prosecutors in Luzerne County presented surveillance video in court from the burning home where children can be heard screaming for help.

That's just part of the evidence that a magistrate considered before sending Preston Bonnet's case to trial.

Prosecutors said they brought key witnesses and important evidence to court in the case against Bonnett.

The owner of the home in Laflin that was set on fire October 25, kicked Bonnett out this summer.

After police say Bonnett threatened to retaliate, the owner installed security cameras.

In court, prosecutors played video from the two security cameras that were recorded the night of the deadly fire.

Prosecutors say a video pointed towards the back porch shows a man who looks similar to Bonnett smoking a cigarette.

The video from the front shows how quickly the home filled up with smoke and there is the sound of what appears to be one of the three boys trapped inside screaming for help just as fire trucks arrived.

Prosecutors had a state trooper testify he found blackened handprints on the front door that appears to belong to Erik Dupree, age 16, who may have been trying to open the door.

Erik Dupree and his two younger brothers who are 12 and 7 years old died in the fire.

All three were the children of Preston Bonnett's ex-girlfriend.

That trooper told the court of a 911 call from the home made by a nervous Erik Dupree moments before the fire, saying he was scared.

Bonnett has pleaded not guilty to arson and criminal homicide.

Bonnett's lawyer tried to get the charges dropped, claiming there was no evidence tying the accused arsonist to the crime.

The judge agreed with prosecutors that there was enough evidence.

No date has been set for the trial.


  • burtfan16

    I’ll take your word WNEP that there are shocking details. How about next time you include them in your story instead of just using the headline for sensationalism.

  • El~Ma

    Godalmighty. One bullet, one solution. Or, douse the rat-sh*t in sterno (burns so much slower) and set a match to HIM.

    There is absolutely no mention of the mother in any of these news articles about this case. What’s up with that? I guess she’s reaping the rewards of her choices while innocent kids paid the ultimate price for her stupidity.

  • III%

    Steel post driven in the ground a couple face cord of wood a match and light up the night sky with the ______ !!!!

  • Bill K.

    They keep proving my point. Yet another black committing a violent crime. They make up less than 13% of the population yet commit over 50% of the violent crime. That’s not me, that’s per FBI crime statistics. I’ll be the mods pull this down shortly. No one wants to hear those stats. Sure makes these beasts look more like the animals they are. they don’t belong around normal people.

    • warningfakenews

      There’s nothing racist about citing crime statistics as it relates to racial components, but it doesn’t make you a genius, either. For genius status, come up with how to solve the problem the statistics illustrate WITHOUT violating anyone’s constitutional rights.

      Better schools in the inner cities? How can you make that happen, realistically- for example. More cohesive families? How do you bring that about, while respecting everyone’s rights?

      • les

        Sorry fake news – these methods have been tried for decades to no avail. This segment of society l, who carry out disgusting acts like this, can never be expected to turn their lives around and live upstanding lives.

      • warningfakenews

        It doesn’t take long before racists out themselves in any conversation. This statement applies to racists of any race.

      • My solution

        Why give the inner cities better schools? They all quit by 9th grade (19 yrs old) anyways. Give the nice schools to the white kids who actually embrace and appreciate a good education. There is no cure for these people. My suggestion is just keep building more prisons and keep them there longer. It’s obvious they do not blend well with a law abiding society.

  • Think Positive

    It’s heartbreaking to think of how those young boys suffered. They should throw the piece of garbage who did it into a pit of hungry lions.

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