Suspect speaks, new details emerge after triple fatal arson

WYOMING, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- We're learning more about what happened during last week's fire in Luzerne County that claimed the lives of three brothers.

Investigators tell Eyewitness News the man once called a "person of interest", 26-year-old Preston Bonnett of Wilkes-Barre, is now facing homicide and arson charges.

Bonnett is accused of setting a fire in Laflin Wednesday night that killed 16-year-old Erik Dupree, 12-year-old Devon Major, and 7-year-old Ezekiel Major.

Troopers said the teenager had the courage to call 9-1-1 after he saw Bonnett, his mother's ex-boyfriend, on a surveillance camera.

That time-stamped video revealed that Bonnett was walking around the porch about five minutes before the call for help came in, and the fire started just inside the back door where he was spotted in the video.

State police said a neighbor and his daughter noticed the flames and tried banging on the front door.  They even heard one of the boys screaming "help us" from the second floor window.  

According to court paperwork, Dupree had told the neighbor's daughter that people were threatening his family, and she thought he was afraid.

While Bonnett denies his involvement, investigators said he left work around 11:30 that morning, and his landlord told troopers that Bonnett's car was not parked there from around 5:30 until at least 8 that night.

Authorities told Eyewitness News that Bonnett could face another homicide charge after the final autopsy is completed.


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