A man who in a jealous rage killed an Iron Range man execution-style in the woods has been sentenced to a term of up to life in prison.
Deshon Bonnell, 19, of Hibbing, was sentenced last week in St. Louis County District Court after pleading guilty to first-degree murder during a robbery in connection with the death of 33-year-old Joshua Lavalley of Aurora, whose body was found Jan. 6 on a snowmobile trail near Hibbing, Minn.
Judge Mark Starr imposed a life sentence but held out the possibility that Bonnell could be paroled after serving 30 years, minus credit for the nearly 10 months he has been in jail. He also was ordered to pay about $6,000 in restitution.
Bonnell had two alleged accomplices in the killing. Anthony Howson, 21, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for his role in the killing but indicated earlier this month his intention to withdraw his plea. He’s back in court Thursday.
Bailey French, 18, is charged with first-degree murder and has a hearing scheduled for Nov. 14. Howson and French also are from Hibbing.
According to police and the charges:
Police and emergency medical personnel went to the Mesabi Trail east of Kerr, after receiving a 911 call from a snowmobiler. There they found Lavalley’s body. He was shot twice in the face.
Howson told police that he, Bonnell and French were with Lavalley over the weekend. Howson alleged that Lavalley had made unwanted sexual contact with French and said that this angered Bonnell, who was her boyfriend, and the others.
French told police they all took Lavalley to where his body later was found. Howson stayed in the car while she and Bonnell led a blindfolded Lavalley into the woods, where her boyfriend then shot their captive.