A 23-year-old man from Thief River Falls was charged Friday with murder and arson after a woman was found dead in his apartment following a fire there.
Devon James Pulczinski was charged in Pennington County District Court with second-degree murder and first-degree arson in connection with the fire and the death of Alexandra Jo Ellingson, 23, who was found bound and severely burned in the residence.
Firefighters were called Wednesday to a duplex in the 300 block of S. Arnold Avenue, where an upstairs apartment belonging to Pulczinski was ablaze. Residents in the lower-level apartment escaped without injuries.
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined the cause and manner of Ellingson's death to be homicide due to asphyxiation, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Pulczinski is being held in the Pennington County jail on $1 million bond with conditions, or $10 million without conditions.
MARY LYNN SMITH