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Hibbing murder suspect found competent to stand trial

HIBBING, MN–A man charged with first degree murder in connection to a brutal death on the Iron Range has been found mentally fit to stand trial.

According to the Hibbing court administrator’s office, a judge made that ruling during 18-year-old Deshon Bonnell’s hearing Thursday morning.

Bonnell and Bailey French, 17, were each indicted on first-degree murder charges last month in the death of 33-year old Joshua Lavalley on January 6.

Anthony Howson, 20, is also charged in connection to the crime.

According to the criminal complaint, Lavalley’s body was found on the Mesabi Trail, near Kerr.

Court documents claim Lavalley attempted “unwanted sexual contact” with French in the days leading up to his death.

According to the criminal complaint, that alleged act angered Bonnell, Howson, and French. They allegedly took Lavalley to the trail, blindfolded, where his body was later found.

Howson allegedly stayed in the vehicle and told police he heard two shots.

Bonnell and French allegedly returned without Lavalley. According to court documents, Bonnell was also apparently holding a handgun.

Bonnell is due back in court in May.

Briggs LeSavage

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