Vt. Girl's Death a Homicide: Investigators

Uncle faces execution in abduction of 12-year-old
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 8, 2008 9:40 AM CDT
Vermont AG William Sorrell answers questions July 3, 2008, in Burlington, Vt., where prosecutors announced Michael Jacques faces federal kidnapping charges in the death of Brooke Bennett.    (AP Photo/Alden Pellett)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The death of a 12-year-old Vermont girl was murder, prosecutors said yesterday, and her uncle may face the death penalty under federal kidnapping laws. A judge ordered Brooke Bennett’s uncle, who has not been charged with kidnapping but not murder, held without bail after Bennett’s body was found near his home, the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus reports.

Michael Stephen Jacques, 42, planted torn clothing near a highway to divert police, said a federal prosecutor, calling him a "danger to the community." He allegedly enlisted the help of a 14-year-old whom he had been sexually assaulting for 5 years to help him plant evidence. Bennett’s ex-stepfather, who faces charges of obstruction of justice, was also ordered held without bail. (Read more murder stories.)