Feds seeking death penalty for Jacques
By DANIEL BARLOW Vermont Press Bureau | August 25,2009
MONTPELIER – The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it would seek the death penalty for Michael Jacques, the man accused of killing 12-year-old Brooke Bennett last summer.
Federal officials said Tuesday that Jacques’ alleged rape and murder of his young niece was “especially heinous, cruel [and] depraved” and that the 43-year-old suspect has shown no remorse for the crime he is accused.
According to police, Jacques raped and murdered Bennett after luring the girl, with the assistance of another young juvenile, to his home on June 25, 2008 under the pretense that she would be attending a pool party with kids her age.
“We’re very, very pleased,” said Mary Larson, a close friend of Bennett’s family. “There are a lot of people in Randolph who are going to be shocked tonight, but also very happy when they hear this news.”
Bennett’s initial disappearance – which launched Vermont’s first-ever Amber Alert – and the later revelation that the 12-year-old Braintree girl was murdered, shocked the small town last summer where the crime took place and led to new sex offender legislation at the state level.
But the criminal case against Jacques, who was arrested days after Bennett’s disappearance, has moved slowly as officials with the U.S. Department of Justice, the prosecutors in the case, decided whether or not to seek the strongest penalty – death – against Jacques.