BURLINGTON — The trial for a Vermont man potentially facing the death penalty in the sexual assault and killing of his 12-year-old niece in 2008 is at least a year away.
A federal appeals court in New York last week sent the case of Michael Jacques of Randolph back to Vermont for trial.
Jacques, 46, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he abducted, sexually assaulted and then killed Brooke Bennett of Braintree in June 2008. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York recently turned down a defense request to reconsider its decision allowing prosecutors to use evidence that Jacques tried to shift blame for the killing to a make-believe international sex ring.
The Burlington Free Press reported that Judge William Sessions has estimated the trial could last as long as four months. In June, Sessions scheduled a start date for Sept. 3, 2013 after Jacques’ lead attorney, David Ruhnke, said he likely would be involved in other death penalty trials next spring.
The trial had been scheduled for last September, but was delayed because of a series of legal motions.MORE IN Vermont NewsThe alleged ringleader of a central Vermont gang answered to a charge of aggravated repeated... Full Story
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