Brooke's Death Ruled a Homicide - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Brooke's Death Ruled a Homicide

Featured Videos

Michael Jacques Michael Jacques
Ray Gagnon - Sketch by Armando Veve Ray Gagnon - Sketch by Armando Veve
Brooke Bennett Brooke Bennett

Burlington, Vermont - July 7, 2008

Vermont's chief medical examiner has ruled the death of 12-year-old Brooke Bennett a homicide. But so far, no charges have been filed relating to her death.

That information came out during the first federal court appearance of Brooke's uncle, Michael Jacques, 42. He is charged with kidnapping her. A judge ordered he remain in federal custody.

"A lot of work done over the holiday, lot of work left to be done," said Bill Sorrell, D-Vt. Attorney General.

Sorrell had little comment as he left federal court, but said the investigation into the disappearance and death of 12-year-old Brooke was continuing.

State sexual assault charges against her uncle, Michael Jacques, were dropped Monday so federal prosecutors could pursue their case that he kidnapped her. Jacques made his first appearance in federal court.

Prosecutor Craig Nolan outlined the feds' case against him-- saying he had used the internet to plan and carry out the kidnapping, using aliases and a juvenile to help him. Nolan said Jacques planted phony evidence-- altering Brooke's MySpace page to suggest she was meeting someone she met online, and leaving her clothing near the floating bridge in Brookfield.

Prosecutors argued the nature of the offense, the weight of the evidence, and Jacques' criminal history made him a risk of flight and a danger to the community. Jacques' lawyer did not challenge the motion, and the judge ruled him detained pending trial.

Also in court Monday-- Brooke's former stepfather, Ray Gagnon, 40, of San Antonio, Texas. His lawyer left court without comment, but told the judge she did not contest the government's motion to keep him in custody.

The judge ordered he, too, was a flight risk and could obstruct the investigation.

Both Jacques and Gagnon will be back in federal court on July 17 for probable cause hearings. We may learn more about the government's case at that time.

We also don't know how Brooke died. Prosecutors said it is a homicide, but the actual cause will require more investigation. Again, federal prosecutors have not yet charged anyone with a homicide. The only charge against Jacques right now is connected to Brooke's kidnapping.

Meanwhile, more charges were announced against Gagnon today. Prosecutors in Alabama have filed child pornography charges against him. They say he had images stored in his former home in Cullman, Alabama. It is not clear how or even if those charges will relate to the federal case against him in the Brooke Bennett case.

Kate Duffy - WCAX News

Related Stories:

Brooke's Parents Speak Funeral Set for Brooke

Jacques Could Face Death Penalty

Judge OKed Early Probation Release for Jacques

Community Holds Vigil for Brooke Bennett

Police Believe They Have Found Brooke's Body

Court Papers: Uncle Brought Brooke Home for Sex

Former Stepfather Implicated in Disappearance

The Criminal Past of Brooke's Uncle

Brooke's Uncle Charged in Child Sex Ring

Police: Uncle "Person of Interest" in Disappearance

Police Issue Amber Alert for Missing Child

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:43:47 GMT
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
  • Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:04 GMT
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
  • Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:21 GMT
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
  • A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:36 GMT
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
  • Gun fired into New Haven home

    Gun fired into New Haven home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:48 GMT
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
  • What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:57:35 GMT
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
  • Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in connection with a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
  • Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:24:36 GMT
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer. More >>
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.