Federal authorities are asking to postpone a hearing in the Brooke Bennett case. Prosecutors say they need more time to collect evidence for potential indictments against the two suspects. The requests for more time mean it could be at least another two months before we learn whether the government has enough evidence to charge anyone for the murder of Brooke Bennett.
Michael Jacques, 42, faces federal kidnapping charges in connection with the disappearance and murder of his niece, Brooke Bennett, 12.
She disappeared five weeks ago. Her body was found a week later covered by dirt less than a mile from Jacques' home. He is a registered convicted sex offender for a 1992 rape.
Prosecutors say Jacques could potentially face the death penalty, depending on what he is ultimately charged with.
Brooke's former stepfather, Raymond Gagnon, faces federal charges of obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying computer evidence in connection with the investigation.
Both men are being held on charges based on affidavits, but no one is charged with the girl's murder and authorities have released no information detailing how she died.
More information about the investigation was expected to be revealed over the next week at probable cause hearings.
But those have now been canceled because federal prosecutors want at least 60 more days to gather additional evidence for potential indictments against both men.
Now in their documents seeking the extension, the prosecutors say the investigation is still in its initial stages and has been slowed by false evidence and evidence that was destroyed. They say their efforts have been hindered by e-mail accounts registered under fictitious names.
The federal prosecutor declined comment. We were unable to reach lawyers for Jacques and Gagnon. However, the documents say they are not opposed to the time extension.
Vermont Law School Professor Cheryl Hanna says this is not unusual. She says it could mean many things, including the possibility that the feds are looking at additional suspects and the possibility of conspiracy charges.
Thursday, December 5 2013 9:42 AM EST2013-12-05 14:42:02 GMT
The prospective new owners of the Burlington Town Center mall have big plans for its future. According to a memo from the Devonwood Investment group, the New York City company wants to add a new anchorMore >>
The prospective new owners of the Burlington Town Center mall have big plans for its future.More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 9:29 AM EST2013-12-05 14:29:39 GMT
One Georgia man is going all-out to light up his home for Christmas this year. For J.R. Adams, decorating his home elaborately with lights, music, and Santa Claus on a motorcycle is a childhood dream come true. "IMore >>
One Georgia man is going all-out to light up his home for Christmas this year.More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 9:31 AM EST2013-12-05 14:31:18 GMT
Santa is looking for a few helpers to brighten the holidays for senior citizens across our region. Home Instead Senior Care is collecting gifts as part of its "Be a Santa to a Senior Program." The group'sMore >>
Santa is looking for a few helpers to brighten the holidays for senior citizens across our region.More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 9:33 AM EST2013-12-05 14:33:23 GMT
Vermont State Police need your help to find a hit and run driver. They say Wednesday afternoon an older model red Subaru wagon driving north on Route 14 in Williamstown crossed into oncoming traffic, enteredMore >>
Vermont State Police need your help to find a hit and run driver.More >>
Thursday, December 5 2013 9:36 AM EST2013-12-05 14:36:20 GMT
The battle over a new methadone clinic in South Burlington continues. Wednesday night the South Burlington School board voted to pursue an appeal with the state supreme court to keep the clinic away fromMore >>
The battle over a new methadone clinic in South Burlington continues.More >>