Burlington, Vermont - October 8, 2008
Michael Jacques lawyers entered a not guilty plea for their client Wednesday, on a charge of kidnapping and killing his niece Brooke Bennett.
The prosecution indicated it could take six months for the U.S. Justice Department to determine if Jacques could face the death penalty.
Jacques was not in court.
He is charged with kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing the 12-year-old Braintree girl this summer.
Most of Wednesday's hearing entered on defense motions and scheduling issues.
Half a dozen of Brooke's family members and friends were outside the federal court in Burlington as Jacques' hearing was held.
Afterward, Brooke's stepmother said she is of two minds about the death penalty-- she said she really wants to see Jacques suffer and thinks the death penalty may not be punishment severe enough.
Click here for complete coverage of the Brooke Bennett case.
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