Vermont man accused of killing his niece likely to avoid death penalty

VERMONT — A Vermont man charged with sexually abusing and killing his niece likely won't recieve the death penalty.

The U.S. Attorney General has directed the death penalty trial against Michael Jacques be dropped as part of a plea deal that will send the 47-year-old to prison for life.

In 2008, 12-year-old Brooke Bennett's body was found covered with dirt a mile from Jacque's home a week after she had gone missing.

Prosecutors say Jacques staged the entire incident, luring Brooke to his home after she was seen leaving a convenience store. They say he then drugged, sexually assaulted and killed her, even acting like he was helping in the search for her.

Jacques is expected to formally enter a guilty plea at an upcoming hearing.

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