MONTPELIER, Vt. – Federal prosecutors say they'll seek the death penalty for a Vermont man accused of kidnapping, molesting and strangling his 12-year-old niece before burying her in a shallow grave.
U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin says prosecutors Tuesday filed a notice of intent to seek a sentence of death against 43-year-old convicted sex offender Michael Jacques.
Jacques is charged with kidnapping resulting in the death of seventh-grader Brooke Bennett. He has pleaded not guilty. His attorneys haven't returned calls seeking comment on the death penalty.
Prosecutors say Jacques drugged and sexually assaulted Brooke after her June 2008 disappearance in Randolph, a small town just south of Montpelier and about a five-minute drive from her home in Braintree.
Another girl told police Brooke was destined for a child sex club.
Brooke's body was found a week later.