Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Attorneys for Michael Jacques Want Federal Indictment Tossed

Defense attorneys have requested and extension from December 25 to January 8 for filing pretrial motions in the murder case. Jacques was indicted by a federal grand jury in the kidnap, drugging, rape, and murder of his niece, 12-year-old Brooke Bennett.
The filing also indicated that the defense would be seeking to have the federal indictment dropped. Jean Barrett, a New Jersey death-penalty specialist, states the federal court can only try cases that involve crimes committed that cross state lines. Barrett asserts that Jacques alleged crimes all occurred in Vermont and he should therefore by tried by the state. 

The move effectively could allow Jacques to escape the death penalty because Vermont has no death penalty law.
This past August, US Attorney General Eric Holder notified the Burlington Attorney’s Office that the government could pursue the death penalty in the event that Jacques was found guilty of the charges.
The case was originally turned over to the federal authorities because Jacques is accused of persuading and under age girl to engage in sex acts and those videos were transported over state lines. Brooke’s ex-stepfather, Raymond Gagnon, was found guilty this past summer of transporting pornography to several states.
While the legal wrangling continues, Jacques was moved from a federal facility in Devens, MA to a federal jail in Brooklyn, NY.


Melissa said...

NJ has no death penalty either.

donchais said...

Ms. Barrett and her husband - also a prominent death penalty specialist working on Jacques' case - reside in New Jersey.