Uncle Who Kidnapped & Murdered 12-Year-Old Niece Confesses After Stringing Parents Along for 5 Years

Heartbreaking 27

Brooke BennettIt's good news when a murder suspect is caught, right? When the police put the pieces of the puzzle together and haul in a guy like Michael Jacques, the uncle from Vermont who just admitted he kidnapped, raped, and killed his 12-year-old niece, Brooke Bennett?

Jacques just copped a plea deal for the awful crime -- the first to result in an Amber Alert for the State of Vermont. He's expected to spend life in prison without parole, but he'll avoid the death penalty for cooperating.

Well, sort of cooperating. It's been five years since Jacques was first hauled into a courtroom, five years since little Brooke was murdered, five years that her parents have had to wait for this day.

So much for swift justice.

Granted, Jacques initially pleaded not guilty in the case, claiming that he had nothing to do with Brooke's June 25, 2008, disappearance from a convenience store. Our justice system, as its built, gives time for a suspect to present a case for their defense.

But it seems Jacques, a registered sex offender, was just playing games, stringing the courts along as his lawyers debated the legality of threatening him with the death penalty. For five years, he waited ... until just this week, as his trial was supposed to start, agreeing to the plea deal. He confessed that he used a 14-year-old girl (who he was sexually abusing) to lure his 12-year-old niece (Jacques was once married to the sister of Brooke's mother, Cassandra Adams) to a pool party at his house and then sexually assaulted her and killed her. Brooke's body was found in a grave not far from her uncle's home about a week after her disappearance. 

Jacques was arrested shortly thereafter.

But as the five-year span since that arrest until this week's guilty plea shows, that was hardly worth the celebration that one would expect from a suspect's arrest.

It didn't give Brooke's parents answers, bring Brooke justice, not for five long, long years. Jacques got to put up his defense, but what did they get?

Even now, Jim Bennett and Cassandra Adams are said to be unhappy with the plea deal that will spare their daughter's killer from the death penalty. Of course ... nothing can give them their daughter back.

But the man who did this to them got five extra years to torture them ...

Do you think it takes too long for cases to go to trial? Is this fair to the victims?


Image via Amber Alert

child abuse, death, death penalty, crime


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Nicole Lee Sudia

I have absolutely zero faith in our justice system at all!!  Makes me sick!

Christopher Isto

"The way our justice system is built" is a catch phrase the right wing uses every time they would prefer to lynch someone. "Presumed innocent" has to be universal, not just for you and your parking tickets or that DUI you might have had. It's tough to handle some times, but bombastic bullsheet like lamenting you and your buddies can't just go out and hang everyone you have decided is guilty is anti-American, no matter what Fox News says.

Samantha Black

Yes it takes WAYYYY too long to go to trial for sure...It does not take that long to say what is suppose to be the truth. Your giving them 1. more time to lie 2. more lock up time if they are innocent 3. prolonging the process which is terrible for the family..they just want that part of it to be over ASAPbad

Angela Schiller-Jones

I agree with you, Christopher Isto. It's unfortunate, but we did ask for this, didn't we? "Innocent until proven guilty" for everything. We wanted it that way. Well, we got it. Doesn't mean that it's going to seem fair and some situations are just going to suck. Some are going to be horrendous. But, this is supposed to be a democracy.


Priscilla Montez

way too long to go to trial... and really because he cooperated he escapes the death penalty..??? wow... mayb they will let him out for good behavior too :/ ...... this is sickening!!!!!!!!!!!


Why do "the Stir" writers always resort to the "nothing will bring them back" statment ? They're adults,they know that, that's why it's a kick in the teeth for them.He will have 3 squares a day have family visits,heaven forbid conjugal visits.This mom and dad didn't do anything wrong and yet they too got a life sentence. They want him gone from this earth. And I can't blame them.


adopt... adoption2013

Plea bargains ensure convictions.  You can't trust juries.

adopt... adoption2013

Oh and Btw unless you are a lawyer for either defense or prosecution you have no idea how much work goes into building a case for either side so you don't get an opinion about how long it takes.  I have had someone that I loved murdered and I can still say this.  A woman who was like my second mom went missing in 2000.  Her body was found in 2004.  Her killer was not arrested until ten years after the crime. He is still trying to appeal his conviction.  The pain of not knowing is worse than you could imagine.  So yeah I get where they are coming from, but I stand behind my comments.  Please bargains ensure the bastard doesn't walk because of some fool jury, and you don't get an opinion about court delays and the length of cases unless you actually deal with it daily.

Linda Moriarty

For victims, there is NO SUCH THING as justice.  It's just a matter of what is the least wrong.

I'm glad this animal is off the streets; please don't let him ever get parole (and please don't try to tell me that a "life" sentence really means "life" -- don't we all know better by now?!).  If this plea bargain really does ensure that this creep never does this to another child, the family can take some solace. 

May God look over this family and keep them through their tremendous grief.


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