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Lori Hacking’s Husband Makes Deal, Admits to Murder

From Associated Press

A man accused of killing his wife after she found out he had lied about getting into medical school pleaded guilty to murder Friday, declaring to the judge: “I intentionally shot Lori Hacking in the head with a .22 rifle.”

Prosecutors say Mark Hacking carried out the attack while his wife slept last July, and then threw the body of the 27-year-old woman into a trash bin. Volunteers scouring a landfill found her decomposed remains about three months later.

The victim’s father, Eraldo Soares, said hearing Hacking admit guilt in court “was just like a knife going right through my heart. I could not imagine that he could do that to Lori.”

Prosecutors said the sentencing range will be from six years to life for Hacking, 28, who appeared in court Friday with his hands cuffed behind his back. Prosecutors said they would push for the maximum sentence, and that the possibility of Hacking getting the low end of the sentencing range was extremely remote. Sentencing was scheduled for June 6.

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“Under this charge, there is no possibility of probation,” prosecutor Bob Stott said. “He will be going to prison. He pleaded guilty to murder, and that’s what we were looking for. We were looking for the life sentence.”

Hacking, a hospital orderly, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. He also was charged with obstructing justice by disposing of the body, the gun and a bloody mattress, but those charges were dropped as part of Friday’s deal.

Prosecutors were unable to determine whether Lori Hacking had been five weeks pregnant, as she had told friends. That meant the husband could not be charged with a capital crime.

Lori Hacking’s colleagues at a Wells Fargo brokerage house have said she broke down sobbing after learning of her husband’s deception. She became aware of the lies after making calls to school administrators in North Carolina, where Hacking claimed he was enrolled in medical school. Hacking had also lied about graduating from the University of Utah.

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Mark Hacking’s lawyer, D. Gilbert Athay, had filed no motions, asked for none of the usual hearings that precede trials, and contacted no prosecution witnesses -- leading many to believe a plea deal was in the works.


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