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Sammy Linebaugh reportingMonths after pleading guilty to his wife's murder, and almost a year after she was reported missing, Mark Hacking will learn his fate in court today.
Paul Soares/Lori's brother: "It's something I wanted to hear, for him to finally say he did it. But it's really, really hard to hear him say it."
An emotional journey will come to an end today for the families of Mark and Lori Hacking. It will be a true test of emotional endurance for both families.
Mark Hacking entered a guilty plea on murder charges for his wife's death back in April. Later this afternoon, Mark Hacking will be at the Matheson Courthouse for sentencing.
We talked with prosecutors overnight and they told us four of Lori Hacking's family members could make statements before the judge as a part of sentencing.
And, we could also hear from someone who's had very little to say in court--the defendant himself, Mark Hacking. The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office tells us many defendants usually speak on their own behalf at sentencing.
The defense could also submit evidence today. Prosecutors say all of that evidence would be offered in writing so the Board of Pardons could look over it.
This story began playing out nearly a year ago, when Mark Hacking reported his wife missing on July 19 of 2004. He said his wife went out for a jog and never returned. Family members and police began searching for her.
Thelma Soares/Lori's mother/July 2004: "If someone has her, please, please let her go and bring her back."
Investigators then turned their attention to Mark Hacking, learning he'd lied about his education.
And, after a breakdown at a Salt Lake hotel, Hacking was admitted to a psychiatric ward. That's where he allegedly confessed to family about Lori's murder. His family then went to police.
Lance Hacking/Mark's brother:"We clarified and made sure he knew that Scott and I acted out of love and I think that was apparent to him and that he understood that."
Lori Hacking's remains were found the following October. Her family laid her body to rest and Mark Hacking was charged with murder on October 29th.
Hacking then pleaded guilty in April of 2005.
Hacking will likely be sentenced to six years to life behind bars. Murder charges are usually only five years to life, but an extra year was added because a gun was used in Lori's murder.