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Pretrial Conference Scheduled in Hacking Case

Pretrial Conference Scheduled in Hacking Case

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- An April 15 pretrial conference in the Mark Hacking murder case was added to the 3rd District Court calendar Tuesday.

Mark Hacking, 28, faces one count of murder and three obstruction of justice charges in connection with the alleged shooting death of his wife, 27-year-old Lori, last July.

Trial is set to begin April 18. Negotiations on a possible plea agreement are reportedly ongoing, though neither Salt Lake County prosecutors nor Hacking's attorney, D. Gilbert Athay, have publicly confirmed it.

Hacking has not appeared in court since Oct. 29, when he pleaded not guilty to all four charges. No legal actions have occurred in the case since then.

Although hearings such as the one scheduled for April 15 are common, court spokeswoman Nancy Volmer said she did not know why the pretrial conference was added to the schedule this week.

Hacking initially reported his wife missing to police, saying she had not returned from a morning jog in a Salt Lake park. The news prompted a weeklong search for the former stockbroker's assistant by thousands of volunteers.

Police later said Hacking admitted to his brothers that he shot his wife in the head as she slept and then left her body in a trash bin.

The woman's remains were found almost three months later in a Salt Lake valley landfill.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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