Updated 08/09/04 16:07:50
Mark Hacking shot his wife in the head with a .22-caliber rifle as she lay sleeping, rolled her body up in garbage bags then disposed of her in a Dumpster at the University of Utah, according to a criminal complaint filed this afternoon in Salt Lake City.
Hacking, 28, was charged with one count of first-degree felony murder and three counts of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, in a complaint filed in 3rd District Court.
The charges based on a confession Hacking made to his brothers and corroborated with physical evidence at the crime scene allege that Mark Hacking killed Lori Hacking, 27, after they argued over his lie about being accepted at medical school in North Carolina.
"Lori's dead and I killed her," Mark Hacking told his brothers.
Now in the Salt Lake County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail, Mark Hacking, is scheduled to make a brief court appearance Tuesday to hear the charges formally read to him.
In a news conference Monday, Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom discussed new details about the case, which has attracted national attention.
Yocom said blood found in the Hackings' apartment and her car was matched through DNA testing to Lori Hacking.
The couple argued Sunday night about Mark Hacking's lies regarding his medical-school plans at the University of North Carolina, according to the story Mark Hacking told his brothers.
Lori later went to bed and Mark stayed up, playing Nintendo for about an hour. He then "came across" his .22-caliber rifle and shot her in the head, according to the charges.
Mark Hacking used a knife to cut the pillowtop of their mattress off, then wrapped the body up in garbage bags, put her body into her car and transported to the University of Utah about 2 a.m., Yocom said.
He told his brothers he disposed of the gun and mattress piece in two other Dumpsters. Police recovered the mattress from a Dumpster in a nearby church parking lot. They have not recovered the murder weapon.
Although Lori Hacking was reportedly pregnant, police do not have her body and were unable to confirm it. As a result, prosecutors do not have evidence to charge Mark Hacking with capital murder, which carries a possible death penalty.
Yocom said it is unlikely that finding the body after three weeks time will yield sufficient evidence to prove whether Lori was pregnant.
Although police say they will search for Lori's body indefinitely at the Salt Lake County Landfill, Yocom said it is not absolutely necessary.
"We have an excellent case," he said.
If convicted, Mark Hacking faces five years to life in prison on the murder charge, and one to 15 years on each of the obstruction charges.