08/10/2004 AT 8:20 AM ET
Prosecutors in Salt Lake City filed a first-degree murder charge against Mark Hacking, who allegedly confessed to his brothers that he killed his wife, Lori, by shooting her in the head with a .22-caliber rifle, according to a probable cause statement released Monday.
The statement goes on to say Hacking confessed that early on July 19, after an argument with his wife the night before, he walked into the couple’s bedroom and fired a single shot in Lori’s head. He then reportedly wrapped her body in garbage bags and placed it in a trash bin about 2 a.m. that day. He allegedly disposed of the gun in another bin.
Lori Hacking’s body has not been found, despite numerous searches of a local landfill.
The charge against Mark Hacking, 28, carries a possible penalty of five years to life in prison. Hacking also was charged with three counts of obstructing justice. Each carries a possible sentence of one to 15 years in prison, the Associated Press reports.
Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocom had the option of filing a count of aggravated murder against Hacking, which carries the death penalty, but the absence of Lori’s body would have made that difficult to prove.
Yocom also did not file a homicide charge to account for Lori Hacking’s unborn baby, because authorities have not been able to confirm that Lori was pregnant.