Mark Douglas Hacking will spend at least six years in prison for the shooting death of his wife.

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But how long he lives behind bars after that will depend on the state Board of Pardons and Parole.

The board must decide when it wants to see him, said John Green, the board's administrative coordinator. The board may decide to have an original hearing soon to get testimony from victims, family and Hacking, Green said, even though the board may not be considering a parole date.

The result of that hearing could be that Hacking stays locked up for the rest of his natural life.

Green pointed out that such a decision could be overturned by a future board. But 3rd District Judge Denise Lindberg recommended he spend a long time in prison.

Hacking's attorney said he is confident Hacking one day will be released from prison, possibly in 25 to 30 years. And even Hacking said he should spend the rest of his life in prison.

"The bottom line," Green says, "is that Mr. Hacking isn't going anywhere."

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Despite the high-profile Hacking murder case, there is no fast track for a decision from the board, Green said, adding that all cases will be heard in order.

"He'll get his review as cases go through on the conveyor belt."

In certain circumstances, the board may conduct a special review hearing at Hacking's request. But new information must be presented to the board, according to the board's administrative rules.