Trial set for woman charged in death of teen as she waits to see husband's case through

Published: Wednesday, May 23 2012 6:32 p.m. MDT

OGDEN — A trial has been scheduled for a woman charged in connection with the death of a North Ogden teenager.

Dea Millerberg, 39, and her husband, Eric Millerberg, have both been charged in connection with the death of their 16-year-old baby sitter, Alexis Rasmussen. Millerberg testified against her husband in a preliminary hearing in April and said that it was he who would inject drugs into the girl's system.

Eric Millerberg, 36, has been ordered to stand trial on charges of child abuse homicide, a first-degree felony; obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony; unlawful sexual activity with a minor and abuse or desecration of a human body, both third-degree felonies, in connection with Alexis' death. Dea Millerberg is facing a single charge of desecration of a human body, a third-degree felony.

She is also facing two counts of falsely obtaining or dispensing of a prescription, a third-degree felony, in connection with unrelated incidents in May and July of this year and a charge of endangerment of a child or a vulnerable adult, a third-degree felony. She has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and was released from custody after posting bail.

In a hearing in 2nd District Court Wednesday, a trial was set for December in one of the cases, defense attorney Michael Bouwhuis said. While it is anticipated she will be offered a plea deal because of her cooperation in her husband's case, none has been offered so far.

"She's been on a good direction since she was arrested and we want to continue that way," Bouwhuis said. "There haven't been any promises made, any deals presented."

He said his client has been drug-free since her arrest in October and is working toward reunification with her two young daughters.

"We deal with people in the system who say, 'I'm going to straighten up and do better' and they don’t," Bouwhuis said. "She's held to her word and she's done everything she said she was going to do."

Weber County Attorney Dee Smith said prosecutors have waited to see if Dea Millerberg will continue to cooperate with officials and testify against her husband at trial before offering her any sort of plea agreement.

"We told her from day one she's going to have to either go to trial or plead guilty to some felonies, and that's still where we're at on this case," Smith said. "She's been cooperative. She appeared (at the preliminary hearing). She testified. Her testimony was consistent with what she told us in the past and with the other evidence in the case."

Meantime, Eric Millerberg's attorneys have said they are doing research on Dea Millerberg, because they believe she is not credible and has a motive to lie.

Dea Millerberg testified that the couple met Alexis through a girl in their neighborhood and used her as a baby sitter for their two children. Eventually, though, she said the relationship turned social and the teenager would often come over to smoke and drink.

According to Dea Millerberg, Alexis began asking for methamphetamine and Eric Millerberg injected the teenager. The night of Sept. 10, the couple asked Alexis over to baby-sit, but instead they "hung out" and used heroin and methamphetamine.

The girl later became unresponsive and died. The couple allegedly took her to a remote area in Morgan County, where her body was found Oct. 18.

E-mail: emorgan@desnews.com Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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