Eric Millerberg injected 16-year-old Alexis Rasmussen, then put her in garbage bag, prosecutor says
Homicide trial begins in death of North Ogden baby-sitter
After Alexis took a bath at the Millerberg home, Dea Millerberg said Alexis reported being really cold and shaking. Millerberg, a former nurse, didn't think much of the girl's symptoms at the time. But when Alexis became unresponsive later in the night, she tried to resuscitate her, but to no avail.
"She wasn't moving. She had mucousy stuff coming out the side of her mouth. She didn't wake up," she said.
It was then that the Millerbergs "panicked" and decided to hide Alexis' body.
Shaw said investigators found the body in a remote area of Weber Canyon 38 days after her mother, Dawn Miera, reported her missing.
Miera told the court she had been in contact with Alexis, via text, up until about 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 and that she gave Alexis permission to stay at the Millerbergs' home that evening, as she believed the couple wasn't going to return until quite late.
When she didn't come home the next morning, Miera went looking for her. At the Millerberg home, she was met by Eric Millerberg, who she said was "all over the place."
"He was bobbin' and weavin' all over, jumping from one subject to another," she testified.
Miera said she never stopped looking for her daughter until police told her Alexis' body had been found. Police had been led to the body by an informant, Eric "Peanut" Smith, who told them that Eric Millerberg had called him in September, saying he had "something to get rid of."
Smith had helped to move the body to a more discrete place, Dea Millerberg said, adding that she couldn't tell police of the spot because she didn't know where it was.
While the body was decomposed enough to limit a thorough autopsy, Shaw told the jury on Wednesday that medical and toxicology reports revealed large quantities of both methamphetamine and resulting metabolites of heroin in the girl's remaining muscle tissue. He said medical examiners scheduled to testify in the case "will tell you that the circumstances of this death are very, very suspicious. Someone else had to be involved. There was no reason for her death."
Defense attorney Randall Marshall said that while Alexis' death is a "terrible tragedy the fact that she is dead does not make Eric Millerberg guilty of anything."
Marshall told the jury that "no one has more motivation to lie than Dea Millerberg, because she's in right up to her neck."
In a heated cross-examination, Marshall attempted to chip away at Dea Millerberg's story, to try and convince the jury she wasn't telling the truth.
After the jury was dismissed Wednesday, Eric Millerberg was seen mouthing the words "I'm sorry" to an emotional Brenna, who was seated in the courtroom. He looked to be holding back tears as he exited the courtroom, escorted by a bailiff.
Twitter: wendyleonards; DNewsCrimeTeam
- Relatives of Springville family 'shocked and...
- Body cam video helps D.A. clear officer in...
- Bus driver charged in death of 10-year-old...
- A parent's worst nightmare: When a fever...
- Mother and son charged in drive-by shooting...
- Family of slain 18-year-old pleads for...
- Body cameras have played roles in 2...
- Litter left by target shooters in Hobble...
- Students rally for beard 'revolution'... 89
- Utah gay marriage case first in line at... 57
- Body cam video helps D.A. clear officer... 52
- Utah in wait-and-see mode on same-sex... 46
- Romney, Huntsman may both be taking... 40
- Granite School District reaches... 22
- New poll shows more support for Sen.... 20
- Group wants all to pay 'true' price for... 16