Eric Millerberg gets 6-years-to-life sentence in 'reckless' death of baby sitter

Mother says she cries over daughter's death daily

Published: Tuesday, March 18 2014 3:55 p.m. MDT

Dea Millerberg is facing a charge of abuse or desecration of a human body, a third-degree felony, in Alexis' death. She has a hearing set for March 26.

Millerberg's attorney, Randall Marshall, argued that while the case is tragic, Alexis' death was not an intentional, premeditated murder. He said there was nothing to warrant the request for consecutive sentences.

"We have something that clearly was an accident," he told the judge. "No one intended for there to be a death — no one."

He said Millerberg struggled with drug and alcohol use and also questioned why his client was taking the bulk of the blame, when Dea Millerberg was also present the night the girl died and the decision was made to dispose of her body.

"The circumstances of this case are a bit suspect to begin with," Marshall said. "All the blame now rests on Mr. Millerberg for this death. … He essentially is being saddled with all the burden, all the responsibility for Lexi's death as if he was the only one involved."

Prosecutor Christopher Shaw took issue with the contention that the death was an accident and only involved one victim. He pointed to Alexis' family and said he wasn't about to tell them there was only one victim in the case.

"Intentionally injecting heroin and methamphetamine into a young girl is not an accident," he argued. "This is no accident. This is child abuse homicide. That's clear in the record, it's clear in the facts. That's what happened here."

He said Millerberg has failed to take responsibility for his actions in the teen's death and pointed to his long criminal history, which includes several felonies and failed probation opportunities.

"It's clear he doesn't respect rules and never has," Shaw said. "This defendant has had every opportunity to clean up and he chose not to. He chose to provide those illicit drugs to a 16-year-old. … It isn't by chance that Mr. Millerberg winds up here, it is by choice."

Weber County Attorney Dee Smith said he hopes the sentence sends the message to the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole that Millerberg is a dangerous person who should never be released from prison.

Alexis' mother, Dawn Miera, said the sentencing "went as best as it could go."

"It's good to finally have a little bit of closure, a little bit of justice for Alexis," she said.

Email: emorgan@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

Try out the new DeseretNews.com design!
try beta learn more
Get The Deseret News Everywhere