WEBSTER CITY, Iowa — A Hamilton County jury has convicted Casey Frederiksen of first-degree murder in the 2005 death of Evelyn Miller. Jurors also found Frederiksen guilty of first-degree sexual abuse.
Deliberations began early Tuesday afternoon and lasted about five hours.
Prosecutors said Frederiksen, who lived with the girl and her mother, sexually abused Evelyn and stabbed her to death in July 2005. The girl’s body was found in the Cedar River five days after she disappeared from her mother’s apartment near Floyd.
Frederiksen, 35, is currently serving a 14-year sentence in federal prison for receiving and possessing child pornography.
In closing arguments Tuesday morning, the state told the jury that Frederiksen’s inconsistent statements and behavior are all consistent with his guilt. Prosecutors claim the motive for the little girl’s murder tied their whole case together.
“Why was Evelyn Miller murdered? Why did that happen? Because she was sexually assaulted and because there was obvious evidence of her sexual assault that Casey Frederiksen did not want anyone else to see,” Assistant Iowa Attorney General Scott Brown told the jury in closing statements.
Frederiksen’s defense said it wouldn’t make any excuses for his possession of child pornography, but there was no physical evidence tying him to the violent crimes committed against the five-year-old.
“Never once despite the number of times that they ran at him, they had their sister…his sister talk to him…never once is there a confession. Never once is there an admission to the violence that took the life of Evelyn Miller,” said defense attorney Aaron Hawbaker during closing statements.
The trial was moved to Hamilton County from Floyd County due to pretrial publicity.
Sentencing is set for May 11. Frederiksen faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.