The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

February 15, 2014

Utah man found guilty of teen babysitter's murder

(Continued)

OGDEN, Utah —

"Ordinary people don't inject little girls with heroin and methamphetamine," Smith said, later adding: "You don't have sex with 16-year-olds when you're a month away from turning 36. You don't look for dates with juniors in high school."

Defense attorney Randall Marshall argued in closing arguments that the case against Eric Millerberg is based on lies by Dea Millerberg meant to protect herself. He reminded jurors that she struggled to remember details during cross-examination about the night of Rasmussen's death.

"Dea Millerberg told a great story, but it doesn't add up," Marshall said.

He said there's no evidence, other than Dea Millerberg's account, to prove Eric Millerberg injected Rasmussen with the drugs.

"How do we know Dea didn't shoot her up?" Marshall said.

He reminded jurors that the state medical examiner stopped short of declaring Rasmussen's cause of death was a drug overdose. Marshall also suggested to the jury that Dea Millerberg was responsible for the death and recruited her husband to help her dump the body.

Earlier Friday, a Utah assistant medical examiner, Joseph White, testified that Rasmussen had enormous amounts of methamphetamine and heroin in her system that likely caused her death. She had seven times the lethal amount of methamphetamine in her system and high levels of morphine and amphetamines, White said.

"These are obviously significant results," White said. "Certainly, enough to explain the death."

But White said he couldn't rule out other possibilities such as strangulation, stabbing or blunt-force trauma because the girl's body was badly decomposed.

Prosecutors say the girl was found 38 days after her death in a remote, wooded area in Weber County.

"It's a foul circumstance, and it seemed clear that somebody else was involved," White said, while later adding, "I felt it was most intellectually honest to list the cause and manner (of death) as undetermined."

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