- Eric Millerberg, 38, found guilty of child abuse homicide in Alexis Rasmussen’s September 2011 death
- Five-man, three-woman jury last night also found him guilty of obstructing justice, desecrating a body and having unlawful sexual activity
- He is expected to be sentenced to life imprisonment on March 18
- When the girl died after being injected three times, Millerberg and his wife Dea dumped her body in a rural river bed
- Dea testified against Eric, who she divorced in 2012, and was granted immunity
- She has been charged with desecration of a dead body and is awaiting trial
- It was revealed the couple had an ongoing sexual relationship with Alexis
- Eric stunned the courtroom about two days ago with radical transformation
A 38-year-old white supremacist has been found guilty of killing his 16-year-old babysitter with three injections of heroin and methamphetamine following a night of sex, and dumping her body in a rural river bed.
Following a three-day trial, the jury last night also found Eric Millerberg guilty of obstructing justice, desecrating a body and having unlawful sexual activity with Alexis Rasmussen in September 2011.
The Utah man is expected to be sentenced to life behind bars on March 18, but his attorney said it’s likely Millerberg will appeal the decision.
As the Silent Aryan Warriors member stood stony-faced, Alexis’s devastated family wept and celebrated. The girl’s mother, Dawn Miera, is expected to speak at Millberg’s sentencing.
‘We are extremely thrilled about it. It helps with a little closure,’ the victim’s uncle Scott Rudd said. ‘But the fact of the matter is we still don’t have Lexi.’
Deseret News reported Millerberg was accused of injecting Alexis with methamphetamine and heroin in his North Ogden home on September 10, 2011. He and his wife then dumped the girl’s body after attempts to resuscitate her failed.
Much of the case against him came from his ex-wife Dea Millerberg’s testimony.
Dea said the couple started using Alexis – or Lexi as she called her – as a babysitter for their two daughters in the spring of 2011.
They became friends and started drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana with the teen before Alexis began requesting that they try harder drugs like methamphetamine and heroin. Eventually they began paying Alexis with meth.
According to Salt Lake Tribune, Dea testified that on the night of the girl’s death, she had picked up Alexis to baby sit her kids.
Found: A full autopsy could not be performed because Alexis’ body was so decomposed, but significant traces of heroin and meth were in her system
She said as soon as Alexis arrived at the house, Eric Millerberg helped her get high by injecting her with drugs – once with heroin and twice with meth – into her arm and neck.
Then, when she was ‘as high as she had ever been’, the girl and Eric Millerberg performed oral sex on one another. Dea said that she was not involved in the encounter.
A short while later, the drugs had a negative effect on the teen and she started ‘freaking out’. She reportedly felt disoriented and cold, so she asked if she could take a warm bath in the couple’s master bathroom.
After leaving her alone in the bath at her request, the Millerbergs checked on her about 45 minutes later to find that she was still cold, so Dea wrapped her in a blanket and told her to lie down in another bedroom.
The couple left her to smoke cigarettes, and returned about a half hour later to find her unresponsive.
‘She wasn’t breathing. She had mucousy stuff coming out of the right side of her mouth,’ said Dea, who was a licensed nurse and tried to resuscitate the girl to no avail.
They then tried to figure out what to do next.
‘It really was a panic. The idea of it was, we will lose our kids and go to jail, and there was nothing we could do to bring her back,’ she told the court.
Eric Millerberg was on parole at the time for burglary and firearm charges, and he was also known to be part of the Silent Aryan Warriors, a white supremacist prison gang.
The couple decided to dump the teen in a remote part of Morgan County near the Taggart exit of Interstate 84.
Leaving their six-year-old daughter at home but taking their toddler with them, they ‘drove all over the place’ disposing of any evidence that may connect them to the crime.
Dea has been charged with abuse or desecration of Alexis’ body, a third-degree felony, and her trial is set to begin in April.
However the 40-year-old mother of two received immunity from the state for testifying against her husband, meaning what she said under oath in one courtroom can’t be used against her in her own trial.
Corrupted: Alexis Rasmussen, 16, reportedly asked the Millerbergs how to get meth and they started smoking the drug, along with heroin and marijuana, with the girl
Close up: Eric Millerberg appears before the Second District Court in Utah on Monday, April 9, with his changed tatoo ‘Death’
Along with Dea’s ‘specific and graphic’ testimony, Alexis’s friend, Brenna Cain, provided incriminating detail which painted a horrific picture of ongoing abuse against the girls.
Brenna testified that she and Alexis often secretly got drugs, alcohol and sex from the Millerbergs, and when Alexis disappeared, they were the first people she approached.
The Millerbergs told Brenna that Alexis had left their house around 10pm that night to meet a friend at a nearby elementary school. However text messages to Alexis’ mother placed her at the Millerberg home until at least 11.30pm.
It was Eric ‘Peanut’ Smith, an inmate who met Eric Millerberg behind bars, who eventually led police to Alexis’ body 38 days after she was reported missing.
Eric Millerberg had asked for Smith’s help moving the body deeper into the trees, hoping snow would cover it before any hunters found her.
The girl was found with her legs folded against her in a fetal position, her lower half stuffed into a garbage bag.
Utah assistant medical examiner Joseph White testified on Friday that the girl’s body was so badly decomposed, it was difficult to identify her. Dental records and a fingerprint analysis finally led to a positive identification.
A toxicologist testified that reports showed she had ingested meth at least 24 hours before her death.
Trouble: At the time of Alexis’ death, Eric Millerberg was on parole for prior burglary and firearm charges, and he was also known to be part of the Silent Aryan Warriors, a white supremacist prison gang
Help: Police reportedly received a confidential tip about the whereabouts of Alexis’ body by members of Eric Millerberg’s gang
Weber County Attorney Dee Smith said the case hit home not only with Alexis’s family and friends, but police officers and prosecutors who worked on the case since she went missing.
The verdict showed the jury had little doubt about Eric Millerberg’s guilt, Smith said.
‘It’s not going to change what happened, it’s not going to bring her back,’ Smith said. ‘But it’s important for the family to know the person responsible is being held accountable and will spend a significant time in prison.’
Eric Millerberg’s attorney, Randall Marshall, told reporters his client was disappointed. Marshall said he expected guilty verdicts on some charges, ‘but I was a little disappointed in some of it’.
Smith had started his closing argument yesterday by showing the jury a picture of a smiling Alexis holding her little sister about one year before her death. Then, he showed a picture of her dead body covered by a muddy piece of foam in the woods of northern Utah.
Smith said the Millerbergs dumped her there, ‘discarded like a piece of trash’, and then lied to police for more than a month about her whereabouts.
Smith called Eric Millerberg’s actions with Rasmussen deplorable, saying he had supplied her with drugs and had sex on previous occasions as well, later bragging to fellow prisoners that he partied with teenage girls.
‘We’re not here because of the choices Alexis made,’ he told the jury. ‘We’re here because of the choices the defendant made.’
Smith reminded the jury that laws exist to protect teens who are prone to experimenting and making mistakes when they aren’t with their parents.
‘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.’
Marshall argued that the case against Eric Millerberg is based on lies by Dea 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.
Guilty: Eric Millerberg is expected to be sentenced to life behind bars on March 18
Dark side: During her testimony, Dea Millerberg said that Alexis asked the couple if she could have sex with them in August 2011- a month before she died- and also requested to be paid with meth instead of cash
He said there’s no evidence, other than Dea’s account, to prove Eric Millerberg injected Alexis 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 Alexis’s cause of death was a drug overdose.
Marshall also suggested to the jury that Dea was responsible for the death and recruited her husband to help her dump the body.
Earlier yesterday, an assistant medical examiner, Joseph White, testified that Alexis had seven times the lethal amount of methamphetamine in her system and high levels of morphine and amphetamines, and that likely caused her death.
‘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.
‘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.’
Defense attorneys didn’t bring any witnesses to the stand during trial, and Eric Millerberg also declined to testify.
He sat with his attorneys during the trial wearing glasses, and a suit and tie that largely hid his array of neck and arm tattoos. He occasionally spoke to his attorneys but remained largely stoic.
Accomplice: Dea Millerberg, seen here in an earlier court appearance in 2012, discussed how she helped her husband Eric dispose of Alexis Rasmussen’s body
Disturbing: Eric Millerberg and Dea Millerberg divorced in 2012 after a 10-year marriage. They have two children together
Spot: The couple- along with their toddler- drove around extensively disposing of Alexis’ body and all evidence. She was found here in Morgan County six weeks after her death