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No promises of a plea deal as Dea Millerberg gets a trial date
Court • Defense attorney says his client will cooperate with state in anticipation of plea deal.

By Aaron Falk The Salt Lake Tribune

Published May 23, 2012 3:01 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
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Ogden » Prosecutors have not yet offered a plea deal to Dea Millerberg, despite the testimony she provided against her husband last month.

Weber County Attorney Dee Smith on Wednesday said Millerberg — who along with her husband, Eric Millerberg, is facing charges in connection with the death of North Ogden teenager Alexis Rasmussen — would be expected to plead guilty to at least one felony if a deal is to be reached.

"We've said from day one she'll either have to go to trial or plead guilty to some felonies," Smith told reporters after Millerberg made a brief appearance in 2nd District Court.

Judge W. Brent West set December trial dates for the 39-year-old Millerberg in the woman's drug case. She also faces felony charges of desecration of a human corpse for allegedly moving Rasmussen's body after the teen died from a drug overdose in the Millerbergs' home last year.

Defense attorney Michael Bouwhuis said Millerberg's trial was pushed back so that she could continue cooperating with the state in her husband's case and receive further counseling and treatment as she fights to win back custody of her two young daughters.

Millerberg has been drug-free for eight months, her attorney said.

"A lot of people say, 'I'm going to straighten up and do better,' and they don't," Bouwhuis said. "She's kept her word."

At a preliminary hearing last month, Dea Millerberg testified at length against her husband — whom she is in the process of divorcing — detailing a history of drug use and sex involving the couple and 16-year-old Alexis Rasmussen.

Dea Millerberg said her husband injected a fatal mix of heroin and methamphetamine into the teen and that the couple, in a panic, then dumped the girl's body in a remote part of Weber County last September.

Her defense attorney says he anticipates a plea deal at some point for the woman's cooperation, adding that she is willing to testify against her husband if he goes to trial.

Eric Millerberg, 36, faces charges of child abuse homicide, a first-degree felony, as well as obstructing justice, desecrating a body and having unlawful sexual activity with a minor. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 26.

Dea Millerberg, whose charges include desecration in connection with the teen's death, and drug possession, was given immunity that will keep prosecutors from using her testimony against her.

afalk@sltrib.com



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