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The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has decided that Dea Millerberg will serve the maximum sentence five years in prison for helping hide the body of her teenage baby sitter after the girl died from a drug overdose at the North Ogden woman's home.
The board's order came Monday, a week after Millerberg had her original parole hearing at the Utah State Prison. She has been incarcerated for since August for convictions of third-degree felony counts of obtaining a prescription illegally, obstructing justice and abuse or desecration of a human body in connection to 16-year-old Alexis Rasmussen's 2011 death.
Millerberg will be released on Aug. 20, 2019, but the board said it would consider shortening her sentence if she completes the prison's substance abuse program.
Last Tuesday, Millerberg, 41, was emotional and apologetic at her hearing, telling a hearing officer she was "so sorry" for her involvement in the girl's death, and that she was at a loss for how to make up for her wrongdoings.
She told the hearing officer that she felt she deserves to be in prison, and said she is willing to serve however long the board deemed necessary.
"I'll accept that and do it every day willingly," she said. "... I struggle daily with what I did. The longer I've been off drugs, the harder this is to deal with."
Alexis' mother, Dawn Miera, told a hearing officer that she doubted Millerberg's sincerity in her apology. She also said she struggles with certain things surrounding her daughter's death, such as how, after Millerberg's husband, Eric Millerberg, injected Alexis with a fatal mixture of heroin and methamphetamine, the couple left the girl alone even though she complained of not feeling well and was cold and shaking.
"She leaves my kid alone to die," Miera said, as Dea Millerberg sobbed. "And on top of that, she dumps her off in the mountains. How do I deal with that?"
Dea Millerberg said last week that once she is released, she will move back to Wyoming, where she found a community who supported her during the two years between Alexis' death and her incarceration.
"[I plan] to go back to being a mother to my children," she said. "Back to my church. Back to my community. And try to rebuild."
During Eric Millerberg's three-day trial last February, Dea Millerberg testified that on Sept. 10, 2011, she picked up Alexis to baby-sit their kids, but instead she got high with the teen and her husband.
Throughout the night, Eric Millerberg injected Alexis with drugs three times, Dea Millerberg testified, once in the teen's neck. The three also attempted to have sex together, the woman testified, but they were too high.
Shortly after her husband injected Alexis for the third time, Dea Millerberg testified that the teen began to complain of being cold and shaky. The teen took a bath and, afterward, the Millerbergs helped her into the couple's bed. The adults then went outside to smoke.
When they returned, they found Alexis was not breathing. Dea Millerberg, who was at the time a licensed nurse, said she attempted CPR, but the girl never responded.
In a panic, the Millerbergs weighed their options. Ultimately, they decided to dump the teen in a remote part of Morgan County near the Taggart exit of Interstate 84.
Eric Millerberg, 39, was convicted by a jury of child abuse homicide, obstructing justice, desecrating a human body and having unlawful sexual activity with a minor. He was sentenced to spend up to life in prison. His original parole hearing is set for October 2046.