Trial set for Utah woman accused of dumping teen's body

Courts • Dea Millerberg, who is free on bail, plans to testify against husband, attorney says.
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Ogden • A trial for a North Ogden woman accused of helping her husband dispose of their 16-year-old baby sitter's body has been scheduled to begin April 3, 2014.

Dea Millerberg, 40, is charged in 2nd District Court with third-degree felony desecration of a human body related to the death of Alexis Rasmussen in September 2011.

Her two-day trial, which was originally set for August, was moved Wednesday in order for her case to trail her husband's.

Trial for 37-year-old Eric Millerberg is set to begin Feb. 10. It also was delayed after his defense attorney said in June that new evidence, in the form of hair follicle tests in the possession of the Division of Child and Family Services, would not be available for the trial originally scheduled for July.

Eric Millerberg, who is charged with first-degree felony child abuse homicide, obstruction of justice, desecration of a human body and having unlawful sexual activity with a minor, has been housed at the Utah State Prison on probation violations related to a 2010 forgery case. His wife has been free on bail.

Dea Millerberg's attorney, Mike Bouwhuis, said outside of court Wednesday that his client has been drug-free since Rasmussen's death. She has been working, and recently received physical custody of her children, Bouwhuis said.

In the weeks after Rasmussen's death, Dea Millerberg also was charged with two counts of falsely obtaining a prescription drug and one count of permitting a child to be exposed to a controlled substance, all third-degree felonies.

Bouwhuis said Dea Millerberg is planning to testify against her husband at his upcoming trial, and plans to sever ties from him.

"Her intention is to divorce him," he said. "No contact. She's afraid of him."

Dea Millerberg testified at her husband's preliminary hearing last year that Eric Millerberg injected a fatal mix of heroin and methamphetamine into the teen in September 2011. After Rasmussen died, the couple panicked and dumped her body in a remote part of Morgan County. Police located Rasmussen's body five weeks after she disappeared.

Eric Millerberg was stabbed on July 1 while in the Utah State Prison. Court documents allege his cellmate, 29-year-old Simon Russell Scown, stabbed and slashed him 22 to 25 times inside their cell. Eric Millerberg was hospitalized less than 24 hours before he was sent back to the prison.

Twitter: @jm_miller