WEBSTER CITY — A Hamilton County jury took a little more than five hours to reach a verdict in the first degree murder and first degree sexual abuse trial of Casey Frederiksen. That verdict was guilty on both counts in the 10-year-old case.
The case went to the jury shortly after noon on Tuesday following a morning of closing arguments.
Jurors convicted Frederiksen, 35, of both sexually assaulting and then murdering Evelyn Miller, 5, of Floyd in 2005.
The young girl went missing in July of that year sparking a massive search. Her body was found in the Cedar River north of Charles City less than a week later.
A guilty verdict in the case means Frederiksen will spend life in prison without parole.
As the verdict came in, Frederiksen showed no reaction at all. Outside the courtroom, tears flowed as family members of the victim thought of long years of waiting for justice.
Linda Christie, Evelyn Miller’s grandmother, explained her reaction.
“These are tears of happiness because my granddaughter got justice,” she said.
Family members thanked authorities and investigators for nearly ten years of work to bring the evidence to a courtroom.
Scott Brown, assistant Iowa Attorney General, said such a lengthy wait before going to trial was a risk. But he also said jurors got the connections and got it right.
“Anytime you have a case around that long witness memories fade and you worry about it. But it was obvious this jury could deal with that,” Brown said.
Linda Christie hoped people would now remember Evelyn as a fun-loving, smart girl.
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“I’m feeling emotionally drained because we have been waiting for 10 years,” she said.
Frederiksen will received his mandatory life-without-parole sentence on May 11th in Floyd County. He will remain in federal custody for approximately 11 more years as he finishes a prior sentence for possession of child porn.
Once that happens, he will be transferred to a state prison.