CHARLES CITY | Casey Frederiksen will not get a new trial and must serve two consecutive life sentences for sexually abusing and killing 5-year-old Evelyn Miller in July 2005.
First, though, Frederiksen must complete his previous federal prison sentence for possession of child pornography.
"My granddaughter got justice after 10 years. What more can you say?" Linda Christie told members of the media after the hearing.
Hamilton County jurors in March found Frederiksen, 36, guilty of first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse.
The case moved on a change of venue because of its local notoriety but was back in the Floyd County Courthouse for the sentencing.
Prosecutor Scott Brown noted both convictions under Iowa law must be punished with life in prison with no possibility of parole.
"But also because they are deserving in this case," Brown told Judge Gregg Rosenbladt.
Rosenbladt described the crimes "as the most heinous offenses that can be imagined," but noted there was "little practical sense" to imposing two consecutive life sentences. However, he drew a distinction between the forcible felonies, saying murder did not have to follow the sexual abuse.
"It didn't have to go any farther than that. But it did," Rosenbladt said.
Prosecutors Douglas Hammerand and Brown convinced the jury Frederiksen assaulted and killed the little girl a decade earlier in Floyd County.
"Casey Frederiksen took the life of a 5-year-old girl. She was brutally raped," Brown said Monday.
Evelyn was reported missing by her mother, Noel Miller, in July 2005. Her disappearance prompted a massive search involving hundreds of law enforcement officials and volunteers.
Her body was discovered six days later in the Cedar River near Charles City. The site was not far from the rural apartment where Evelyn lived with her mother and Frederiksen.
Evelyn died after she was stabbed and slashed multiple times, according to Dr. Jerri McLemore, who performed the autopsy.
During her victim-impact statement Monday, Christie focused "not on Evelyn as she was in death."
"I'm here to show you how Evelyn was in life," Christie said.
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"Ladies and gentlemen, Evelyn Celeste Miller," she added, introducing a 4 1/2-minute video montage of photos.
The images were displayed on a large screen in the courtroom to a rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
Authorities did not arrest Frederiksen until September 2012. By that time, he was in federal prison following a conviction for possession of child pornography.
Defense attorney Aaron Hawbaker, in his motion for a new trial, argued Rosenbladt should not have allowed jurors to hear about Frederiksen's child pornography case.
Hawbaker also contends jurors should have heard statements made by Randy Patrie, another suspect in Evelyn's disappearance and death. Patrie was one of the last people to see Evelyn alive.
In his motion, Hawbaker argued the guilty verdicts are contrary to law and noted prosecutors provided no physical evidence linking Frederiksen to the crimes.
Rosenbladt on Monday reaffirmed his earlier decisions on the child pornography and Patrie's statements. The judge also cited "the greater amount of credible evidence" that supported the jury's guilty verdicts.
The information included:
- Frederiksen's statement to an FBI agent he was sexually attracted to Evelyn.
- Frederiksen's behavior after Evelyn was reported missing.
- The tracking dogs who identified Frederiksen's and Evelyn's scents at the river's edge.
- The time frame involved and the fact Frederiksen was Evelyn caregiver during that period.
"Those are just some of the parts of evidence that the court finds are supportive of the jury's verdict," Rosenbladt said.
Rosenbladt also ordered Frederiksen to pay more than $29,340 to the crime victim's restitution program and $150,000 to Evelyn's surviving relatives.
During the trial, jurors did not hear about Patrie's fate. He is in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Judge Linda Reade sentenced Patrie to 120 months, in part, because of Patrie's likely role in a homicide.
Prosecutors alleged Patrie was involved in 70-year-old Kenneth Gallmeyer's death in October 2012 near Nashua.
Christie said no words could adequately convey "how deeply you grieve." She also talked about Evelyn's lively spirit.
"She was such a precious soul," Christie said.
Hawbaker said he plans to appeal, and advised Frederiksen not to comment during his sentencing hearing.