Closing arguments start today in Frederiksen murder trial - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Closing arguments start today in Frederiksen murder trial

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Casey Frederiksen's defense team has rested their case, after only 3 witnesses.

Frederiksen, 35, is accused of sexually abusing and murdering his girlfriend's five-year-old daughter, Evelyn Miller, in 2005. During that investigation, child porn was found on Frederiksen's computer, and he was sent to federal prison.

Frederiksen's defense team spent the morning casting doubt on one of his friends, Randy Patrie. Investigators previously ruled out Patrie as a suspect. He is currently serving a life sentence in prison on unrelated charges.

Around 11 a.m., the defense rested their case. Jurors were excused, and closing statements are scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday.

After four days of testimony, the prosecution rested Friday. Their case against Frederiksen included several investigators from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Evelyn's mother, Noel, also testified, along with a former inmate that served time with Frederiksen, and said he admitted to him that he molested and killed Miller.

Monday, Frederiksen's defense began by asking for the charges against Frederiksen to be dismissed, saying that the prosecution had not adequately tied him to the murder.

“All that they have are statements, no admissions and the prior bad act of having child porn on his computer,” said defense attorney Aaron Hawbaker.

Little physical evidence has been admitted to tie Frederiksen to the murder. Multiple forensics experts testified for the prosecution that the Cedar River, where Evelyn's body was found, likely destroyed an DNA that was left behind from a sexual assault. However, the prosecution argued Monday that the sexual injuries she suffered should serve as physical evidence, since Frederiksen has admitted to investigators that he would become sexually aroused while changed Evelyn's diapers.

So far, the prosecution's case has focused on the inconsistencies in Frederiksen's story of Evelyn's disappearance, which has changed several times. In 2007, during an interview with investigators, Frederiksen said he saw Patrie carry Evelyn off at knife point. This story had not been confirmed elsewhere. He initially claimed to have no knowledge of the disappearance.

The judge denied the defense request for dismissal, and the trial continued. Over the course of the morning, the defense called a DCI agent that worked the case, Chris Callaway. Hawbaker pursued a line of questioning that brought Callaway to say that law enforcement could not confirm the whereabouts of Patrie during the time period they believe Evelyn was killed.

Finally, the defense called a series of neighbors who had lived next door to Patrie in 2005. Several described seeing Patrie burn something in a much-discussed burn barrel that afternoon after Evelyn was likely killed.

On of them, Steve Gemaehlich, said he hadn't seen that much.

“It was a black, thick, toxic smelling smoke,” he said.

The defense has previously inferred that Patrie could have destroyed evidence in this barrel.

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