UPDATE: Jury working late on Casey Frederiksen's decision - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Jury working late on Casey Frederiksen's decision

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WEBSTER CITY (KWWL) - UPDATE, 5:16 P.M.: The jury deciding Casey Frederiksen's murder and sex abuse case are still deliberating past their set quitting time.

Frederiksen, 35, is accused of sexually abusing and murdering his girlfriend's five-year-old daughter, Evelyn Miller, in 2005. He's currently in prison for possession of child porn, found on his computer in their Floyd apartment during the search for Evelyn.

Closing statements wrapped up just after noon Tuesday. Jurors have been deliberating on the case since then. According to the judge, they were allowed to break for the night at 4:30, and return Wednesday morning. Just before 4:30, the jury sent a message to the judge asking if they stayed late tonight and made a decision, if they would be required report tomorrow. The judge responded that if a decision was rendered, jurors were free to go.

If convicted on either counts of 1st Degree Sex Abuse of 1st Degree Murder, Frederiksen faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Stay with KWWL for updates on this developing story, and follow KWWL's Michael Crowe (@MCroweKWWL) on Twitter for live updates from the courtroom.

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UPDATE, 1 P.M.: Casey Frederiksen's fate is now in the hands of the jury. Attorneys for both sides wrapped up their closing statements early Tuesday afternoon.

Frederiksen, 35, is accused of sexually abusing and murdering his girlfriend's five-year-old daughter, Evelyn Miller, in 2005. He's currently in prison for possession of child porn, found on his computer in their Floyd apartment during the search for Evelyn.

The prosecution opened by showing jurors a picture of Evelyn from 2005, a smiling school photo. Prosecutor Scott Brown stressed – Frederiksen was watching Miller the night of July 1, 2005, and had the opportunity to commit the crime. They believe he sexually assaulted her, but caused a permanent injury – one a medical examiner told the jury the young girl would have complained about.

Brown said Frederiksen would have acted out of fear of being caught, knowing that Evelyn's father was coming to pick her up the next day.

“Why is that important?” Brown asked. “Evelyn Miller has sexual injury she's complaining of, and a caretaker is going to notice that, and Casey Frederiksen knew that.”

Frederiksen also previously told investigators he would become sexually aroused while changing Evelyn's diaper.

Brown accused Frederiksen of taking Evelyn down to the Cedar River, stabbing her to death, and throwing the body into the water.

Previously, multiple forensics experts testified that the time in the river would have destroyed any DNA evidence of the assault, beyond the physical damage to her small frame.

Frederiksen's defense has repeatedly tried to cast blame on his friend, Randy Patrie. Patrie is currently serving life in prison on unrelated charges. Frederiksen's story has changed several times since his arrest in 2005 for possession of child pornography, but he told police in 2007 that he saw Patrie kidnap Evelyn at knife point. Initially, he told them he knew nothing of her disappearance.

The prosecution stressed that an former inmate testified Frederiksen told him he sexually assaulted Evelyn. Frederiksen's attorney disputed that testimony.

His attorney, Aaron Hawbaker, said Frederiksen may have lied to police, but never told them he was guilty.

“Never once is there a confession,” Hawbaker said. “Never once is there an admission of the violence that took the life of Evelyn Miller.”

He said without a murder weapon or physical evidence, reasonable doubt exists that Frederiksen is innocent.

“No matter what happened, there is something missing that makes me say, 'That is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt,'” Hawbaker said.

The prosecution contends that the significant sexual damage done to Evelyn is physical evidence enough.

They asked for justice.

“Justice in this case is a verdict of guilty,” Brown said.

On the other hand, the defense asked the jury not to convict the wrong man.

“Justice is not vengeance,” Hawbaker said.

The jury is now in deliberation. KWWL will have the verdict as soon as it is handed down.

Frederiksen is charged with 1st Degree Murder and 1 Degree Sexual Abuse. Jurors do have the option to convict on lesser charges, including Murder in the 2nd Degree, Involuntary Manslaughter, and Sexual Abuse in the 2nd Degree.

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PREVIOUS STORY: Attorneys are about to deliver their closing statements in the Casey Frederiksen murder trial.

Frederiksen, 35, is accused of sexually abusing and murdering his girlfriend's five-year-old daughter, Evelyn Miller, in 2005. At the time, he was living with her in Floyd, Iowa. He's currently in prison for possession of child porn, found on his computer during the search for Evelyn.

Jurors received their instructions Tuesday morning. This follows 4 days of testimony for the prosecution, and only an hour of defense Monday.

Frederiksen's defense has repeatedly tried to cast blame on his friend, Randy Patrie. Patrie is currently serving life in prison on unrelated charges. Frederiksen's story has changed several times since his arrest in 2005 for possession of child pornography, but he has told police he saw Patrie kidnap Evelyn at knife point. Initially, he told them he knew nothing of her disappearance.

The defense focused on a burn barrel Patrie was seen using in his backyard the day after Evelyn went missing, the implication being that he may have destroyed evidence.

On the other hand, the state's case claims Frederiksen sexually abused Evelyn on July 1, 2005, and then stabbed her to death to cover it up. Her body was found in the Cedar River.

No DNA evidence has been found to tie Frederiksen or Patrie to the crime. Forensics experts testified any fluids left on the body would have been destroyed in the river. Miller's body sustained significant sexual injury though.

Frederiksen also previously told investigators he would become sexually aroused while changing Evelyn's diaper.

Once closing statements are complete, jurors will go into deliberation, and deliver a verdict. Frederiksen is charged with 1st Degree Murder and 1 Degree Sexual Abuse. Jurors do have the option to convict on lesser charges, including Murder in the 2nd Degree, Involuntary Manslaughter, and Sexual Abuse in the 2nd Degree.
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