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Jury convicts man of murder, sexual assault in death of ex-girlfriend's 5-year-old daughter

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WEBSTER CITY, Iowa — A jury convicted a man of first-degree murder and sexual assault Tuesday in the killing of his former girlfriend's 5-year-old daughter.

After about five hours of deliberation, jurors found Casey Frederiksen, 35, guilty of sexually abusing and stabbing to death Evelyn Miller while babysitting her in July 2005. The girl's body was found in the Cedar River five days after she was reported missing.

Frederiksen and his attorney declined to comment after the verdict was read.

Jurors received the case shortly after noon following closing arguments. Prosecutors said Frederiksen could be linked to the death based on the nature of Evelyn's injuries and statements he made to investigators and relatives about his attraction to the girl.

State prosecutor Scott Brown referred to testimony throughout the trial that Frederiksen admitted he was sexually aroused when changing Evelyn's diapers, and that he committed sexual acts on the girl. Brown also pointed to Frederiksen's past child pornography convictions.

But the defense maintained that another suspect was responsible for the girl's death. Defense attorney Aaron Hawbaker said there was no physical evidence connecting Frederiksen to Evelyn or her death, and he reminded jurors that they had to find the man guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Evelyn's family offered their thanks to prosecutors and all those involved in investigating the girl's death following Frederiksen's conviction, noting the outpouring of support over the past 10 years.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for May 11. Frederiksen faces life in prison without parole.

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