(Editor's note: This story contains graphic details that may offend some readers.)
CHARLES CITY | Defense attorney Aaron Hawbaker wants to limit information available to jurors about his client Casey Frederiksen's alleged interest in and collection of child pornography.
Frederiksen is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse in connection with Evelyn Miller's disappearance and death on July 1, 2005. A pair of kayakers discovered the 5-year-old's body five days later along the Cedar River in Floyd County. The discovery ended a search that attracted hundreds of volunteers for several days.
"Any evidence that the defendant had child pornography on his computer should be prohibited because it goes to propensity, is irrelevant and more prejudicial than probative," Hawbaker wrote in his motion filed Tuesday.
Frederiksen is scheduled to go on trial Sept. 15 in Webster City. The court allowed a change of venue to Hamilton County because of intense media coverage, which attorneys agreed would make finding an impartial jury difficult in Floyd County.
In a letter to the Floyd County District Court in 2012 shortly after his arrest, Frederiksen objected to expanded media coverage allowed by Iowa law and requested by news outlets. Frederiksen sent the letter from Box 1000 at the U.S. Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois.
"Frederiksen declares that once he is transferred to this county, that the media will have his picture and story on television, radio and the newspapers. This alone will cause problems in whatever jail he is at," Frederiksen wrote.
"By denying Frederiksen's objection and allowing cameras or recording devices into the courtroom will cause Frederiksen's life, health and safety to be placed in greater jeopardy than it already is," he added.
Frederiksen also noted "threats of bodily injury" while in jail and prison.
Other court documents illustrate the case's complexity and reveal bits of information authorities used to charge Frederiksen more than eight years after Evelyn's death. The record also suggests witnesses that may be called to testify.
Iowa assistant attorneys general Scott Brown and Doug Hammerand and Floyd County Attorney Normand Klemesrud in July asked the court for permission to retrieve two federal prisoners. Jordan McConnell is incarcerated in Victorville, California, and Michael Alcorn is being held in Oxford, Wisconsin.
Alcorn's and McConnell's connections to the case are not clear. But according to court records, Frederiksen made comments about Evelyn in front of at least six jail inmates or fellow prisoners.
District Judge Gregg Rosenbladt, who is handling Frederiksen's case exclusively, directed authorities to retrieve McConnell and Alcorn one week ahead of Frederiksen's trial and to deliver them to the Bremer County Jail. The trial, Judge Rosenbladt noted, could then take about two weeks.
Evelyn lived with her mother, Noel Miller, at 1781 Quarry Road in apartment No. 4. The building, which was later torn down, was in rural Floyd County a few miles north of Charles City. Frederiksen was Noel Miller's live-in boyfriend. Frederiksen and Noel Miller also had two young sons.
Authorities also took a deposition from Danny Slick. He and Randy Patrie reported seeing Evelyn alive about 2:30 a.m. on the day she was reported missing. Slick and Patrie said the little girl answered the door.
Noel Miller at the time worked as a certified nursing assistant on third shift at the Nora Springs Health Care Center. She got home about 6 a.m. and noticed her daughter missing a few minutes later. Noel Miller called 911 at 6:46 a.m. July 1, 2005.
Andy Christie, Evelyn's father, was scheduled to get his daughter that day for weekend visitation, according to court records.
"When Frederiksen learned law enforcement was going to search the apartment, Frederiksen head-butted a wall and split his forehead open and screamed at police," according to court documents.
Court documents also said, "While hundreds of people searched for Evelyn on Saturday, July 2, 2005, Frederiksen left with a friend and drove to Des Moines and then Waterloo. Frederiksen was reluctant to talk about his trip with police."
According to autopsy results, Evelyn died because of sharp-force injuries, which included wounds on her neck. There was also evidence of sexual assault, but she was found fully clothed. Authorities, though, revealed none of this information to the public.
Court documents hint at the amount of work investigators put into the case. For example, they walked a course from Frederiksen's apartment to a point with access to the Cedar River. The effort during "similar conditions to the night of Evelyn's disappearance" took 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Frederiksen in September 2005 confronted Patrie with a knife outside the Good Times bar, accusing Patrie of killing Evelyn. In 2007, Frederiksen alleged to police Patrie took Evelyn at knifepoint and never brought her home. Frederiksen later recanted his accusation, according to court documents.
In November 2005, officials used specially trained canines supplied by the FBI. The dogs hit on Evelyn's and Frederiksen's scent about 1 1/2 miles away from their apartment. The dogs did not hit on Patrie's scent.
Authorities also searched Frederiksen's computer. After Evelyn disappeared, Frederiksen borrowed a screwdriver and then gave his hard drive to a neighbor. About a month after Evelyn's death, the neighbor gave the device to police.
Frederiksen initially denied using or selling drugs, specifically methamphetamine, and alleged a DVD loaded with pornography belonged to Noel Miller.
According to court documents, "hundreds of images and videos depicting violent rapes and sexual assaults of infants and children under the age of 7 were contained on the hard drive." Investigators also determined Frederiksen's computer was operational and connected to the Internet the night Evelyn disappeared.
Law enforcement officials used Frederiksen's own comments to support their criminal complaint for murder and sex abuse.
In September 2005, Frederiksen attempted suicide by slicing his arm. During the incident he said "if he could take it all back he would and he would be dead and Evelyn would be alive," according to court documents.
About a year later, Frederiksen pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges. An inmate in the Linn County Jail remembers Frederiksen crying and saying, "I'm sorry, Evelyn."
On another occasion in 2006, Frederiksen talked with an inmate in the Bremer County Jail. Frederiksen said he didn't kill Evelyn but did touch her dead body and helped carry the little girl's body to the river.
Another federal prisoner alleges Frederiksen said he had molested Evelyn since she was little and continued until her disappearance.
Frederiksen over the years also shared information with investigators. In one interview Frederiksen told police he was sexually aroused when changing Evelyn's diapers and had stayed up all night watching porn the night she disappeared. Frederiksen said "his biggest weakness to child porn was those that depicted grown men having sex with 5- to 7-year-old girls," according to court records.
According to court documents, Frederiksen asked Patrie why he stabbed Evelyn in the neck. Frederiksen also told a fellow prisoner officials found Evelyn fully clothed. Officials in court documents note neither bits of information were available to the public.
In 2009 after his indictment on federal drug charges, Frederiksen said he would "get away with murder and still do life," according to another inmate in the Bremer County Jail.
He also asked a basic question, according to the inmate.
"What would you say if I told you that I had done it?"
Frederiksen pleaded not guilty. The court set bond at $2 million, cash only. At the request of his defense attorneys, the court moved Frederiksen in May to the Hardin County Jail.