- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) - Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of a man accused of killing his former girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter.

Prosecutors opened their case against Casey Frederiksen, who is charged with first-degree murder and sexual assault. They allege that Frederiksen, 35, sexually abused Evelyn Miller and stabbed her to death while he was babysitting her in July 2005. He was arrested in 2012.

During opening proceedings, prosecutor Scott Brown told jurors that Frederiksen had the opportunity and motive to kill the Floyd County girl, as well as access to the Cedar River, where she was found a few days after she was reported missing. Brown also said bloodhounds detected the scents of Evelyn and Frederiksen at the site.

Defense attorney Aaron Hawbaker called for a mistrial based on the prosecution’s opening statement, but the request was denied. Hawbaker then opted to defer his opening statement until the start of his defense.

Andy Christie, Evelyn’s father, was the first to testify, and he said he and Frederiksen were best friends for a long time. He testified that he planned to pick up his daughter on the night of her death, but found out she was missing early that morning.

Dan Slick, another of Frederiksen’s friends, testified that he and Randy Patrie visited the man’s apartment between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. the night he babysat Evelyn. Slick said Evelyn answered the door and told the pair that Frederiksen was sleeping, at which point they left.

Authorities involved in the case rounded out the day of testimony.

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