The Justice Files: Husband professed innocence and blamed wife for child’s murder

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OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – Miller Costello was warned about marrying his wife.

But he went ahead and married her.  They lived in Billings, Montana raising three children.  In 2015 the family moved to Ogden.  On January, 2016 the couple was jailed following the discovery of their dead three-year old girl.

The Weber County attorney eventually filed aggravated murder charges against the couple.  If guilty, the death penalty is an option.

After five years in jail, Costello is breaking his silence and blamed his wife for what happened to Angelina.

He wrote to Judge Michael Direda, who is overseeing the case, “I had nothing to do with my daughter’s debt [sic]. I was always six days a week working in the scrap metel [sic] driving to other states picking up scrap copper.”

Costello claimed Emille was a stay-at-home mother and the children’s only caretaker.  He told the judge he returned home once a week, attended to the needs of his family, washed clothes and hit the road the next day.

He wrote:  “I wood [sic] never no [sic] why wood [sic] Brenda do this to are [sic] family.  I don’t understand what was going in her head.”

Costello never mentioned whether he detected anything wrong with Angelina.  He made no mention of any physical injuries.

He wrote: “No one nos [sic] how much I love my kids more than anything in this world.  It’s not for a father to see his daughter debt [sic]. I can sleep at night noing [sic] that I never did anything to my daughter.  What I don’t understand how she sleeps at night doing [sic] what she did to are [sic] daughter.”

Costello said in the letter that his family was against their marriage and never liked Brenda before or after their wedding.  He said his parents told him “she is evil” and warned him that Emille’s family “is very bad.” 

Her family reportedly has ties to a gypsy community.  Costello claimed Emille did not want Angelina after her family learned that she was going to have a girl.  

Costello wrote:  “Her dad & mom said kill that baby inside of you, is bad luck.  If anyone that did (murder) is Brenda, her dad and mom.  There [sic] were the only ones that were there.”

He wrote of several physical beatings he received from Emille’s father. Costello claimed her father even beat him and locked him in a room for a week. 

“There was no more skin on my face (from the beatings)” he claimed in his letter. “Brenda & her dad mom took my daughter life away from me. I will see my daughter again.”

Costello’s attorney said he was unaware that his client had written the letter and sent it to the judge.

“I did not advise him to write the letter,” Randall Marshall said.  “It is not part of my strategy.  (But) I think he is sincere.  I think it’s heartfelt. He, I believe just wants to be heard.”

Marshall said the whole issue could turn up during his trial or as part of a plea bargain if there is one..

But prosecutors laid out their case during a 2018 preliminary hearing.  Police said Angelina weighed 13-pounds when they discovered her dead at the home.  The officer testified she looked like a “holocaust victim” because her ribs were visible and had boney arms.

Prosecutors also showed video recordings that the parents recorded on their cellphones.  The recordings showed that Angelina was taunted and mocked by both parents.  In one video, Angelina was forced to stand in the corner while the couple played with their other children.

Miller and Emille will be back in court next month.  Their attorneys filed a motion claiming the death penalty is unconstitutional.  The hearing will address that issue.  No trial date has been set.

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