Ogden couple accused of killing 3-year-old may ask for leave to attend funeral

Thursday , July 13, 2017 - 1:08 PM4 comments

NADIA PFLAUM, Standard-Examiner staff

OGDEN — An Ogden couple charged with aggravated murder in the death of their 3-year-old daughter may ask a judge for permission to leave the jail to attend the girl’s funeral.

Brenda Emile, 22, and Miller Costello, 25, appeared in court Thursday, July 13, before 2nd District Court Judge Michael DiReda

RELATEDNew details emerge for couple charged in death of 3-year-old daughter

Emile and Costello were joined by attorney Susanne Gustin, who said that while she hasn’t officially been retained as the attorney of record, she expects to represent Emile. Gustin said that Salt Lake City-based lawyer Cara Tangaro will likely be retained as Costello’s attorney. 

According to a probable cause of arrest statement, on Thursday, July 6, police responded to a 911 call about a 3-year-old who was unconscious and not breathing. The child, Angelina Costello, was dead when emergency responders arrived.

“Officers on scene immediately recognized the child victim had bruising, contusions, lacerations, burns, open sores and abrasions all over her face, hands, legs, head and neck,” charging documents said. 

The child appeared malnourished, and photos and videos from the couple’s cell phones dating back to January 2016 documented the girl’s deteriorating condition, according to the probable cause statement..

Once the medical examiner’s office has determined the cause of death and released the body of 3-year-old Angelina, Gustin said she will likely ask for a furlough from jail on behalf of her client to attend the funeral.

DiReda said that while he’s known to be lenient on allowing a defendant leave from jail to attend a family funeral, this case was different.

He was the judge presiding over the couple’s initial arraignment on charges of aggravated murder and had to read the details of the probable cause statement aloud for the court record, he said.

“I would be disinclined to approve a furlough,” DiReda said. “I think it would be imprudent for me to do that.” 

The judge, Gustin and Weber County prosecuting attorney Christopher Shaw set a bail hearing via telephone conference for July 26. Costello and Emile are being held without bail at the Weber County Jail

Contact reporter Nadia Pflaum at npflaum@standard.net or follow her on Twitter at @NadiaPflaum

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