Brenda Emile and Miller Costello

Brenda Emile, left, and Miller Costello, right, have been charged in connection with the death of their 3-year-old daughter. They appeared July 13, 2017, in 2nd District Court in Ogden.

OGDEN — Before moving to Utah, an Ogden man charged with capital murder was arrested in Montana on an alleged domestic violence charge after reportedly assaulting his then-girlfriend, who is also charged with capital murder.

Police records show Miller Costello, 27, was arrested in Billings, Montana on April 22, 2014 after an alleged domestic violence incident the night prior, according to a report obtained by the Standard-Examiner via a records request.

Authorities were called to the Billings home of Costello and 24-year-old Brenda Emile after Emile’s mother, Buffy Emile, requested a welfare check to the home, according to the police report. Emile had reportedly called her mother and said that she had “been beat up” by Costello the previous night.

Police were dispatched to the couple’s home and made contact with Emile, who appeared to be “upset as if she had been crying,” according to the report. When speaking to the two individually, Emile reportedly told police that Costello returned home the previous night around 7 p.m.

Emile said when she tried to leave the home to avoid an argument, Costello refused to let her leave and later allegedly grabbed her by the back of her hair, pulling out some of her hair in the process. After the hair-pulling, she reportedly grabbed her infant son and ran to a neighbor’s home to call Costello’s family, the report states. There was no further incident, she told police.

The report notes that although Emile said she was “scared of Costello and his family,” she did not want to press charges, nor did she want to provide a recorded statement of the incident. Police did not observe any noticeable injuries to Emile, according to the report.

Later Costello was placed in handcuffs and advised of his Miranda rights before agreeing to speak to police. He reportedly told an officer that the two had been in an argument the night before, but said the argument did not get physical. He also stated he did not know that Emile went to the neighbor’s house, but said he had gone to bed by that time, according to the report.

Police noted they found Costello’s story to be “very inconsistent,” and he was hesitant to admit the two had been in an argument the previous night.

Police then spoke to the neighbor, who told police that Emile did ask to use her cellphone that night, and said Emile called her family to see if they could pick her up due to her and Costello having a fight. The neighbor told police that she heard “loud banging” going on next door, but did not witness any alleged assault. The neighbor also said Emile seemed scared when she came to her home.

The report indicates that Costello was taken into custody and taken to the Yellowstone County Detention Center in Billings. He was booked on one count of partner or family member assault, a misdemeanor offense. He was also issued a no-contact order for 72 hours.

However, a call to the Billings City Municipal Court revealed that no charges were filed in connection with the arrest. A municipal court clerk added that Costello had another related case filed against him earlier in 2014, but the charge was dismissed by a municipal prosecutor.

Years after the incident, Costello and Emile were arrested in Ogden after police discovered their 3-year-old daughter, Angelina Costello, was found dead in their home on July 6, 2017.

Further investigation revealed that the child was severely malnourished at the time of her death, and an autopsy showed the child suffered a number of external and internal injuries, including a cigarette burn on her chest and three points of hemorrhaging in her brain.

When contacted via email, James Retallick, one of two attorneys assigned to represent Costello, declined to comment on the Billings police report. Martin Gravis, one of two attorneys assigned to represent Emile, told the Standard-Examiner he does not comment on ongoing cases.

In July 2018, the Weber County Attorney’s Office declared their intent to pursue capital punishment against both Costello and Emile.

Trial dates for Costello and Emile have been set to begin in August 2020. Their next court appearance will be for a status conference on Aug. 1 in Ogden’s 2nd District Court.

Both Costello and Emile are being held without bail at the Weber County Jail.

Jacob Scholl is the Cops and Courts Reporter for the Standard-Examiner. Email him at and follow him on Twitter at @Jacob_Scholl.

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