Nearly 11 months after the death of Sabrina Hustad Janish, a panel of seven men and five women heard the first witnesses in the First Degree Murder trial of the man accused of killing her, David Miller.

Among the first witnesses were Justin Varner and Brian Brummer, whose trucks were stolen the same day that Janish was found dead with stab wounds in the yard near the trailer where she had moved in with Miller 10 days earlier.

Sabrina’s mother, Caroline Tarca of Atlantic, told the jury that she had seen Sabrina on Friday, Oct. 23, two days before her body was found.
Sabrina seemed very happy on that Friday, her mother said during testimony, because of the “new start” she was making with Miller, with whom she had had an on-and-off romantic relationship with for several years.

Brunner testified that his truck was damaged and had blood inside the cab area when it was recovered. Marner and Anson Andrews both testified that they were among a group of friends who found a blood trail that led to Sabrina’s body.

The above witnesses all testified Tuesday morning before the lunch break.

The trial is expected to continue into next week.

Miller was jailed last Oct. 25, on suspicion of auto theft while the investigation into the murder continued. He was charged in March.

See the original Vinton Today story HERE.

See the Iowa DCI press release about the murder HERE.