EVERETT — An Everett woman survived nine minutes of a nightmare, and the face of her nightmare was Daniel Miltenberger.
He forced his way into her house. He raped her, he threatened to kill her, and then he stole her backpack.
That was Oct. 29, 2016. On Monday, exactly 15 months after the attack, a Snohomish County jury convicted Miltenberger of rape and burglary. The jury had deliberated for about two hours.
The woman’s family embraced one another after the verdict was read. The small group included her mother, who had testified in the trial.
In closing arguments Friday, deputy prosecutor Bob Langbehn said the woman’s terrifying ordeal began as she opened the front door of her Silver Lake-area home.
“It started with a choice, a choice by the defendant, in the dark, covered by shadows, lying in wait, a gun in his hand, a mask on his face,” he said.
Surveillance footage from a nearby property showed the figure follow her into the house. The woman testified that she was shoved from behind. The figure can be seen on the video, leaving, “nine minutes of a nightmare later,” Langbehn said.
The woman underwent a sexual assault exam. The collected genetic material was entered into a law enforcement database. Prosecutors say it was matched to Miltenberger, who was already in the system as a convicted sex offender.
The DNA was an arrow “pointing straight at the defendant,” Langbehn said.
“Finally, she has a name for her nightmare,” he said.
When police went to Miltenberger’s house in Everett, they found the woman’s purse in the entertainment center, according to earlier testimony by sheriff’s detective Larry Cole. Her Social Security card and bank card were inside. Prescription bottles and medical documentation in her name also were found in a trash can, Cole said. Her library book was underneath some clothing.
Miltenberger chose not to testify. In closing arguments, his public defender, Whitney Rivera, focused on the woman’s descriptions of her attacker’s shirt, his injured arm and his weapon. The details, including the colors and patterns, varied too much over time to be reliable, Rivera said. Memories were presented as facts, then shifted, she said.
The genetic evidence was flawed, and there wasn’t enough testing done in the case, Rivera said.
She had asked jurors not to vote to convict.
“Based on the evidence you heard in this trial, you haven’t been given the tools to do that,” she said.
Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 27.