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Judge finds prosecutors have probable cause vs. Patrick Frazee

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Posted at 11:31 PM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 13:13:39-04

TELLER COUNTY – Prosecutors in the Kelsey Berreth murder investigation believe her fiancé, Patrick Frazee, beat her to death with a baseball bat on Thanksgiving, according to witness testimony.

That information was provided by way of interrogating Krystal Kenney, who pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence on Feb. 8, in connection to moving Berreth’s cell phone on Nov. 24-25. It turns out Kenney knew a lot more about the alleged crime.

Kenney’s testimony was pivotal in helping a Fourth Judicial District judge ruled Tuesday that prosecutors have provided enough evidence to show probable cause in charging Patrick Frazee for the murder of Kelsey Berreth. Judge Scott Sells said that all five murder counts, in addition to a count of tampering with a human being added Tuesday, had probable cause, thus validating their case for a trial.

Kesely Berreth<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-114172">Kelsey Berreth

The ruling came after an 8-hour hearing, where District Attorney Dan May and his team questioned a pair of witnesses in the case.

Prosecutors called a pair of witnesses to the stand Tuesday that both played major roles in the investigation. They are Woodland Park Police Commander Christopher Adams and Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Agent Gregg Slater.

Slater is the agent that interviewed Krystal Kenney, whose testimony provided the basis for implicating Frazee in the murder. He said after first lying to the FBI on Dec. 14, Kenney eventually came forward with information about Frazee’s alleged actions, saying he killed Kelsey Berreth after asking her four times to do it herself.

Patrick Frazee looks on in his initial court appearance on Dec. 31, 2018. Frazee is charged with five murder counts connected to the disappearance of Kelsey Berreth.<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-138422">Patrick Frazee

According to Kenney, Frazee tied a sweater as a blindfold over Berreth’s face and had her guess the scent of candles. While blindfolded in the living room of her townhome, Kenney said Frazee then hit her in the back of the head with a baseball bat, killing her. At this time, the couple’s 1-year-old daughter Kaylee was in a back bedroom of the home.

Slater’s interview with Kenney revealed she was an ex-girlfriend of Frazee’s, and that they started dating again — while Frazee was still engaged to Berreth — in March 2018. Kenney told Slater that Frazee indicated he was worried Berreth was going to put their daughter Kaylee’s life in danger, citing abuse examples that were debunked by Kenney. Investigators also found no sign of abuse in their weeks of work.

Then, Frazee made up his mind that he “needed to get rid of” Berreth in conversation with Kenney. Kenney, according to Slater, took that as he wanted to kill Berreth.

But his actions, per interrogation of Kenney, revealed he wanted his new girlfriend to commit the crime.

 

Krystal Kenney<figcaption class="wp-caption-text" id="caption-attachment-172812">Krystal Kenney

It first happened on Sept. 23. Slater said Kenney told him that Frazee suggested she taint a caramel macchiato from Starbucks. Kenney suggested she could spike it with Ambien or other drugs. She was in town with her aunt looking at a horse trailer. Kenney got the drink from Starbucks, went to Berreth’s home and gave Berreth the drink, pretending she was a neighbor down the street. Investigators said Kenney used an alias and said she was thankful Berreth helped find her dogs, though Berreth declined doing that. Berreth still drank the drink, Slater said.

Kenney recalled angering Frazee over her inability to commit the crime, to which he replied she’d have another chance. That came on Oct. 15, when he suggested Kenney assault Berreth in the parking lot outside her townhome with a steel rod. Frazee left a steel rod for Kenney to use. She went to Berreth’s property, got out of the car, heard a dog barking and got back into her car. Again, she told Frazee she couldn’t do it, which upset him.

Frazee then solicited her assistance again on Oct. 21. This time, Kenney was told to use a baseball bat. She brought it from home. Kenney parked outside of Berreth’s townhome and waited, eventually concluding she couldn’t do it. Slater said as Kenney was leaving and headed back to Frazee’s residence, she passed Berreth on the road.

He then asked for her help again on Nov. 3 but she denied.

At this point, Frazee began to take matters into his own hands, according to prosecutors. They said he called Kenney on Nov. 21 asking about her Thanksgiving plans. In hindsight, they believe that call was to check her availability for the coming days.

Kenney told investigators she received a text from Frazee on Nov. 22 saying, “You need to get out here now. You’ve got a mess to clean up.” Kenney understood that as Frazee had killed Berreth.

Kenney switched cars with a best friend before driving down the night of Nov. 23, arriving in Colorado on Nov. 24. She brought cleaning supplies with her, including gloves, bleach, trash bags and more.

She described walking into the townhome and seeing a horrific scene with blood all over the walls, floors and other areas. Slater said it took Kenney between 3-4 hours to clean up.

Kenney said she intentionally left blood splatter in areas of the townhome for investigators to find. They didn’t find it. It wasn’t until Dec. 6, when Clint Berreth (Kelsey’s Brother) found a suspected blood spot in the toilet, that the case shifted to the criminal realm.

Investigators used cell phone data to track Berreth and Frazee’s phone activity that day. They noticed interesting patterns in their direction of travel, indicating the phones were likely together, despite Berreth being reported missing since Nov. 22. Then, police determined Frazee was reaching out to Kenney for help.

Kenney confessed to all of the information provided to implicate Frazee in the murder.

Frazee is due back in court on March 4 for a legal action hearing focused on presumptive testing before an arraignment hearing on April 8 at 8:30 a.m. He will enter a plea at the April hearing.

For more information on the preliminary hearing, click here.