TELLER COUNTY — More than five weeks ahead of his murder trial, Patrick Frazee's lawyers outlined their plans to defend the accused murderer and ultimately receive a 'not guilty' verdict.
Frazee faces eight total charges, including first-degree murder, for the killing of Kelsey Berreth in November 2018. His murder trial begins Oct. 28.
While his lawyers did not file a motion to blame the murder on someone else as a defense, they do plan to use an alternate suspect to spark the idea of reasonable doubt.
Through his attorney Adam Stiegerwald, Frazee outlined his planned defenses and witnesses in a court document released Wednesday. They plan to use the 'general denial' defense, requiring the state prove Frazee is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The document also includes a component about pointing to an alternate suspect as part of the general denial defense. It's important to note this is not the alternate suspect defense.
"It is anticipated that as part and parcel to general denial, there may be evidence that other individuals committed or fabricated portions of the crimes alleged against Mr. Frazee, to include Krystal Lee (Kenney)...," the document read.
From an attorney's perspective, this route provides Frazee's team more options. Instead of having to persuade a jury that an alternate suspect committed the crime from start to finish (the alternate suspect defense), the defense will focus on poking holes in the prosecutor's case with hopes of establishing reasonable doubt in the facts.
Stephen Longo, attorney and founder of the Longo Firm, said that's not only an easier method for the attorneys, but it also shows they have their sights set on disputing Krystal Kenney's story. A former mistress of Frazee and an Idaho native, Kenney already reached a plea deal for her role in the crime in exchange for her testimony against Frazee.
"You're going to keep that scope as wide as you can. But we can also, in this document, read into it that where they're really putting a lot of their efforts in is going to be attacking the prosecution's star witness, Krystal Lee (Kenney)," Longo said.
Kenney pleaded guilty to a single count of evidence tampering for her role in destroying Berreth's cell phone in an attempt to mislead law enforcement. However, at a preliminary evidence hearing in February, it was revealed Kenney had a much larger role.
She told police that Frazee sought her help several times to commit the crime herself. Kenney said she even drove down from Idaho and went to Berreth's Woodland Park townhome on several occasions but couldn't commit the crime.
Kenney, a former nurse, also said she cleaned up the crime scene inside Berreth's townhome at Frazee's request.
With the case hinging upon her testimony — the only explanation for what police said happened to Berreth — Longo said the defense will target her plea deal as a means for lying.
"They want to tear down her credibility as much as possible, and what better way to do that then say she's more involved in this crime then she's going to say, and that gives her the motivation to fabricate what the defendant Patrick Frazee did," Longo said.
Through law enforcement testimony, Kenney did lie to police about her relationship with Frazee before eventually agreeing to an interview with police.