TELLER COUNTY — The murder trial of Patrick Frazee wrapped up on Monday with a jury finding Frazee guilty of all six counts for the death of Kelsey Berreth.
Frazee was sentenced to the maximum of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 156 years, plus five years with parole for solicitation.
A key player in bringing this case to a close was Krystal Kenney. She cut a deal with prosecutors, a felony evidence tampering charge, in exchange for her detailed description of how Frazee carried out the murder plot. On Monday, News5 heard from District Attorney Dan May who said it was key in getting justice for Kelsey and her family, but that he had made "a deal with the devil."
To dig deeper into how Kenney's involvement played a role in this case, News5 spoke with Stephen Longo, attorney & founder of the Longo Firm.
"I think it's very difficult especially when it goes really against everything that they want to do as officers of the court and the oath they take to prosecute crimes against people facing charges...I think what they recognized in this case was that making that deal was the only way they were going to seal a conviction against Patrick Frazee," Longo said.
Especially when a lot of the evidence was circumstantial.
"Whether it was high velocity blood splatter or jailhouse notes and when you're dealing with circumstantial evidence what you're trying to do is still really take a puzzle and piece it together so the jury can still see the big picture," Longo said.
Another piece of the puzzle is where Berreth and Frazee's daughter, Kaylee, will end up.
"We forget about there's a really big human element involved," Longo said.
Kaylee is currently in the temporary custody of Berreth's parents, but Frazee's conviction gives them the upper hand, Longo believes, in getting permanent custody.
"There's parents who have to go on with life without their daughter. There's a child who has to grow up without her mother so I think it's a very good narrative and I think it's obviously going to help them in making sure they get custody of their granddaughter," Longo said.
Longo also said the speed with which this case moved forward is really an oddity as it wrapped up almost to the day to when Kelsey was last seen last year. He said that's because all the evidence was surrounded by the testimony of one individual who gave the particulars of who, what, when, where, and how things happened.