On Nov. 18, 2019, a Teller County jury found 33-year-old Patrick Frazee, of Florissant, guilty of first-degree murder in the November 2018 killing of his fiancée, 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth.
Jurors spent 11 days listening to testimony from family members, friends, law enforcement agents and investigators involved in the case inside the 115-year-old courtroom in Cripple Creek and deliberated for just three hours before finding Frazee guilty of first-degree murder and other charges in Berreth’s Thanksgiving Day death.
Reporters from Denver7 and KOAA News5 reported the trial from the courtroom, and we have now compiled the entire Patrick Frazee murder trial in one place. Scroll down to read.
Prosecutor calls Patrick Frazee ‘calculated manipulator,’ but defense says ‘facts don’t make sense’
In a small courthouse in the tiny mountain city of Cripple Creek, the murder trial of Patrick Frazee — a case that captured national attention — officially began.
On the morning of Nov. 1, a jury of seven women and five men was seated. Two men and two women were selected as alternates. Opening statements began at 2 p.m., and prosecutors as well as the defense outlined how they planned to prove Frazee’s guilty or innocence, respectively, throughout the three-week trial.
Frazee, 33, of Florissant is accused of murdering his 29-year-old fiancée Kelsey Berreth of Woodland Park on Thanksgiving Day 2018. He’s also accused of soliciting Idaho resident Krystal Lee Kenney, who he had dated, to help him carry out the murder. He faces eight charges, including first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased body and solicitation. While he pleaded not guilty to the charges, Kenney took a plea deal, pleading guilty to a tampering charge and agreeing to testify at Frazee’s trial.
To date, Berreth’s body has not been found.
Twelve jurors, four alternate jurors seated for trial
The potential jurors on Friday were asked an array of questions, including how Frazee could have a fair trial with so much publicity surrounding the case and their thoughts on circumstantial evidence versus direct evidence. The potential jurors were also asked if they had heard somebody had been killed, would they first suspect the victim’s husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend?
Frazee, who in previous court appearances had worn the standard county jumpsuit, appeared Friday in a blue and white striped button-down shirt. He paid close attention to the jurors as they answered the questions and leaned in to hear them speak. In prior court appearances, Frazee looked down most of the time.
Jurors also expressed an array of concerns: the major time commitment for the trial, health problems, the overall enormity of the case, with such significant consequences for the people involved. Many of the jurors said they had not paid attention to media coverage of the case or didn’t believe what media has reported.
Prosecution details how they plan to find Frazee guilty
Prosecutor Jennifer Viehman was the first person to speak to the jury Friday afternoon. One of the first things she said, as she pointed to an ATM surveillance picture of Frazee on a slideshow, was, “This is the case of a cold, calculated manipulator.”
“This man,” she said, pointing at Frazee in the court room, “is a killer.”
Viehman described Frazee and Berreth’s relationship as “very complicated.” They had met online in 2016 and after meeting in person, Berreth, who lived in Washington, decided to move out to Colorado, where Frazee lived. But she lived in a condo in Woodland Park, about 20 minutes east of Florissant. She didn’t have a job at first and was unfamiliar with her new home, Viehman said.
In October 2017, they had a child named Kaylee. They were still living apart. Between the new baby, commuting to Pueblo for work and a new home, she was exhausted and it was “just not working well for her,” Viehman said.
Meanwhile, Frazee was “poisoning” almost everybody he knew against Berreth, Viehman said. He was telling people — including Kenney — that Berreth was a bad mom, an alcoholic and abusive to the baby. He told people Berreth abandoned the baby and left the child with him, Viehman said.
In September 2018, Frazee told Kenney that Berreth was abusing the baby and he had asked “people” to keep their eyes on her, Viehman said. He claimed Berreth was dangerous and he asked for Kenney’s help “taking care of this” or “an innocent is going to be harmed,” Viehman said.
That same month, Frazee and Kenney planned to put “something” in a caramel macchiato to make her “go away,” she said. Frazee asked Kenney to do this, but Kenney brought the coffee to Berreth’s home — without anything abnormal in it and without knowing Berreth — and thanked Berreth for putting her dogs away. Berreth explained she did not put any dogs away.
Frazee was upset afterward but told Kenney she’d have another chance because “people go missing all the time,” Viehman said.
They tried again in October, this time with a pipe as the weapon, she said. Frazee allegedly instructed Kenney to hit Berreth on the back of the head with the pipe, put her body in a garbage can and drag it down the road, Viehman said. But when Kenney arrived at the house one night with the pipe, she heard dogs barking and, frightened, left the pipe at the home and drove away.
A week later, Frazee called Kenney and instructed her to bring a baseball bat from home, and allegedly told her to “go to swinging,” and to put the body in the dumpster or somehow get rid of it, Viehman said.
Krystal drove to Berreth’s home, but sat on the curb with the bat, wondering how she got into that position, Viehman said. She was fearful for Kaylee because of all Frazee had told her, but she was also starting to pick up clues that what he had said may not have been true, Viehman said. Still, Kenney was fearful that if she didn’t do what he instructed, something would happen to her family.
She left the home and drove to Frazee’s home, where he was very upset, Viehman said. He claimed that he must have a bigger heart than her and care more about Kaylee than she does, the prosecution explained.
Things quieted by mid-November and Kenney started to think that everything was going back to normal, Viehman said.
But on the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day 2018, Frazee allegedly killed Berreth with a baseball bat after covering her eyes with a sweater and asking her to smell different candles.
Frazee then put her remains in a black tote in the back of his truck, Viehman said.
That day, he called Kenney, who was in Idaho, and said she had a mess to clean up and to come to Berreth’s condo. Kenney felt that she was in too deep and that her family was in danger, Viehman said.
When she walked into the apartment two days later on Nov. 24, she found a “horrible scene.”
“There’s blood everywhere. There’s blood on the walls. There’s blood on the fireplace. There’s blood on the couch. There’s blood on items in the kitchen. Hobby Lobby bags. Children’s toys,” Viehman said.
She also presented photos showing the specks of blood on a baby gate, the toilet and fireplace, in addition to numerous surveillance photos that showed Frazee at Berreth’s front door, at the gas station and at an ATM that day.
Both Frazee’s and Kenney’s phones pinged down in Nash Ranch, and later at Frazee’s, where Kenney told prosecutors they took Berreth’s body in the tote and put it in a rusted old horse trough on his property. He told Kenney not to look inside as he put gas and motor oil in the trough and set it on fire, Viehman said.
At a later date, Kenney would bring investigators back to that exact spot, which had been covered in dirt, and when uncovered, would show scorch marks and a possible human tooth fragment, Viehman said.
The prosecution’s case also hinges on cell phone records, as the cell phones belonging to Frazee, Berreth and Kenney, or just Frazee and Berreth’s at other times, traveled together often in the area in the days after the alleged murder. Between Nov. 25 and Dec. 4, Frazee called Kenney 46 times and never called Berreth. The prosecution claims this was part of Frazee’s elaborate plan to distract police.
At the end of the prosecution’s opening statement, Viehman said the jury will understand why Frazee is guilty of murder by the end of the trial.
“We’re going to ask you to hold him accountable for all he did,” she said.
Defense aims to poke holes in Kenney’s testimony
In response, the defense compared the case to a beautiful house with serious foundation issues — while the case looks solid and good from the outside, if you look in each corner and see the evidence, the jury will see deep issues, said Ashley Fridovich Porter, one of Frazee’s attorneys.
“What you have not yet heard is the raw and unedited version,” she said. “All of these facts that don’t make sense. All of the facts that actually support Patrick Frazee not being the one (guilty) in the disappearance of Kelsey Berreth.”
Porter said the prosecution’s case is reliant on what Kenney has said.
But Kenney lied to police and the FBI when they initially asked if she knew Berreth or had any information on her disappearance, Porter said.
She then hired an attorney and took a plea deal where she could ultimately end up spending no time in jail in exchange for testifying at the trial. She only spilled the whole story — all the details of the alleged murder — after she struck the deal with prosecutors, Porter said.
Her story doesn’t line up, Porter said, pointing out that if Kenney had seen such a gruesome, bloody scene at Berreth’s condo, the surveillance camera that showed Frazee going into the apartment, allegedly murdering Berreth, and then leaving again would have shown Frazee bloodied. But he was in the same outfit he arrived in, with no stains, Porter said.
When law enforcement went to Berreth’s home, they didn’t find any evidence that a violent crime had happened. When they returned later and found DNA evidence, including blood belonging to Berreth, they also found blood that belonged to an unknown person, she said.
“There are so many parts of Krystal’s story that are simply not corroborated by any other evidence,” Porter said.
Berreth has never been found and therefore is still considered a missing person. Additionally, no weapon has been found, no witnesses from the day of the crime have come forward, and there was no clear motive uncovered, Porter said.
What’s more, Frazee has maintained his innocence, been cooperative with law enforcement and agreed to all the testing investigators asked for, Porter said. Meanwhile, Kenney has used burner phones, destroyed phones, destroyed evidence, cleaned up evidence and told countless lies, she said.
Prosecutors call Berreth’s mother as first witness
The first witness the prosecution called to the stand was Cheryl Berreth, Kelsey Berreth’s mother.
Viehman initially asked Cheryl about her daughter’s upbringing on a farm and her interest in aviation, which turned into her career.
The prosecutor then asked about how often Cheryl and her daughter talked. Cheryl said they spoke often, and it wasn’t unusual for them to call each other every day. They were very close, she said. That relationship continued when Berreth left Washington to move to Colorado with Frazee.
That move happened in May 2016. Frazee, Berreth and her parents loaded a trailer with her possessions and the couple drove from Washington to Florissant. Frazee had purchased Berreth a studio apartment, where she lived when she first moved there. Berreth and Frazee never lived together at any point in their relationship, though Berreth would often visit for weekends, Cheryl said.
However, before moving in, Berreth spent a night at Frazee’s home, which he shared with his mother, because they had driven into Colorado late in the evening and decided they’d unpack everything the following day, Cheryl said. Based on what Berreth had told her later, Frazee’s mother had accused her of being a “hooker” the following morning, Cheryl said.
She said she believes Berreth and Frazee’s mother were able to work past the incident, but the feelings didn’t go away, she said.
After working other jobs, toward the end of July 2017, Berreth nailed down a job with DOSS Aviation and worked there until her daughter Kaylee was born on Oct. 5, 2017. She then took maternity leave.
Once they were discharged from the hospital, Berreth and the baby returned home to her condo, where they lived together. They stayed there until May 10, 2018, when they moved to another condo in Woodland Park.
Come early October 2018, Berreth’s parents flew out to Colorado to celebrate Kaylee’s first birthday. Berreth, her parents and Frazee spent the day together in her condo. Cheryl said their stay was short — they planned to visit for Christmas too. They were not planning on visiting around Thanksgiving Day.
When asked by the prosecutors, Cheryl confirmed that in both July 2018 and October 2018, when she visited Colorado, Kaylee appeared happy and healthy.
When asked to describe Cheryl’s communication with Berreth on Thanksgiving Day 2018, Cheryl said they spoke over the phone a few times that morning. Berreth had told her they’d gotten home from checking on the cows late the previous night, Frazee had felt ill and she had offered to go to the store to pick up some food. Upon hearing this, Cheryl texted Frazee, saying she hoped he would feel better soon.
He replied, “Thank you and happy Thanksgiving,” Cheryl said, tearing up in the courtroom. She said she replied, “Happy Thanksgiving to you too.”
Cheryl confirmed that her daughter made no mention of an argument or unusual behavior from Frazee. She said she was sure Berreth would have said something to her if their relationship had hit a rocky patch. But the opposite seemed true — Berreth had been looking to purchase a ranch in the area and had even looked at places with Frazee and Cheryl, her mother said.
Their conversation that Thanksgiving morning was uneventful, Cheryl said. They talked about how Berreth had made cinnamon rolls earlier that day and how Kaylee had only wanted Honey Nut Cheerios. They talked about getting a Christmas tree. And the conversation ended when Berreth had to attend a dirty diaper, Cheryl said.
That was the last time Cheryl spoke with her daughter.
Two days after Frazee allegedly killed Berreth, Cheryl accidentally called her daughter’s phone and hung up. She later received a text from her daughter’s phone, which read that Berreth would call the following day. Prosecutors believe that Frazee sent this message to Cheryl.
Cheryl said she didn’t think anything of it when she didn’t get a call from Berreth the following day. However, by Dec. 2, 2018, she still hadn’t heard from her daughter. When she tried to call, it went straight to voicemail. Concerned, she reached out to Frazee, who told her over a 20-minute conversation that they were no longer together because Berreth wanted her own space. Cheryl said she was surprised to hear this since Berreth had not mentioned this previously. Frazee said she may have moved away, but he didn’t know. Cheryl said she thought this was unlikely.
When she asked Frazee to go to the Woodland Park condo to check on Berreth, Frazee said he had to check on his cows, but would go over afterward, though “she wouldn’t want to see him,” Cheryl said. She said she didn’t care about that — she just wanted to know if Berreth or her car was at the condo.
Cheryl called police that same day. She said she had a “gut feeling something bad had happened,” even though police didn’t find any sign of a struggle inside the condo. The following day, Dec. 3, Berreth’s parents flew out to Colorado. They searched her condo, looking for signs that indicated Berreth had left on her own accord. But her luggage, makeup (which she’d never leave home without, Cheryl said), hair items, toothbrush and more were all there. The cinnamon rolls she had told her mother she made on Thanksgiving morning were still on the stove. They were hard as rock, she said.
The only things they noticed were missing were her purse, keys and iPhone.
The prosecutors brought up three pictures of the condo at this time:
–The first showed her kitchen table, with stale bread, sparkling cider, live flowers, some papers and a laptop on it.
–The second showed the view from the front door. The living room area was very sparse with little furniture. A wooden chest she had used as a footstool had been pushed up against the fireplace, which Cheryl said she thought was odd. They also noticed smears all over the apartment, from the loveseat to the stove. The toys Cheryl and her husband had bought for Kaylee for her birthday were also missing.
–The third photo showed the four stale cinnamon buns on the stove, along with a plug-in candle that was still on.
Friday’s trial period ended after the prosecutors showed this final picture. It will continue Monday morning.
Prosecutors decided in July to not file a motion in pursuit of capital punishment, meaning Frazee will not face the death penalty in this case if he is found guilty.
Live tweeting and live reporting is not allowed in the courtroom, per a court decorum order.
Family, police describe suspicions after Kelsey Berreth’s disappearance
More details on the events surrounding the disappearance and alleged murder of 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth of Woodland Park came to light Monday as family, police and her manager took to the witness stand as the trial for 33-year-old Patrick Frazee of Florissant, who’s accused of murdering Berreth, his 29-year-old fiancée, on Thanksgiving Day 2018, continued into its second day.
Frazee is also accused of soliciting Idaho resident Krystal Lee Kenney, whom he had dated, to help him carry out the murder.
On Friday, Nov. 1 (the first day of the trial), a jury was seated and the prosecutors brought forward their first witness — Cheryl Berreth, Kelsey’s mother.
Continuing testimony of Kelsey Berreth’s mother
Cheryl took the stand once again Monday morning. After opening statements on Friday, prosecutors had called Cheryl as their first witness. That afternoon, she detailed her relationship with her daughter and the events that unfolded as she grew more worried that Kelsey wasn’t answering her calls.
Lead Prosecutor Jennifer Viehman picked up Monday morning where she had left off — with Cheryl, who lives in northern Idaho, looking for clues of her daughter’s whereabouts inside Kelsey’s condo in Woodland Park.
In court on Friday, Cheryl said she had asked Frazee if he knew of her daughter’s whereabouts on Dec. 2 and he told her they had broken up because Kelsey wanted her own space, which surprised Cheryl because her daughter hadn’t mentioned this. She asked him to check her condo and said he had to visit his cows, but would go over afterward, though “she wouldn’t want to see him,” she told the court on Friday. She didn’t get confirmation if he did that, she said Monday morning.
The following day, Cheryl and Kelsey’s brother flew from Idaho to Colorado. That day, Cheryl asked if Frazee had gone looking for Kelsey and he said he hadn’t. This was the last time they spoke, she said in court Monday.
Cheryl and her husband arrived at their daughter’s Woodland Park condo late on Dec. 3 and couldn’t see any obvious clues in the darkness, so they returned the following morning.
That day — Dec. 4 — Cheryl said she noticed several things were awry in the apartment:
–The thermostat was set to about 72 degrees, which was unusually warm. Kelsey would normally turn it down when she leaves the apartment
–The garbage seemed full and had not been taken out. The garbage cans were not in their normal spot.
–Film from cleaning supplies was in several places in the apartment, including the TV, loveseat and stove, among other locations
As she walked around the apartment, she put a photo of Kelsey and Frazee face-down, Cheryl said.
In the days afterward, the community held a candlelight vigil for Kelsey. Cheryl said Frazee did not attend. In addition, she said she never saw that he posted anything on social media asking for help finding Kelsey.
During the cross-examination, Ashley Fridovich Porter, one of Frazee’s attorneys, asked for more information on Kelsey’s childhood and employment in Colorado.
Cheryl had previously stated how close she was with her daughter and when asked if there was anything her daughter had kept from her, Cheryl said there was only one instance, but did not elaborate.
Porter also mentioned how the last text Cheryl received from Berreth’s phone was from Nov. 24, which read that Kelsey would call the following day. That call never came and Cheryl did not reach out again until a week later, Porter said.
Frazee and Kelsey never lived together during their relationship. Kelsey stayed in Woodland Park while Frazee stayed on a ranch in Florissant with his mother, where he could take care of her and his animals, Porter said. Both Porter and Cheryl agreed that it was fair to assume Frazee and his mother did not get along.
On the morning of Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22) — the day of the alleged murder — Kelsey hadn’t gone to bed until 4 a.m. because she had been helping Frazee check cattle and get medicine for him, Cheryl said.
Cheryl confirmed that during their phone conversations that morning, she knew Kelsey wanted to create a backup plan for dinner and wanted to get her gun back — though it wasn’t clear why it wasn’t in her possession — because she didn’t feel safe running without it, Cheryl said. Cheryl noted the structure of the text seemed odd. It had lots of punctuation marks and exclamation points, which Kelsey typically didn’t use.
When asked about their finances, Cheryl said she was under the impression that it was cheaper for Kelsey to live in Woodland Park and Frazee to rent the apartment than for him to travel to see her in Washington. Declining cattle prices were to blame, she said.
Knowing the couple had this hardship, Cheryl told Kelsey she would help them buy a ranch, but Frazee worried about family perception if he couldn’t make a payment.
They also struggled when Kelsey was offered a pilot job in Grand Junction. Frazee didn’t want her to leave, but also wanted her to have a job, Cheryl said. She said she remembers telling Kelsey she could use those flying hours to land a better job and that she could still go home to see Frazee on the weekends.
The jury did not have any questions following Cheryl’s testimony and she was dismissed.
Kelsey Berreth’s brother recalls finding blood on toilet
Prosecuting attorney Beth Reed called the next witness — Clint Berreth — to the stand. Clint is Kelsey’s older brother by two years.
In November 2018, he was living in Tacoma, Washington. When asked, he said he believed the last time he spoke to his sister was early November, but they had texted the week of Thanksgiving. They had exchanged ideas about when each would visit the other and their Christmas plans.
Kelsey had told him during a conversation on Oct. 31, 2018 that Erin Frazee, Patrick Frazee’s sister, had a lawyer that had contacted her looking for dirt on Patrick. From what Kelsey had told him, Clint said he understood there was a fight over Frazee’s father’s assets. Their father had died around that time.
With the holidays nearing, Clint decided to buy Kaylee — Kelsey and Frazee’s daughter who was 1 year old at the time — an ornament. He ordered one to be delivered to Kelsey’s apartment the week after Thanksgiving. Around the holiday, he texted his sister multiple times, but never got a reply, he said. When Cheryl called on Dec. 2 to ask if he had heard from Kelsey, he said he hadn’t. Clint started to choke up in the courtroom as he said he initially thought she may have been mad at him for canceling Christmas plans, but then worried something bigger might be at play. He suggested they call police, which Cheryl did.
Both Cheryl and Clint flew to Colorado and drove to Kelsey’s condo in Woodland Park, he said. Cheryl had a key to the condo and they went inside.
Like Cheryl’s testimony, Clint mentioned that the apartment was very warm. He noticed cinnamon rolls on the stove that were uncovered and hard. On Friday in court, Cheryl had said Kelsey was making cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving morning. Clint told the court that her laundry hadn’t been done and her dirty work uniforms were still on the floor, which was unusual for her.
When Clint went into her bathroom, he saw that her toothbrush, makeup and hair items were all still there. He noticed a dirty broom on her bed, he said. He couldn’t find car keys but found her luggage in the loft. They both stayed in the apartment that night.
The following day, they went to the Woodland Park Police Department, where they talked with officers for about 12 hours, he said.
On Dec. 6, Clint was using the restroom in Kelsey’s condo when he noticed blood under the bowl of the toilet. He told his mother and the police. After this, police asked them to leave the condo, Clint said. They were not allowed back in.
Police asked if Cheryl or Clint had used any cleaning supplies while they stayed in Kelsey’s condo. They hadn’t — only dish soap to clean dishes.
The defense did not cross-examine Clint.
Neighbor doesn’t recall hearing disturbance
The third witness prosecutors called to the stand Monday was Angela Gerber, an older woman who lived next door to Berreth. Their condos share a wall.
Gerber said she met Berreth on the day she moved in. At one point, she gave Berreth a baby gate.
Gerber said she was in Utah for Thanksgiving and returned home the following Tuesday. She said she hadn’t heard of anything unusual until a police officer knocked on her door 10 days after the holiday and asked if she had seen Berreth. She said she had not.
Several other conversations with police followed. Gerber said she remembers telling police that most of the time she saw Frazee at the condo was on weekends, with a few appearances during the week.
During the cross-examination, Porter asked Gerber if Berreth and Frazee were quiet. Gerber said they were — she never heard a fight or disturbance from the unit. She added that Kaylee must have been the “best baby” because she wasn’t loud, but noted there are sound barriers between the apartments.
The prosecution then brought up a fraud analyst for Safeway, who confirmed Kelsey had visited a Safeway the morning of Thanksgiving. She was dismissed after cross-examination.
Kelsey Berreth’s manager describes texts from Thanksgiving Day
Prosecutors then called upon Raymond Siebring, who works at Doss Aviation, where Berreth had been working when she went missing.
Siebring worked as Berreth’s assistant flight director. He was first assigned to work with her in July 2018. She was “incredibly diligent” in her work, he said, and even though the process was meant to be stressful, she handled it well.
On days where she thought she’d miss work, she always notified him, he said. She’d typically enter PTO ahead of time in the company’s system, but there were some circumstances where employees were sick, so they’d call or text to let supervisors know. It wasn’t uncommon for Kelsey to text in sick, he said. He noted she would then call the scheduling department to let them know.
The state pulled up a screenshot of the texts between Siebring and Berreth, which started in Ocober 2018 and went until Nov. 30, 2018. Siebring said he freely offered this information to the police and CBI when they asked about it.
They exchanged texts on Nov. 20, when Berreth said she convinced Frazee to go to the company’s holiday party with her. Siebring replied, saying that was great news because he wanted to get to know him.
On Thanksgiving, Siebring sent a text to everybody he worked alongside wishing them a happy Thanksgiving. He said Berreth’s reply, which came late in the day, read: “Hi Ray, it was a great day… Happy Thanksgiving to you too.” He said it was odd that she used a comma after his name instead of an exclamation point. He also noted she often used smiley faces in her texts but didn’t in this message.
The next text from Kelsey — which he received at 5:06 p.m. on Nov. 25 — also lacked exclamation points or smiley faces. It read, “Hi Ray, sorry for the late notice but I won’t be able to make it in this week. I need to go see my grandma who is sick…”
Prosecutor Viehman asked if Berreth had ever asked for time off in this manner and Siebring said no. But he noted that it sounded urgent, so he just thanked her for letting him know. He did not receive another text after that, though he reached out multiple times with questions regarding work. She never contacted their scheduling department, which was unusual, he said.
Berreth didn’t go into work on Dec. 3, when she was expected back. Siebring said police contacted him that day asking about her whereabouts.
In Siebring’s cross-examination, Porter first asked about the texts from Thanksgiving. Siebring said he didn’t notice the lack of exclamation points or emojis at the time but made note of it after she had been missing for more time.
Porter compared texts from Nov. 20 and Nov. 22 — they had similar punctuation.
Police recall start of missing person investigation
After Siebring left the stand, prosecutor Reed called another witness — Woodland Park Police Department Cpl. Dena Currin. She has worked for the department for 14 years as a patrol officer.
Currin said she took the initial call from Cheryl on Dec. 2 asking for a welfare check. Currin went to Kelsey’s residence, but nobody answered. She noticed a package by the door addressed to Kaylee Frazee. According to Clint’s testimony, this may have been the ornament he was sending to Kaylee.
Currin called Kelsey’s number, and then tried Frazee at 1:50 p.m. She knew from Cheryl that they were dating. She recorded the 15-minute conversation with Frazee on her body camera.
When Currin inquired when Frazee last spoke to Kelsey, he said it was the previous Sunday, Nov. 24. He explained that they had talked about how their relationship wasn’t working and the stress of work was starting to get to her more. He said he returned her car, house keys and gun to her.
In the recorded call, Frazee told Currin he was going to give her space for her to figure out what she wanted to do, and if she wanted to find a place in Washington, Idaho or Pueblo. During the call, he mentioned that Kelsey had been to rehab for depression and alcohol abuse.
Frazee told Currin he received a text on Nov. 29 that Berreth’s phone had expired.
In court, Currin said she noticed the lack of concern during the phone call. When Reed asked if Frazee ever asked about Kelsey’s welfare, she said no.
After trying Kelsey’s phone again, Currin called Doss Aviation, where she learned that Kelsey had said via text that she would be out for the week to see her grandmother.
After this, Currin and a police sergeant (who was interviewed following her testimony) went to Kelsey’s condo to see if they could find any clues of her whereabouts. She said she didn’t see anything unusual and didn’t notice the warm temperature or any blood spots. She said she saw the cinnamon rolls on the stove and both of Kelsey’s vehicles in the driveway.
When Currin returned to the police department, she called Cheryl to let her know they had started the investigation, but didn’t have any leads yet.
During the cross-examination, Frazee’s primary attorney Adam Stiegerwald asked about when Currin first arrived at Kelsey’s condo. Currin said they entered the condo around 3:45 p.m. They weren’t going through the home with a fine-toothed comb — they were just looking for Kelsey, Currin said.
She confirmed that she met with a few of Kelsey’s neighbors that day as well.
Investigators, bank manager interviewed after lunch
After lunch, the state called several officers who investigated the case, as well as a credit union manager who had what she called a suspicious interaction with Frazee after Berreth went missing.
Woodland Park Police Sgt. Andrew Leibbrand, who was one of the first people to go to Berreth’s townhome after she was reporting missing, talked about how he used a lock bypass tool to open the front door to her home and said he did not notice any signs of a struggle, though investigators were not looking for that at that point, he said.
Stiegerwald asked about the initial search of her home, who was present, and what investigators saw inside. Leibbrand said that investigators were inside for about five minutes and that they did not go through everything. He also discussed both with prosecutors and the defense the search of the Frazee ranch as both sides worked to establish timelines for the searches and what investigators knew.
Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May asked Woodland Park Police Det. Michael McDaniel about the many photos taken during warrant services on Berreth’s townhome and vehicle. May said that the photos showed that the vehicles at Berreth’s home hadn’t moved since it last snowed, which he said was significant to note because someone who was missing would not have taken their own vehicle.
McDaniel pointed out that a photo taken Dec. 3 showed a box of trash bags in a closet and talked about other items — like the heated candle and days-old cinnamon rolls — that made him suspicious. He was asked by the defense about his process for disappearances and ran through a mental checklist.
Upon cross-examination, McDaniel said officers were at Berreth’s townhome on Dec. 3, 4 and 6 and told Stiegerwald that a cadaver dog hit on the bumper of Berreth’s car.
When prosecutors got to redirect questioning of McDaniel, he testified that when officers see no sign of a break-in at a home, they typically turn their focus on someone known to the victim or missing person. He said that investigators did not know for sure that Berreth’s home was an alleged murder scene until Dec. 21, which he said was why the scene was so different between the early investigation and its later facets.
Credit union manager says she had suspicious interaction with Frazee
Patricia Key, the manager of a credit union in Woodland Park, then testified about her interactions with Frazee days after Berreth went missing. She said he used an ATM there on Nov. 22, the day Berreth was allegedly killed, and then came into the credit union on Dec. 5.
Key said that the last transaction on Berreth’s account was at Safeway on Nov. 22 and that Woodland Park police had contacted her to investigate the accounts on Dec. 5.
She said Frazee came into the credit union on Dec. 5 and asked if she could give him surveillance photos of him visiting the ATM on Nov. 22. Key testified that Frazee had told her he needed a timeline of his events on Nov. 22 because his fiancée had broken up with him the day before and they were going to discuss the custody of their child.
She said she found that to be weird, but gave him a surveillance photo showing his vehicle and noted in court that Frazee didn’t ask for any further transaction history, photos or video beyond Nov. 22.
Key said she helped Frazee because she was trying to be empathetic toward his situation but grew suspicious of the timeline he was giving her. After the conversation, she said she contacted her legal team and police and wrote down notes. She testified Monday that she thought it was peculiar that Frazee didn’t seem concerned for Berreth or their daughter’s well-being.
Teller County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Paulsen, who works on an FBI task force, testified about the meeting he had with Frazee and a Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent on Dec. 4 at a restaurant in Colorado Springs and said that the agent asked for Frazee’s cell phone.
The court went into recess just after 3 p.m.
Verizon employee: Frazee was paranoid, visibly shaken during visit to store
After recess, the state called David Felis — an employee who works for the Woodland Park Verizon store — to the stand.
Reed asked him about a specific date in December — Tuesday, Dec. 11. Felis told Reed he was aware of the case through local news articles. He said Frazee came to the store in the late afternoon or early evening of Dec. 11 and had Kaylee with him.
Felis said Frazee seemed very nervous, paranoid and sketchy when he came in to the store that day and could feel something was off, though he didn’t know who Frazee was at the time. At one point, Frazee said, “Don’t believe what they’re saying about me,” Felis said.
During his visit to the Verizon store, Felis said Frazee was concerned about people having access to his phone account and asked whether someone could still get information from a destroyed cell phone on the account. This line of questioning raised red flags for Felis.
Frazee, who was concerned because he wanted to change the PIN code to his cell phone account, never told Felis what happened to the other phone, Felis said. Felis then explained to Frazee he had to contact Verizon corporate as he wasn’t allowed to go into an account without the PIN code.
When Felis notified Frazee of this, he says Frazee became visibly shaken, upset and nervous over having to contact corporate to make the PIN code change. Ultimately, Felis said, corporate could not help either.
Frazee told Felis the purpose of trying to get access to the account was for security purposes as well as to see if he could get information off the destroyed device.
In court, Felis said Frazee’s last name sounded familiar, so he called police and sat for an interview with investigators the next day. He said he also emailed police about what had happened with Frazee at the store.
During cross-examination, Porter, one of Frazee’s attorneys, asked for clarity on the timeline of events.
Felis said he thought he either sent the email to police the night Frazee came to the store or the next day. He further clarified Frazee was in the store around 4 p.m. and that the email to police was sent at around 6:30 p.m. that day. The next day, Felis interviewed with a DA’s office investigator.
Porter then asked if his email was based on memory of the conversation. Felis said yes, as they are not allowed to record conversations with customers. She also asked him about his knowledge of the case. Felis said he only knew it was important.
He also told Porter there was a moment during his encounter with Frazee in which Frazee tried to get him to go outside and chat. Felis did not do so, and shortly after, Frazee left the store.
Porter then brought up a comment Frazee made to Felis, in which he told him not to believe everything that was being said about him. Felis said he’s accustomed to grief and anger from customers, but what Frazee displayed that day was unlike anything he’d ever seen.
Porter then accused Felis of not introducing all of this extra information (his demeanors, words, etc.) in his first email to police. He said the conversation with Frazee happened toward the end of his shift, and that he just wanted to write a brief email and expected a follow-up.
Reed then confirmed Felis hadn’t read any reports on the Frazee case before testifying on Monday, and that he was going strictly off memory. She also confirmed Felis was most concerned about the comment Frazee made wanting to lock down his account.
Berreth’s next door neighbor takes the stand
District Attorney May then called Leslie Jackson, another one of Kelsey’s next-door neighbors. Jackson’s fence is next to Berreth’s door. One of Jackson’s three cameras included Berreth’s front door.
Jackson, who has lived at her home since July 30, 2018, said she saw Kelsey coming and going and that she never met Frazee, but knew who he was, and mentioned she saw someone of his stature at the house every now and then.
She also detailed her three-camera set-up: The first points out to her driveway, the second looks right at her front door and the third looks at her bedroom window. She said the community likes the privacy of their neighborhood.
She said she bought the cameras, which are sound and motion-activated, because she caught someone stalking her. She also mentioned the cameras are connected to an app that allows her to see all three cameras live, and has the ability to choose to view what the cameras recorded on any single day.
Jackson told May that as far as she could tell, the cameras photograph Kelsey every time she leaves her home. May then commented how a digital expert — an investigator with the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office — who went to the home was not always picked up by her cameras as he walked by Kelsey’s door.
Frazee’s primary attorney, Adam Stiegerwald, was then called for the cross-examination.
Jackson mentioned she wasn’t home much of Nov. 22, 2018, but she did check the cameras often from that day due to her heightened awareness of the case.
Stiegerwald then asked if she saw any suspicious activity outside of Kelsey’s condo, to which Jackson replied, “No.” Jackson said she looked for a particular individual and didn’t see that person, so she didn’t call police.
Stiegerwald asked if she saw someone with blood on them, would she call police? She said “yes,” of course she would.
She then mentioned how her camera went off more than it normally does on the afternoon of Nov. 22, while she was away from home. She mentioned her phone kept buzzing on the table at her mother’s house. It alerted her to movement more than six or seven times more than usual per day.
Digital expert goes through evidence obtained from Jackson’s cell phone
After Jackson’s testimony, the state called Chad Mininger, who has worked as an investigator with the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office for 14 years. Mininger is the digital expert whom May talked about in Jackson’s previous testimony.
Mininger told the court that his office obtained a grant to use Cellebrite technology, which extracts information from drones, cell phones and other type of digital tech in a speedy manner, and mentioned he’s worked on a total of 248 cases from 2009 until now using the digital extraction technology.
On Monday, Mininger presented a PowerPoint of surveillance footage data he compiled from Jackson’s cell phone, which she had previously given to him.
Using Google Earth, Mininger demonstrated an overall aerial view of Berreth’s condo and noted that on Nov. 21, Jackson’s bedroom camera sent four notifications indicating some type of activity was going on. A day later, however, Jackson’s bedroom camera recorded 27 instances of movement. He said many of the notifications came around before noon, around noon and around 1:20 p.m., then again between 4:20 and 4:30 p.m.
Mininger stated Jackson’s bedroom camera notified her three times on Nov. 23 and Nov. 24. On Nov. 24, it sent her two notifications around 12:34 p.m., he said.
Using Cellebrite technology, Mininger was able to extract 34 cached file images from Nov. 22 and 27 of those came from the bedroom camera. Of those 27, the camera caught Frazee 11 different times.
During his testimony, Mininger showed a photo appearing to show Kelsey entering her home with a baby carrier at 3:54 a.m. on Nov. 22, which aligns with her getting home. Another photo that day at 11:56 a.m. showed Kelsey at her door. About 40 minutes later, at around 12:36 p.m., a different photo showed Frazee looking to enter her condo. Mininger said that’s the first capture of Frazee from those cameras on that day.
He continued showing photos of that day that either captured Kelsey, Frazee, as well as Kaylee before court adjourned for the day.
Defense questions timeline, lack of black tote in surveillance photos
Investigators and police were called to the witness stand on Tuesday morning, as the third day of Patrick Frazee’s murder trial began.
Frazee was wearing a red checkered dress shirt with khakis on Tuesday morning.
Digital expert explains surveillance footage from Berreth’s front door
Chad Mininger, who has worked as an investigator with the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, was the first witness to take the stand Tuesday morning. He is a digital expert and during his testimony on Monday afternoon, he explained that his office had obtained a grant to use Cellebrite technology, which can quickly extract information from drones, cell phones and other type of digital tech. He showed multiple images from Berreth’s neighbor’s surveillance cameras showing Frazee and Berreth entering and leaving her Woodland Park condo.
On Tuesday, Mininger continued walking the court through his surveillance findings from the days around Berreth’s alleged murder.
He experimented with how well the neighbor’s cameras worked with several tests. While some of the cameras caught his movement immediately, others had a delay. The camera is 16 feet from Berreth’s front door.
When he looked at downloaded surveillance footage between Oct. 30 and Nov. 21, 2018, he spotted Frazee one time on Oct. 30 at 4:36 p.m. It was the only photo he found of Frazee in that time, he said. There were no downloaded images of Berreth or Frazee between Nov. 23 and Dec. 2, he said.
On a PowerPoint, Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May showed surveillance stills from Nov. 22. In the first one, he pointed out Berreth, Frazee and Kaylee, their then-1-year-old daughter, entering the condo at 1:23 p.m. Berreth was carrying flowers and the baby carrier.
This is the last known picture of Berreth, May said.
May showed a surveillance picture showing Frazee with something in his hand at 1:24 p.m. that day as he closed the front door.
About three hours later, at 4:20 p.m., Frazee is again pictured with his back to the camera. He appears to be holding Kaylee. About 10 minutes later, he’s spotted again. He has his back to the camera.
This was the last time he’s captured on the camera, May said.
During cross-examination, Frazee’s primary attorney Adam Stiegerwald asked Mininger if the last few surveillance pictures were the last time Berreth and Frazee were seen on the system, which Mininger confirmed.
Stiegerwald pulled up the photos of Frazee that were caught between 4:26 p.m. and 4:28 p.m. In each photo, he appears to be holding a child in his left arm, presumably Kaylee. Stiegerwald pointed out that none of the pictures show Frazee carrying a large black tote.
The prosecutors have accused Frazee of killing Berreth in the condo and putting her body in a tote before bringing it outside and putting it into the back of his truck.
Mininger said there’s a void between Frazee and the door, and he can’t tell exactly what it is. He also mentioned that some cameras may have distorted lenses, which could alter the perception of the void. He said the cameras are of good quality, but zooming in makes the image pixelated.
Between 4:24 p.m. and 4:32 p.m., the door is pictured as open with nobody around, then closed in three pictures.
Because of the angle of the camera and fence dividing the properties, Stiegerwald pointed out that the camera can only capture what’s at or above the level of the door knob to Kelsey’s condo.
Stiegerwald then asked how Mininger had determined the order of the photos and he responded that they were pulled in chronological order. Stiegerwald pointed out the sunlight and shadows in the photos over the course of the day on Nov. 22, noting that the pattern seemed irregular. Mininger said it could have been from trees or clouds, but that isn’t his field of study.
Stiegerwald also pulled up some images taken around 11:57 a.m. — within seconds of each other — that showed dramatic changes in sunlight. Mininger again suggested clouds could have caused that.
Police corporal recalls beginning of investigation
Woodland Park Police Department Cpl. Beth Huber, who has worked for the department for four years, was called to the stand. She joined the investigation on Dec. 3. Prosecutor Beth Reed interviewed her on the stand.
Huber said she had talked with Cpl. Dena Currin, who had responded to Berreth’s mother’s request for a welfare check on Dec. 2. Currin told Huber that she felt weird about the situation and hoped Berreth would show up to work the following Monday, Huber said.
During a phone call with Berreth’s mother, Huber said she learned she had talked with Frazee, who’d said he was talking to Verizon to see if Berreth had texted anyone since she went missing.
Huber entered Berreth as a missing person in multiple systems and sent out an alert through Colorado, she said.
When she sat down with Frazee, Huber said he told her he had last seen Berreth on Nov. 22. They had talked the day before about breaking up, but were both good parents to Kaylee, she said he told her. He said he gave Berreth her belongings back. As far as visiting her Woodland Park condo, he explained he had gone to the home on Nov. 22 to pick up Kaylee, but Berreth wasn’t there, so he ran some errands and returned later that day. They exchanged the child in the alley, he told Huber. He then left, Huber said.
Frazee told her he didn’t have contact with Berreth later that day, or around 4:30 p.m., Huber said. They talked on the phone later that day — Nov. 22, 2018 — as well as the following three days.
A few days after Thanksgiving, Frazee received a text from Berreth asking, “Do you even love me?” he told Huber. She said Frazee told her that he tried to reply, but later learned his text didn’t go through.
On Dec. 3, Huber called Verizon and asked for the last known location of Berreth’s phone. She learned it last pinged off a tower in Gooding, Idaho on Nov. 25 at 5:13 p.m., she said.
After securing a search warrant to look through Berreth’s home, Huber said she called Frazee to ask about the items he had returned to her. He mentioned he had given back her revolver which had ammunition. At the time, Huber was searching for Berreth’s purse, keys to her vehicles and apartment, and her gun. None were found in her condo.
The state then entered as exhibits surveillance pictures showing Berreth with Kaylee at Safeway early on Thanksgiving Day.
Court went into recess at 10:16 a.m. before returning at 10:35 a.m. Reed continued with Huber’s testimony.
Huber explained retrieving surveillance video of Frazee and Kaylee in the local Walmart. She said she noticed large crates in the back of his truck.
Frazee’s brother details Thanksgiving Day with family
District Attorney May then called Frazee’s older brother, Sean Frazee, to stand. Sean is a Colorado Springs Police Department officer. He lives in the city with his family.
Patrick appeared to look at him with more interest than with other witnesses.
May first asked about the Frazee family ranch. Sean explained that his mother had lived at the ranch for 20 years and Patrick lived there as well. He said he hadn’t been close with his brother for the last two or three years.
On Thanksgiving Day 2018, Sean arrived at the ranch with his wife and children around 2:30 p.m. Only his mother was there, he said. They had dinner shortly afterward for about 60 to 90 minutes and Patrick still hadn’t showed up.
Around 4:30 p.m., Patrick called the ranch’s landline and said he was coming but would be late. Sean said he arrived with Kaylee around 5 p.m. and made some food for himself and Kaylee. Afterward, Patrick went outside for some chores and to feed the horses, Sean said. After he came back inside, the family had dessert and Sean’s family left around 7:30 p.m.
When asked, he said he wasn’t sure if Patrick was on his phone throughout the visit. When May asked if Sean saw anything in the back of his truck, Patrick said it was parked out of sight, so he didn’t notice, but it wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary to see a black box in the back of the truck.
Sean and Patrick’s father passed away on Aug. 28, 2018 and his children were still going through his estate at the time. They still are, Sean said. About $400,000 is at stake, he said, including property.
Sean said he knew some boys did odd jobs on the ranch. He met some of them in Colorado Springs on Nov. 29, 2018 when he had to meet Patrick to get a death certificate for their father. Patrick and the boys were headed to a scrapyard and Sean offered a recommendation— Evraz Steel off Las Vegas Street in Colorado Springs.
May asked when Sean first heard that Berreth was missing, and he said Patrick told him over the phone on Dec. 3. Patrick mentioned that her grandmother was sick, so she may have gone to visit without telling anybody. He also mentioned that she had alcohol issues and had sought help before so she may have gone away to seek more help, but again, without telling anybody. Sean said he told Patrick that he hoped she would be found alive.
During that call, Patrick also said he’d received a call from Doss Aviation about canceling Kaylee’s health insurance because Berreth hadn’t been working enough.
Sean said he thought his brother’s demeanor was concerning during the call.
He said he was with Patrick in a parking lot on Dec. 4 when a police officer approached them and asked Patrick for his phone. Sean asked if they had a warrant and the officer said no, but they planned to get one. Sean told Patrick to give the officer his phone, which he did, Sean said.
When Sean was dismissed from the witness stand, he looked over at his brother, turned his head and rolled his eyes.
Cameras at furniture store capture Frazee’s truck
Jason Memmer walked to the witness stand and introduced himself as a sales and delivery employee at Williams Furniture in Woodland Park. Memmer said he’s also in charge of cameras.
This is the store that caught Frazee leaving and driving toward Berreth’s townhome. It’s about two or three blocks away from her home.
At the time of the alleged crime, Williams Furniture had four cameras in the parking lot and in front of the store. The cameras record 24 hours a day and if motion is detected, will capture an image.
Authorities asked him to collect clips for Nov. 22, 2018, which he did before handing over the entire 30-day hard drive, he said. In court, he explained that the time stamp on the cameras is about six minutes ahead of true time.
Investigator notes surveillance video, positioning of tote in Frazee’s truck
Just after 11:30 a.m., Investigator Stephanie Courtney with the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office was called to the witness stand. She’s worked with the DA’s Office for seven years and works in the special investigations unit. She was assigned to the case on Dec. 6.
Prosecutor Jennifer Viehman asked about the volume of tips, photos and videos tied to the case. Courtney explained part of her line of work was to help with that. She was able to track down Frazee in the Walmart surveillance video and ATM surveillance video. She also confirmed she found Berreth on Safeway’s surveillance video.
Berreth was in Safeway between 12:02-12:27 p.m., she said. The prosecution put the images from this camera on the court slideshow.
Courtney said Frazee’s truck was headed north on Fairview at 12:30 p.m., according to the surveillance video from Williams Furniture. He was driving toward Berreth’s home. At 12:31 p.m., a still showed Berreth driving toward her home, just a minute after Frazee.
At 12:38 p.m., just a few minutes later, Frazee’s truck is seen headed back south on Fairview. Prosecutors believe he had gone to Berreth’s house, but seeing that she wasn’t there, had decided to run some errands and return later. The same surveillance photo, just a few minutes later, showed his truck with a white dog carrier and a black box in the back.
He used an ATM between 12:42 p.m. and 12:50 p.m., Courtney said. A second photo from the ATM surveillance showed the back of his truck, which also showed the dog carrier and black tote. The tote had silver clasps on the front.
Walmart surveillance footage shows Frazee going inside at 12:52 p.m., getting infant formula at 1:06 p.m. and walking in the parking lot at 1:13 p.m., Courtney said. When he drives away, he heads south, away from Berreth’s home. At 1:19 p.m., he’s seen driving back north on Fairview toward her condo.
Courtney said he doesn’t show up on the surveillance video until 4:34 p.m. as he drove south on Fairview. She noted that the tote in the back of his pickup was now in a difference position. He’s seen on surveillance video taking a right onto Highway 24 to head north toward Florissant. The drive from Berreth’s condo to Frazee’s home takes about 22 minutes, Courtney said.
At this point, court went into recess for a lunch.
After court came back from recess, investigator Stephanie Courtney retook the stand and prosecutor Jennifer Viehman started with exhibit 143, the photo of the black tote in the back of Frazee’s truck leaving the ATM.
The black box, which was discussed earlier in the day, appears to be in a different position at 12:38 p.m. than at a later time. The photo showed the left side of Frazee’s truck after he had been to Kelsey’s home and the silver clasps are not visible.
Viehman then pulled up two photos from Williams Furniture showing Frazee’s truck leaving, with the right side of this truck viewable to the court.
The first two photos show the tote without the silver clasps (at around 12:38 p.m.) and the second shows the silver clasps.
Frazee’s primary attorney Adam Stiegerwald returned for cross-examination.
He referenced the 12:38 p.m. photo from Williams Furniture as Frazee’s truck heads south and goes on to discuss the Walmart surveillance footage.
As the footage played, Stiegerwald said you can see Frazee loading items into his truck at the Walmart parking lot, some of which are placed in the back of the truck. Stiegerwald asked Courtney if there’s another truck parked in front of his, blocking the view of the items in the trunk, and Courtney said it “sounds familiar.” She can’t tell, however, if it blocks the view of the truck.
Courtney was then excused from the stand.
Special agents detail what they collected as evidence from Frazee’s home
The state then called Special Agent Charles DeFrance to the stand, who works for Denver’s FBI division. He’s been on the job since 2001 and has been working in Denver since 2007.
DeFrance said he was hired by the FBI lab in 1996 and he’s risen to the post of senior team leader for the FBI Evidence Response Team, which is comprised of 32 people divided in four teams. DeFrance said he began working on the Berreth case when it was requested by the Colorado Springs satellite office.
Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May questioned him about the specifics of his job.
DeFrance said all members have to go through an 80-hour course for basic evidence collection, crime scene management and photography with opportunities for advancement. DeFrance mentioned he’s been on that team in 2002, and that he started in Puerto Rico before coming to work in Colorado.
DeFrance detailed how he searched the Frazee ranch on Dec. 14 and 15, including the house as well as the property as a whole, and how investigators spent two separate days processing Frazee’s pick-up truck, one day processing Kelsey’s townhome and then returned to the Frazee Ranch on Dec. 21 for follow-up processing.
May then asked DeFrance about the evidence collected from inside Frazee’s home on Dec. 15, which turned out to be banking documents and receipts found inside a folder, according to DeFrance.
May handed some photos to DeFrance to look at, and DeFrance explained that they were photos to document the recovery of the banking documents and receipts, which were found on top of the television stand and in the living room.
The photos began with a wide shot of the room and moved in closer to show it. Investigators photographed an Ent Credit Union folder, which had handwritten notes inside an envelope (Frazee’s alibi). The photographs then showed that inside that folder was a receipt from Walmart, a receipt from Waste Management, as well as copies of the surveillance photos he requested from Ent Credit Union. There were more banking documents and records, another Walmart receipt, new blank checks from Ent, two envelopes from a Farm Credit address to Frazee and the letters inside them, the photos showed.
May then had DeFrance cut open an evidence envelope.
The first receipt showed a Walmart receipt from Woodland Park dated Nov. 22, 2018 at 1:50 p.m. Next was a Waste Management receipt for a household trash dump quantity of 70 yards timestamped Dec. 1, 2018, at 12:39 p.m. The next receipt showed an Ent bank account statement for the month of Nov. 2018 in Frazee’s name.
May asked DeFrance if the receipts show transactions for Nov. 22, to which DeFrance replied that they show five deposits at an ATM as well as a withdrawal.
Next, May asked DeFrance to look at the handwritten document found in the envelope, and it read as follows: “Approximately 12:30, pick up Kaylee. Meet and exchange from parking area at her house. Approximately 12:45, Ent bank deposits. Approximately 1:30, leave Walmart. Drive 40 miles to check on feed, water cattle. Approximately 2:45, feed, water, check on cattle. Approximately 3:45, drive home for Thanksgiving dinner. Approximately 4:30, get home.”
No cross examination was performed.
The state then called Special Agent Stephanie Benitez, who also works for Denver’s FBI office. She specializes in civil rights and corruption cases. Benitez has been working in that capacity for 18 years. At the time of the Frazee case, however, she was part of the Denver evidence response team working as a photographer. She recalled that she was at the Frazee Ranch search on Dec. 14 and 15, the follow-up search of the Frazee Ranch on Dec. 21, and the search of his vehicle on Dec. 18 and 26.
May handed Benitez an item she collected on Dec. 21 from the top of the television in Frazee’s home’s living room. The item collected was court documents related to custody issues, Benitez told May before she proceeded to cut open the envelope.
She had also found a Shutterfly picture envelope and a receipt from AutoZone dated Nov. 29, 2018.
May gave her photos of the living room and then the documents taken at the search. She was excused from the bench, but not before the custody documents are handed over to the defense and then to the jury.
Former Woodland Park police commander details investigation into her disappearance
The state then called former Woodland Park Police Department Commander Chris Adams, who now works as an agent for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He had worked with the Woodland Park Police Department for 15 1/2 years before he left his post as patrol commander. Prosecutor Reed interviewed him on the stand.
He was the 10th witness the state called forward.
Adams said Berreth was first reported missing on Dec. 2. He explained how he went to her home for a search warrant the next day, on Dec. 3, and looked around her condo. He said he found a couple of items.
He opened her computer to see if she had booked any trips, or left any notes as they were looking for certain items like keys, a gun, or anything that would show she left. He told Reed he did not find any of those items at her condo. He mentioned finding the cinnamon rolls in the kitchen, noting that it was odd.
On Dec. 4, Adams said he reached out to the FBI and CBI for help. He said it was clear the case was exceeding their capability based on gut feelings, as well as the items they were looking for not being there, mentioning that because they’re a smaller agency, they don’t have the capability or experience the FBI or CBI could bring.
Adams said CBI agents Gregg Slater and Kevin Torres came to help, but while waiting for them arrive, he followed up on Woodland Park Officer Huber’s call to Ent Credit Union.
Adams told the prosecutor that Patricia Key gave him the information on Berreth’s accounts and said Key was informed as to what has happening. He also said he was looking for any recent transactions like gas, ATM withdrawals — anything to show where she went, but Key never found this kind of activity.
Adams said he found that the Corolla in Berreth’s driveway was registered to both Berreth and Frazee, and that the truck belongs to her parents, Cheryl and Darrell Berreth. He also went back into the home that day, Dec. 4, with CBI agents and a cadaver dog.
On Dec. 3, Adams used a hotspot on his phone to give Berreth’s laptop WiFi. Once connected to the internet, he said he was able to log into her email, then reset her password on Facebook to get access to her social media account. He said he found no recent activity and didn’t see anything about booking flights, as well as no information to suggest Berreth just got up and left.
Adams told the prosecutor he cut his finger that day while searching one of Berreth’s vehicles for evidence, noting he bled outside the condo, not inside.
Adams also told Reed he estimated to have written between 35 to 40 search warrants and was able to search Berreth’s cell phone on Dec. 6. He estimated that the couple exchanged around 26 texts on Nov. 22.
“At this point, the media makes its way in,” Reed told the court.
On that day, the CBI published the missing persons flier for Berreth.
Adams recalled the first news conference about the case, which happened on Dec. 10. He also mentioned how he followed up on a report on Kings Crown Trail in Woodland Park, regarding a sighting by a hiker who found some blood on the trail and on a rock. Adams said his department collected two rocks to be analyzed by the CBI, which found the blood did not belong to a human.
Adams then recounted how he talked to Cheryl Berreth, Kelsey’s mom, on Dec. 15 to get consent to change the locks on Berreth’s condo so that police could have sole control over who came and went. Adams told Reed that was done over the phone and email.
During his testimony, Adams detailed how he obtained a search warrant for Berreth’s Google search records on Dec. 17. He told the court he was looking for anything that could help locate her.
Among her Google search records from the evening of Nov. 21 were song lyrics to Joe Nichols’ “What’s a Guy Gotta Do,” bleeding ulcers and how to soothe them, and related searches for other digestive issues. Berreth had called her mom the morning of Nov. 22 noting that Frazee felt sick and she suspected stomach ulcers, Cheryl Berreth said in court earlier in the week.
Adams found five different searches for Walgreens from Berreth’s account, and said Berreth had performed those searches.
He told Reed those searches don’t appear to be consistent with a couple that’s breaking up. Instead, he said, they appear to show that Kelsey was concerned for Frazee.
Adams also detailed how he collected buccal swabs from Berreth’s mother and brother to eliminate their DNA from anything else collected. He took those on Dec. 10, he said.
He said Clint found blood in the bathroom of Berreth’s condo on Dec. 6, but they didn’t know whose it was at the time.
Adams said the investigation then stagnated for a time but was reignited with the help of cell phone records, which were sent to an FBI special agent who found a call in the area of Berreth’s phone’s last ping that connected them to Krystal Lee Kenney.
They had no idea what happened to Berreth before Kenney was questioned, he said.
That last statement ended questions from Reed. Stiegerwald took over for cross-examination.
“You just told Ms. Reed that… during this time frame (Nov. 22-Dec. 14), you never collected evidence of Kelsey Berreth,” Stiegerwald said, pointing out they knew about the cell phone ping. Adams agreed.
Stiegerwald then shifted to the buccal swabs collected from Berreth’s mother and brother. He said they spent a fair amount of time in Berreth’s condo cooking food, using dishes, and living in that house before calling police once they discovered blood on the toilet in the condo. Stiegerwald said between six or seven officers were in that home, but never saw it. Adams said this was accurate.
Stiegerwald then went through Adams’ search of Kelsey’s laptop, and said his search of her Google history for flights concluded the former commander’s searches.
At this point, Adams was excused from the stand.
CBI agent explains how they got involved in the Berreth case
The state called Gregg Slater to the stand. He’s a CBI agent and has been in his position for more than two years. He called the agency an “assist law enforcement agency” that responds to calls for help when law enforcement needs assistance on criminal and crime scene investigations. They only get when involved when requested, he said.
Slater told the court he began his law enforcement career in 1983 in Arlington County in the sheriff’s office and has done everything from security for judges and jurors, to transport, to investigations.
Slater said he was hired by the Lakewood Police Department in 1992 and worked there for 20 years. He was a patrol, field training and crime agent, and performed initial processing for crime scenes. He further stated he became a member of the SWAT team from 1994 to 2012. During this time, he also worked on the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force from 2008 to 2012. He went to Afghanistan with the Marine Corps in 2012 as a law enforcement expert to teach them how to investigate crime scenes in an “urban war,” and mentioned he patrolled with them and collected DNA when someone was killed in action.
He also worked with IED collection and returned from Afghanistan to work for CBI on a Department of Justice grant program looking at cold cases. He would later go on to work for the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office and then returned to CBI to work as a field agent, which entails helping other departments investigate cases, he said.
When questioned by Prosecutor Viehman, Slater confirmed Adams requested their help with the Berreth case on Dec. 4.
His supervisor contacted the on-call CBI crime scene agent to help the search the scene, Slater said. Slater drove to Woodland Park for a briefing from the Chief of Police Miles De Young and Adams around 1 p.m. on Dec. 4.
Slater said he suggested police start to check hospitals in the area for the missing woman, as well as other criminal contacts. He also asked they search for a positive ID on the couple’s daughter. It was his understanding police hadn’t seen her, Slater said. He has been involved every day since, especially in Dec. 2018 and Jan. 2019.
He also said they reached out to other law enforcement in the region to see if anybody had had contact with Berreth. He said they didn’t receive any word of contact.
Slater told the court the 10-day gap between her last sighting and the time she was reported missing was a big disadvantage, as they may have been missing evidence in the case. For him, it was important to first find Kaylee, the couple’s daughter, and make sure was OK and safe. Slater said that was accomplished on Dec. 4 by CBI Agent Torres and Teller County Deputy Paulsen.
Slater also mentioned he knew Frazee’s phone was seized that day and that his phone records were pivotal in the investigation, though that wasn’t apparent right away.
He went on to recount how CBI forensic agent Dave Yokum searched for evidence at Berreth’s home and how he requested a cadaver dog on Dec. 4. He said after the cadaver dog searched the property, they seized the Toyota Corolla and briefly went into Berreth’s condo that day as well. He said he asked Yokum if he saw anything, and Yokum said no, according to Slater.
He said the dog alerted them to something on the driver’s-side bumper of the car, indicating the presence of human decomposition. Based on that, Slater requested the dog enter the house and Slater briefly entered to watch what was going on but didn’t go into the bathroom, he said.
On Dec. 4, Slater said, he had information that Berreth’s phone pinged in Idaho, but he wasn’t clear on what that meant at the time. He then requested law enforcement in the area to go search the area to see if Berreth was there, but they didn’t find any sign of her either.
Slater said the investigation changed when Clint, Berreth’s brother, texted him in the early hours of Dec. 6 with news that he had found blood on the lower base of the toilet and on the inside door knob of the bathroom door.
At this point, Slater said he immediately notified Adams and Chief De Young. He then arranged for the crime scene team to do chemical testing to check for blood and other evidence not visible to the eye.
Slater said Berreth’s mother and brother were asked to leave the home and their belongings were taken and not given back for a month or two.
He then said BlueStar Forensic Blood Reagent — a blood detection tool that is used to reveal blood stains that have been washed out, wiped off or are invisible to the naked eye — was sprayed and reacted to blood in areas that were swabbed for collection. He said those areas essentially “glowed.” Investigators then did a quick presumptive test for blood and it turned out to be positive.
Once they discovered blood, foul play became a factor in the investigation, and they started looking for Frazee.
Slater mentioned it became apparent that cell phone records were important for the case fairly quickly and that he knew they had to seize Frazee’s phone. Investigators did so and started looking at whom he tried calling.
He said investigators found a call to an Idaho number on Nov. 22 between 4:30 p.m. and 4:40 p.m. When they found the cell phone in Idaho, Slater said it “sparked interest.”
Eventually, investigators would find out that phone number belonged to Kenney.
Viehman then questioned Slater about custody paperwork.
“When that came to your attention, did you follow up to see if that custody paperwork was ever filed in court?” Viehman asked. Slater said yes, but that it hadn’t been filed.
Slater said there was a fee agreement dated Aug. 9, 2018 that was signed by Frazee and his attorney. The document was a preliminary document to decide who would take custody of Kaylee, Slater said.
He then mentioned bank records, and said he determined Frazee was paying Berreth $700 a month in child support between Oct. 2017 and July 2018.
Viehman then asked about a certified letter seized from the Farm Credit Bureau. Slater said the letter showed Frazee “defaulted” on a loan. He detailed how Frazee took out $70,000 and didn’t make payments once that loan matured. The payment was due Dec. 1, 2018. He said the letter was dated Dec. 5, 2018.
At the same time, Slater said they periodically checked Berreth’s accounts, which hadn’t been used since November 2018. Slater said he thought the last time Berreth checked her financial records was in September 2018.
With that statement, Viehman ended his questioning. Stiegerwald followed with cross-examination.
Stiegerwald focused on the time BlueStar was used in Berreth’s condo.
He pointed out Slater requested the cadaver dog for that search, and that BlueStar technology was used as a result of that dog sniffing something of interest.
Stiegerwald said there were two spots on the Corolla that raised red flags: the trunk (a piece of cardboard) and a pair of slipper socks on the front passenger seat. There were two staples in the cardboard that were responsible for the positive BlueStar reaction, and both Stiegerwald and Slater agree this was the case. Slater confirmed his understanding is that there wasn’t blood all over the cardboard.
Stiegerwald then asked about the $700 per month child support payments. He pointed out there wasn’t paperwork found for that.
A juror asked if the cadaver dog search from inside the condo produced a result. Slater said no.
A juror then asked when the dog went to the condo. Slater confirmed that happened on Dec. 4.
After this question, court was excused at early for the day at 3:13 p.m.
Krystal Kenney recounts cleanup of Kelsey Berreth murder scene
For the first time in Patrick Frazee’s murder trial, Krystal Lee Kenney — whom he allegedly asked for help in killing his fiancée — took to the witness stand in Teller County court to testify how she says Frazee manipulated her into being involved in his fiancée’s death, how he killed Kelsey Berreth and made her clean up the gruesome scene.
The most explosive testimony so far from the state’s key witness took place Wednesday afternoon, as Kenney recalled the plot, the cleanup, Frazee’s recounting of the murder and what happened afterward that led the FBI to her front door in Idaho. Earlier in the day, a specialist with the FBI’s cellular analysis team explained his analysis of the cell records for the phones belonging to Frazee, Kenney and Berreth.
Cell records analyzed by specialist for FBI cellular analysis team
The state called Kevin Hoyland, an FBI special agent who’s worked at the bureau for 7.5 years, as their first witness of Wednesday morning.
He works for the cellular analysis team, which was created in 2010. The role includes collecting cell data and records and making sense of them in relation to a case. He’s had about 400 hours of classroom instruction from the FBI and private companies — including phone companies like Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and others — on this kind of analysis. He said he’s certified and renews his certification every year.
Hoyland said he’s called upon to analyze call detail records, also called CDRs, almost every single day. He’s working on about 500 cases that involved CDR analysis, he said. A Supreme Court ruling in 2018 ruled that CDRs are so accurate, they’re essentially a tracking device and thus require a search warrant, Hoyland said.
The state entered multiple Verizon records as evidence. They are the records for the three phones he analyzed, which belonged to Berreth, Frazee and Kenney.
He developed a PowerPoint for his analysis and presented it to the court on Wednesday.
When we call somebody or send a text, our cell phones look for the tower that can offer the cleanest and clearest signal, he said. It’s not always the closest one, which comes into play in Colorado with the mountains and signals, which can throw “the cell network out of whack,” he said.
With that information, he could “confidently map” when a phone was in a tower’s coverage area. Verizon only catches CDR data for calls, not texts. He also noted that the towers have three sides, frequently called sectors, and he can use those to find data to learn what direction the phone is in relation to the tower.
Range-to-tower data, also called RTT data, is another type of CDR that can explain how far a phone is from the tower when it connects, he explained. He will keep successful RTT connections for eight days and unsuccessful RTT connections, like a dropped call or a text that can’t send, for 30 days. He said the RTT data is often used in rural areas, where cell service can be spotty.
Hoyland said Teller County doesn’t “have a ton” of towers and his analysis focused on four or five of them. Rural areas typically have fewer and they’re spread apart.
The phone user must do something with the device — send email, make a call, send a text and more — for him to pinpoint where it was. Hoyland said he can’t tell who is in possession of the phone.
He pulled up a slide of an analysis of an unidentified Verizon CDR. It showed the phone number, the second phone number, which phone called which, the call direction, duration, date and time, and the towers and sectors of those towers that were used. Hoyland said he didn’t use a change in cell tower data for this analysis.
While looking at the CDRs from Berreth’s phone, he learned her phone was on Frazee’s account and the records spanned from Nov. 21 to Nov. 25. The records for Frazee’s phone were in the same date range.
He also gathered the main analysis of Kenney’s phone from Nov. 23 to Nov. 25.
When he started to map out Berreth’s records, he noticed her phone travel across Teller County. Then, it traveled out of Colorado. Ping data, which is different from CDRs, showed the phone in Gooding, Idaho, Hoyland said. Pings are only used to find the location of a phone, he explained.
Hoyland brought up a slide on the PowerPoint showing a map and the travel directions of Berreth’s phone and Frazee’s phone, starting on the evening of Nov. 21, 2018.
There is one Verizon tower in Woodland Park, one in Divide and one in Florissant, he said. The latter isn’t far from the Frazee’s ranch.
The records showed they were both in Florissant around 9 p.m. Nov. 21.
In the next slide, Hoyland pulled up another map. This one showed the phones traveling south from Florissant, using a Cripple Creek tower. It shows the RTT data. Verizon drew an arc to show how far away the phone is on that arc, though they couldn’t pinpoint where on the arc it was. All of the arcs were unsuccessful RTT connections, Hoyland said, though he used successful RTT data from other towers and was able to use multiple arcs for an “X marks the spot” type of finding, he said.
The next slide showed the phones moving away from the Cripple Creek tower and toward Nash Ranch, which is about 14.6 miles away and a 1,908 drop in elevation. Hoyland said he guessed that the radio frequency likely goes over the head of anybody who tries to use a phone a Nash Ranch.
Hoyland worked to establish facts through evidence included in previously-released documents that Frazee may have had Berreth’s phone after her disappearance, or that someone had both of their phones.
He said early on the morning of Nov. 22, the photos traveled away from Nash Ranch together, then east and then north toward Florissant and away from Cripple Creek.
He said the phone records showed that Frazee’s and Berreth’s phones interacted with one another several times between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. in various places, including a tower near Florissant, a tower in Divide and a Woodland Park tower. He said that led him to conclude that Berreth traveled alone from Florissant to Woodland Park, then back to Florissant, keeping in line with the story that she got Frazee medicine from the Walmart.
The two spoke via phone and text later that morning, in the 9 a.m. hour, Hoyland said. The next phone usage for both happened around 12:30 p.m. Hoyland said the last outgoing from Berreth that day happened at 12:33 p.m. and the next call made by her phone happened the morning of Nov. 24.
Hoyland said there was no activity with either phone between 12:33 p.m. and 4:20 p.m. on Nov. 22 but that Frazee’s phone utilized the Woodland Park tower at 4:34 and 4:37 p.m. – in a call to Kenney – then went up Highway 24 and connected in Divide at 4:43 p.m. His phone tried to connect to another tower near Florissant around 4:50 p.m., and 40 seconds later, Berreth’s did as well.
Hoyland said that the data was consistent in showing that the two phones were traveling together.
He said Kenney and Frazee’s phones connected later that evening and that the Frazee Ranch landline called Kenney’s phone in a conversation that lasted 47 minutes. Hoyland said that in the 10 p.m. hour, Berreth’s and Frazee’s phones again appeared to be on the move together.
Hoyland said the next morning, Nov. 23, there were calls from Frazee’s phone to Berreth’s in the Frazee ranch sector and that he believes the phones were still together. Around 2 p.m., both phones utilized a tower in Westcliffe, and just after 3 p.m., both phones connected to a tower in Cripple Creek, and afterward continued traveling toward the Frazee ranch.
The phones continued to interact with one another for the next few hours before Berreth’s phone stopped having a connection around 5:30 p.m., Hoyland testified.
Hoyland then showed Kenney’s phone connecting to various towers between Idaho around 6:30 p.m. Nov. 23 all the way down through Salt Lake City and Grand Junction and into Florissant by 6:30 a.m. Nov. 24. He also showed connections showing her phone leaving the area around 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 and arriving back in Idaho around 10:30 a.m. Nov. 25.
As the court headed into morning recess, Judge Sells said he is expecting up to 80 other witnesses to testify. He also told the court that he closed the courtroom Tuesday afternoon for motions, legal arguments and discussion of upcoming witnesses. He said investigators and the Berreth family were allowed to stay and the court did not hear any testimony.
Sells said that he plans to do so with future motions because of privacy concerns and the publicity the case has received in order to protect the integrity of the jury.
Court then took a recess.
State’s key witness, Kenney, takes to the stand
Krystal Lee Kenney, the woman who told authorities that Frazee asked her multiple times to kill Berreth and then demanded she clean up the mess and help him dispose of the body, was brought to the witness stand at 11 a.m. Wednesday. She was identified previously as the state’s key witness .
She appeared tense. She wore a sweater with a collared shirt and had her hair in a braid.
When lead prosecutor Jennifer Viehman asked, Kenney said she has lived in Hansen, Idaho for 10 months. She grew up in Idaho, she said.
She met Frazee when she attended the Teller County Fair while working at a guest ranch in Lake George in 2006, she said. She was 20 at the time. She described him as tall, handsome and a “pretty good dude.”
She said she visited him in Colorado 10 times that year and they talked on the phone almost every day. They took weekend trips since she was in nursing school and working three to four part-time jobs. Kenney said she would drive to see him often, but there were times when he wouldn’t call for days at a time.
The last time she came to visit was August 2007.
That month, he asked her to go pick up some “things” for him on his property and while she did so, she said it was “not pleasant.” This was not expanded upon.
Between that day and a few months later, Frazee would call her and she wouldn’t answer, she said. At one point, she caved and talked with him, and while they remained friends, they didn’t talk often.
In September 2007, Kenney started dating another man, named Chad Lee. Kenney said Frazee knew about Lee because he had the password to her voicemail and had listened to one of Lee’s messages for her. She said she couldn’t remember why she gave Frazee her voicemail password — if it was because he asked for it or if she wanted him to see her as loyal.
In December 2008, Frazee said he wanted to buy her a border collie. He said he had bought a dog in Texas that came with a puppy that he didn’t want, so he offered it to Kenney, she said. Kenney said she knew he raised them, along with other ranch animals. When she went to Colorado to pick up the dog, Frazee told her she had to make a choice between him and Lee. At the time, Kenney said she knew he was dating another woman.
She said he told her, “You can’t ride two horses at the same time, so you need to make a choice.” When Viehman asked why Frazee would believe he was one of those “horses,” Kenney said he could probably tell that she still had feelings for him. She said, through tears on the witness stand, that she’d never felt that kind of chemistry before. But he never talked about his feelings for her, she said.
Frazee told her to make a decision by March 2009, he said. But Kenney stayed with Lee. He knew about her relationship with Frazee when they started dating, Kenney said.
In April of that year, Frazee called asking for payment for the puppy he’d given her the previous December. He said the mother dog was going back to its owner in Texas. When Kenney didn’t send a check, he called again in May and said that he told her if she didn’t send the money, he’d come and kill the dog. She said she started crying on the phone because his comments upset her.
They didn’t have much contact after that conversation, she said.
In July 2010, she became engaged to Lee. Around that time, she talked with Frazee on the phone, where she apologized for not sending the check, but explained that she was mad at him for not keeping promises, she said. She said Lee told her they’d “be done” if she sent the money to Frazee.
She didn’t hear from Frazee again until Oct. 1, 2010, the day before her wedding to Lee, when he left a voicemail telling her not to get married and that he should have come to “rescue her,” she said.
Kenney explained that while she didn’t call him back, she felt conflicted. Lee felt like the right choice, but she felt in her heart that she was in love with Frazee, she said.
She started to cry on the witness stand. Frazee looked straight down.
She went forward with marrying Lee.
Kenney said she didn’t hear from Frazee again until 2013 or 2014 in the form of texts.
Around that time, she sent him a message asking how he was doing. By this time, she’d had a son in 2012 and a daughter in 2014. When the daughter’s name was mentioned in court, Frazee looked up at Kenney.
Kenney said the next time she and Frazee spoke to one another was when she visited the National Western Stock Show in January 2013, but she said the messages were brief and she said they did not talk for a while afterward.
Kenney said she had not seen Frazee in person since 2008. She told Viehman that she and Frazee did not speak over the phone until 2015, when she and her husband were having difficulties with their relationship. She texted Frazee while she was at a nursing conference in Texas and Frazee told her she could call him anytime and that he’d love to hear from her.
Afterward, Kenney said, they began to talk more frequently. She planned a trip to Colorado to see family and friends, and she called Frazee in 2015. He asked her to come look at some heifers and they met up at a gas station in Florissant to do so.
“It was like nothing had changed – still the same giddy feeling,” she told the court, acknowledging she still had feelings for Frazee at the time. She said Frazee told her he felt the same way and that they had both grown up since they were last together.
Kenney told the court that the two had an affair on that visit, which happened around October 2015. They continued to talk over the phone, she said, nearly every day. She said she continued to see him into 2016 and visited him in person as he encouraged her to get a divorce.
In February 2016, she asked an attorney to draw up divorce papers and told Frazee about it. She said he discussed wanting to have a family together and talked about her being the one who got away. But she said she had some reservations because of her relationship with her husband and that she was not convinced Frazee wouldn’t cheat on her.
But she did not file the papers at the time despite Frazee’s encouragement. That March, she learned she was pregnant, and that Frazee was the child’s father, she testified Wednesday. She said she thought it would make her happy, but it didn’t and she said she worried about having a child out of wedlock. She said she asked Frazee what to do, and said he responded, “I guess you’re a baby killer or you’re not,” hinting at an abortion.
She said that she cried at Frazee’s reaction but went through with an abortion, but she told Frazee she had a miscarriage. She also told him she’d file the divorce papers but worried about her other children.
She eventually filed in May 2016 after speaking more with Frazee but testified Wednesday that he had no reaction and that they didn’t talk again until October 2017.
In late October 2017, Frazee texted her asking if she still liked her kids, she said. He then called her and they spoke for about two hours, but she said he mentioned nothing about having a child of his own or about Berreth. But she said she felt happy to reconnect with Frazee and they began to talk again.
In March 2018, she testified, she came to Colorado and met up with Frazee to shoe horses and look at land. They went to dinner afterward, Kenney said, and at no point did Frazee mention Berreth or their daughter.
She returned to Colorado again at the end of June 2018 to meet with former coworkers and eventually Frazee. But he blew her off at first before answering a call to his landline, at which time they agreed to meet up so she could help him fix a fence.
While they were doing so, she testified, he mentioned how nice it would be to have a son to help, and at one point handed her a baby wipe with which to blow her nose, though she thought little of it.
She went and had a meal with one of her former bosses, who asked her what she thought about the fact that Frazee had a daughter, she said. She testified that her jaw hit the floor as he described how great of a dad Frazee was and about how Frazee “didn’t have help.” But Kenney said she didn’t verbalize the surprise she felt as no one was aware she and Frazee were talking again.
After the meal with her boss, she left Frazee a message saying the meeting had gone well. He called her back and they talked about ranches and children, though he again did not say anything about his daughter, Kenney testified.
The court then went on a lunch break.
Kenney says she tells Frazee she knows about the daughter
After the break, court resumed, and Kenney took the stand again.
She told the court that she returned to Colorado in August to pick up a horse her aunt had purchased. She testified earlier that she had gone in with Frazee and the two bought a horse in July, although she said Frazee didn’t accompany her to Kansas to pick up the horse.
During the August trip, Kenney came down and loaded the horses and rode one of them. At one point, she handed him a bag of baby items and told him, “I know,” referring to his and Berreth’s daughter. He said it wasn’t the time to talk about it.
During their time together, Kenney said Frazee didn’t really talk about his daughter. She said he would talk about “protecting the innocent” when his daughter was brought up in the pair’s conversations.
But she said that changed in early September, when Frazee sent Kenney a photo of his daughter, Kaylee – the first time, she testified, she had seen a photo of the girl. She said she felt she was being “pawned.”
After sharing the photo, Kenney said Frazee began talking to her about Berreth, referring to her only as “the mother of my child” and not by her name. Kenney testified Wednesday she was still in the dark as to the true nature of the relationship between Frazee and Berreth.
During these conversations, Frazee told Kenney that Berreth was abusing Kaylee, according to her testimony. Kenney said Frazee told her that Berreth was careless with the baby gate, allowing it to fall on Kaylee. He also told her about an alleged incident where he said Berreth intentionally slammed the fridge door on Kaylee’s hand and Frazee had to take the child to the emergency room.
She testified that she later understood that Frazee and Berreth were engaged in an active custody battle for Kaylee after witnessing ordered exchanges of the child at the police station.
Kenney said that Frazee never showed his daughter in the photos of the alleged abuse taken by Berreth, only ones he had taken. She said he then asked her if she was willing to do anything to protect the innocent and started opening up about the alleged abuse by Berreth of their daughter.
She told the court she told him to report it to child protective services, which he said he had done but claimed he wasn’t taken seriously.
The coffee plan
Viehman said that beginning in October, Frazee started asking about what needed to be done – what would happen if someone took too much of a sleep aid or other drugs. She told him that if someone mixed Ambien and Valium it would hurt them.
She testified that Frazee told her his daughter was in “imminent danger” and that he “had to do something.” She already had plans to go to a birthday party in Greeley and testified that Frazee said she should come down to check out a horse trailer.
At the same time, she testified, he told her Berreth liked caramel macchiatos and that she should spike one with the drug cocktail so “we can end this.”
“People go missing every day. … She had gone to an alcohol and drug rehab facility. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary,” she testified Frazee told her, claiming Berreth had been to rehab in August.
After the party in Greeley, she told her aunt she wanted to swing by and see a “friend” – which was actually Berreth – in Woodland Park. The aunt went with Kenney to Woodland Park, but Kenney said she was unaware of the plot to poison Berreth with the coffee. They and Frazee met up and Frazee showed Kenney a photo of Berreth, Kenney testified. She already had Berreth’s address from a prior conversation.
After they looked at the trailer, Kenney told her aunt she needed to run a coffee to a friend. “He wanted [Berreth] not to be a problem anymore,” Kenney testified, saying she took that as Frazee wanting Berreth dead.
She said she bought a drink from the Starbucks in Woodland Park and was driven by her aunt to Berreth’s townhome. Once there, she testified, she got out of the truck, but her aunt stayed inside.
Kenney testified that the meeting with Berreth happened around 9 p.m. She described Berreth as guarded and made small talk about finding a dog. Kenney said she did not put the drugs in the drink but offered it to Berreth as she tried to get a feeling for her to see if Frazee was being truthful.
They talked about where they were from and Berreth said she had moved there because of Frazee and the baby. They made more small talk before Berreth took the coffee. Kenney became emotional during this testimony, saying she didn’t want to hurt Berreth and hoped Frazee would be relieved nothing happened to her.
But he wasn’t, Kenney testified. She said he called the next morning after she left back to Idaho aggressively asking her what happened. She told him Berreth must not have drank the coffee.
The next plan takes shape
Kenney said that after that trip, she felt Frazee wasn’t assured about his reasoning for “getting rid of Kelsey,” as she testified. She said he told her that this kind of stuff happens all the time, but she was too sheltered to know.
That’s when she said she went to a friend and supervisor at the hospital who had experience with trauma. She said she told her that a friend had a daughter whose mother was abusing her and that the friend wanted Kenney’s help killing the mother. She said she showed the friend a photo of Berreth and Frazee’s daughter and that she felt compelled to do something but not harm Berreth. The friend told her to document it. After Kenney left, she said Wednesday, she texted the friend apologizing and saying she felt stupid for being in the position she was in.
Kenney said she and Frazee then talked about the situation in which she would have the chance to “redeem herself,” as she says Frazee put it, multiple times over the phone. She testified that they would talk over the phone because Frazee didn’t want anything in writing.
Kenney said that Frazee told her he needed the “problem” taken care of, claiming the alleged abuse Berreth was imparting on their daughter and him was increasing in frequency. But Kenney said Wednesday she had no reason to believe Frazee’s claims and started to significantly doubt them, partially because she met the daughter and didn’t see any harm to her.
When she was back in Colorado, she testified, she says she tried to show Frazee she was not capable of killing Berreth. Eventually, she said he grabbed a pipe, handed it to her and said to “make sure there wasn’t a lot of blood” by hitting Berreth in the back of her head. She testified he told her to make sure no one sees her. She said she believes that conversation happened on Oct. 15, 2018.
She testified that Frazee told her “it’s not that hard” and said that other friends of his that could have killed Berreth were too close to the situation.
She went to Berreth’s townhome and sat there for a moment, she testified. When she opened her car door, a dog barked, so she said she drove back to the Frazee ranch, dropped off the pipe and slept in a gas station parking lot.
The next morning, Kenney said, Frazee called her asking what happened, to which she said there were too many people around and she couldn’t do it. While Frazee was working that day, she said, she took care of Berreth’s and Frazee’s daughter.
Kenney said when Frazee got back, he criticized her performance of certain tasks on the ranch, which is when Kenney said she realized that Berreth “was probably doing nothing wrong.”
She said that Frazee told her she had one more chance, asked her if she had a bat and told her to “swing away.”
Kenney testified that she drove to Berreth’s home, got out of the car with the bat and sat on the ground as Berreth and Frazee exchanged their daughter elsewhere. She said she feared “it was going to be her or me” as she cried on the stand.
She said she got back in her car and drove toward Florissant, passing Berreth along the way. She met back up with Frazee and told him she couldn’t kill Berreth and wouldn’t do it, she said. Kenney claimed Frazee continued to tell her that if anything happened to his daughter as a result of Berreth, it would be her fault.
She said he also continued to threaten her, claiming he said at one point that her ex-husband was a “really good dad” and would “be OK on his own.” She said that he got out of the car and slammed the door. She said he told her to put Berreth’s body in a garbage can, take her to Idaho and “figure something out.”
In court, Frazee was looking down as Kenney recounted the episode.
Kenney responded to Viehman’s question about if she called police by saying she did not because she figured Frazee had a plan to make the plot fall back on her if she didn’t follow through.
“I was right,” she testified Wednesday. “I just wanted to ignore the problem. … He’s saying his little girl is being abused. … I understand it was wrong, but I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t make the right decisions.”
“He told me I have a mess to clean up”
Kenney went back to Idaho. But on Nov. 4, she said Wednesday, Frazee called her and said that was the weekend for her to come back and commit the murder. But she was in the car with family and said she couldn’t talk.
He called back a half hour later, she said, and again said it was time. She said she looked at flights, but they were too expensive and told Frazee she couldn’t. She says she then didn’t hear from him again until Nov. 21.
She said he called to talk and that they had a fairly normal conversation but didn’t mention his Thanksgiving plans.
Kenney said Wednesday that he called again early the next morning, Nov. 22, but she didn’t answer. He texted her a happy Thanksgiving and said to call him, which she did. Kenney said at one point he told her to “answer her f—ing phone.”
She said he called again several times later that day while she was having Thanksgiving with her family and said he sounded rattled. “He told me I have a mess to clean up,” she testified. She said she had never heard him that rattled.
She asked him about the mess, she said, and he asked her how soon she could get to Colorado, but she said she wasn’t sure. She testified that he told her to figure it out and hung up.
She said he called again the next day to see if she had a plan. She said she believed at the time that Frazee had either killed Berreth or was setting her up. She said he complained about Berreth taking a while to get him medication.
She testified that she told him she wasn’t sure she could make it down to Colorado that day because she was supposed to work that weekend. But she changed her shift and called her friend and asked if it was OK to take her car to Colorado, and her friend said yes. They swapped cars at a Walmart in Jerome, Idaho, she testified, then went home, grabbed her supplies and clothes and left.
She told the court she talked to Frazee on the way down, though Salt Lake, Grand Junction, Breckenridge and into Florissant. She said the drive took about 12 hours – that she left around 6 p.m. and arrived around 6:30 a.m. Nov. 24.
She said the most memorable of the conversations between the two on the drive happened around midnight, when she stopped for gas in Wellington. She said that Frazee told her she had a lot of blood to clean up and it was mostly in the living room.
“There were details enough to know that it probably did happen,” she testified.
“At first, I didn’t believe him,” she said Wednesday, adding that she thought he was trying to get her down to Colorado to commit the murder. She said the midnight conversation made her scared.
She said that Frazee had previously told her something about a month earlier she couldn’t get out of her head: “When you’re in as deep as I was in, it’s not uncommon for little girls to go missing from the playground.”
She said Frazee left the keys to Berreth’s townhome on his gate. She said Frazee gave her enough details about what she needed to do that she believed Berreth was already dead – that she would have to wipe off some candles, make sure the bathroom “looked good” and ensure she was “getting the footprints” wiped away in the living room, she testified.
Just before the court recessed again, Kenney said that Frazee told her one more thing to look for: Berreth’s tooth inside a vent.
Kenney again retook the stand for questioning by prosecutors after the break and discussed the key part of her testimony: Berreth’s alleged murder and the cleanup.
She said she parked at the Woodland Park Cultural Center a little after 7 a.m. She took the cleaning items and trash bags she brought and walked up the sidewalk to Berreth’s townhome.
She testified she opened the door and “saw a lot of blood” on the living room floor and the walls of the townhome. She said she walked further into the townhome and found blood spatter on the east wall, on stuffed animals, an exercise ball, a chest, another wall and on the stove and dishwasher.
“It wasn’t like a can of paint thrown on the wall,” she said. “It was like if you took a paintbrush and flicked paint on the wall.”
She said she could not help but thinking she was “probably next.” She said she didn’t know Frazee was capable of doing what he allegedly did and felt regret that she did nothing to stop it.
She testified Frazee called her and asked her what she thought and told her to look at certain items in the house when cleaning. She said she hung up, put on a painter’s suit, shoe covers, rubber gloves and a hair cover and started to clean.
She told prosecutors the blood was dry. She said she did not bring any cloths or towels to clean up, so she used rags from the bathroom. She filled an empty spray bottle with bleach, she said.
She said she cleaned as much of the furniture and floor as she could, but that the curtains and stuffed animals couldn’t be cleaned, so she used some of Berreth’s trash bags to dispose of them. She testified she also had to put several other items into the trash bags.
A framed photo of Berreth, Frazee and their daughter also had to be cleared of blood, she said. She also found a bloody sweater that had the sleeves tied up but thought nothing of it at the time.
She followed bloody footprints up the stairs, she said, found the candles Frazee had mentioned and cleaned those. Kenney described the footprints as being larger in size and appearing to be bootprints. She said they were all over the kitchen, near the bedroom and in the bathroom.
After cleaning as much as she could, she said the floor was the last object to be addressed. She said it took 4 hours to clean the whole place. When she moved a cedar chest, she found the tooth in question, she said.
But she said she was unable to clean all the blood on the fireplace and behind the chest and said there was some she did not try to clean up. When asked why she didn’t, she said that she knew the situation was “trouble” and that she didn’t know what was going to happen to her.
“I left little spots so that somebody would see it and then it would raise suspicion or question on what happened,” Kennedy told the court, adding that she hoped police would find the blood.
She testified she used rags, on her hands and knees, to mop the floor and that she ended up with six bags of items and cleaning trash. She said she took them outside and put them in the alley next to Berreth’s car.
Kenney testified that Frazee called her multiple times as she was cleaning, telling her to clean other certain items. When she was done, she locked the door, loaded the trash bags into her trunk and left. He said Frazee wanted her to make the townhome look like “she had left on her own free will.”
Kenney said Frazee told her to send certain text messages about looking at horses at certain times after she left, which she did. She also stopped at a Sonic and got herself a drink and Frazee and his daughter lunches, she said, and wanted to make herself appear as normal as possible when she saw him.
Once she met up with him, she said he asked her, “Did you get it done?”
She said she replied, “I did the best I could do,” to which Frazee allegedly responded, “You better hope you did because our lives depend on it.”
The alleged murder
After they ate, Kenney said, Frazee started discussing what happened to Berreth.
“He told me how hard it was to eat Thanksgiving dinner with my family when the mother of your child is in a tote in the back of your truck,” she recounted Wednesday. She said Frazee went on to say that he thought Berreth would harm their daughter and he needed to stop her.
Kenney said this is where the sweater she said she picked off Berreth’s floor popped back into her memory. She said that Frazee told her he had brought a baseball bat in under his sweater and tied the other sweater around Berreth’s eyes to play a “guess the scent” game with candles.
She testified that Frazee told her he “swung away” but called the method “inhumane” and said in the future he would stick to “normal weapons.” She said that he told her he brought a tote in from the back of the truck after he killed Berreth and put the bat inside, then washed his pants and tried cleaning up. She said some of the details of that conversation were fresher when she spoke with investigators last December.
Kenney said while she was at his ranch, she told him she had to go home to Idaho because she needed to be at a birthday party and most of her family thought she was still in town.
She said that on Nov. 25, he brought her Berreth’s phone and gave her the password, telling her to drive back to Woodland Park and text Berreth’s mother saying she’d call the next day. She said she drove by Berreth’s house, parked and sent the text. She then went back to Frazee’s ranch, where they again met up. She said he told her they were going to get the tote at Nash Ranch.
Once they got there, she said, they used a tractor to retrieve the tote from atop a haystack he said he had put it on top of on Thanksgiving and moved it to the back of his truck. She said there was a gun nearby, but she never got up on the haystack or truck bed to look at the tote. They then drove back to his ranch, she said.
On the way back, she said, Frazee started crying when they discussed what might happen with his daughter, and he said Kenney might have to take her. He told her where his cattle papers were and where the key to his safe was.
When they arrived back to the ranch, she said, he dragged the tote into a water trough near what she recalled was the top of the driveway that was filled with wooden pallets. She said he grabbed a multi-gallon gas can then poured gasoline on top of it and inside. She said she did not look inside the tote as he opened it because she didn’t want to.
She said he threw a match onto the doused tote and pallets, which went up in “huge” flames, Kenney recalled. She said he put a piece of tin on top of the tote to try and tame the fire, then threw in a bottle of motor oil so the fire would burn hotter. She said he also soaked firewood in buckets of gasoline, tossed those in the fire, then tossed the buckets as well.
She took his truck to the gas station where she had left her car, retrieved it and took it back to the ranch, where she left the trash bags, she testified. She then took Frazee back to his truck, during which time she says he told her that he wanted to make it look like Berreth disappeared, so she needed to take Berreth’s phone as far away as possible. She said Frazee also told her to take Berreth’s purse and gun.
Kenney testified that Frazee told her to drive as far as she could, then text Berreth’s employer from Berreth’s phone saying she was going to visit her sick grandmother and that she wouldn’t be at work. She claimed he also told her to text him from Berreth’s phone saying, “Do you even love me?”
As she drove north back to Idaho, she says Frazee also told her to text him photos from Berreth’s phone. She testified she was wary of the phones pinging and turned Berreth’s off between Grand Junction and Salt Lake City. But at one point, she said, Frazee called her on Berreth’s phone, but she said that made her uncomfortable and asked him to call her on her own phone.
Kenney testified she sent the “do you even love me” text and the text to Berreth’s boss near Malad Gorge State Park, Idaho – about 45 minutes from her home – then shut off the phone.
She said she drove five miles, called Frazee, and “told him that it was done.”
She said she took Berreth’s gun to a friend, saying it was a suicidal aunt’s, then burned Berreth’s phone and purse at her home in Kimberly, Idaho. She testified that she put the ashes in a silver box, then into a plastic bag that she dumped in a trash bin on her way to work.
She said Frazee talked to her “a lot” on Nov. 26.
“I felt like he was coaching me, when I got back, to get my mouth shut,” she said. She said Frazee told her to stick with the horse story if she was contacted by police. But she said she was worried she was dispensable at that point.
The next day, she testified, Frazee called her a few more times and told her to stick to the same story. She said that Frazee called her on Dec. 2 saying Berreth’s mother wanted him to check on her daughter and that news reports showed her phone pinged near Gooding, Idaho. He told her to keep cool, she said.
On Dec. 3, Kenney testified, Frazee called her to say he had an attorney and had told the attorney that Berreth had wanted space and wanted to keep custody of their daughter – the same story he told Berreth’s mother.
The FBI calls, and Kenney cooperates
Kenney said he would call her every day until Dec. 4.
On that day, she said, Frazee called one of her family members and said the FBI had taken his phone and was going to question him the next day. She said he asked again if she had destroyed the evidence and asked about her phone, which she burned the next day on her property. He told her to stick to the story, stay cool and not to say much.
But when she was at a national rodeo event in Las Vegas on Dec. 14, she was contacted by an FBI agent. She testified that she was not surprised, as her ex-husband had called the night before saying FBI agents came to his father’s house looking for her. At the time, she testified, she told her ex that she was being framed and told him the horse story she and Frazee had concocted.
She said Wednesday she lied to the agent at the time, saying she was scared that if she didn’t cooperate with Frazee that something would happen to her or her children.
“I knew that it was coming, and I didn’t feel comfortable,” she testified. “I didn’t know how to handle the situation.”
She told the agents that she didn’t know who Berreth was and that she had last seen Frazee 1 ½ months ago.
She returned from Las Vegas two days later. The next morning, FBI and Colorado Bureau of Investigation agents were at her door with a search warrant for buccal swabs. They told her they knew she had lied, and she said she agreed.
She testified that the agents told her she could be helpful, and she agreed to cooperate, but also said she would hire an attorney. Kenney said that she was willing to cooperate now that the FBI and CBI agents were involved because she finally “felt safe.”
She testified that she provided her statement to investigators on Dec. 20 and did a site tour of Berreth’s home, the Frazee ranch and Nash Ranch the next day, giving up all the alleged details about the case, including what she says Frazee told her were Berreth’s last words:
Court adjourned for the day just before 5 p.m.
Defense questions why Kenney never alerted anyone to murder plot
Prosecutors’ star witness in the Patrick Frazee murder trial returned to the witness stand Thursday morning in Teller County court to continue her testimony of how Frazee asked her to help him kill his fiancee, and how he made her clean up the murder scene afterward.
The witness, Krystal Lee Kenney, said Thursday that Frazee’s and Kelsey Berreth’s 1-year-old daughter was present for her mother’s murder. Prosecutors walked her back to December 2018, when she toured Frazee’s home, Nash Ranch and Berreth’s home with investigators.
Later in the day, as Frazee’s attorney cross-examined her, he worked to show that Kenney had multiple opportunities to tell authorities or someone else who could help of Frazee’s plans but never did, and questioned her about how she was able to receive a plea deal before giving a formal statement to investigators.
Kenney describes Berreth townhome, says Berreth’s daughter was present for murder
On Wednesday, Kenney took the stand and outlined her version of the alleged plot to kill Berreth, when and how Frazee allegedly committed the murder, how she says she was forced by Frazee to clean up the gruesome scene, and what happened in the weeks after the cleanup that led FBI and Colorado Bureau of Investigation agents to her home in Idaho.
Prosecutors picked up with questioning of Kenney on Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. Court was expected to start earlier in the day, but Frazee was sick that morning and Kenney wasn’t feeling well either. Frazee took medicine and was feeling good enough for the trial to go on, the judge said.
Frazee wore a collared button-down shirt and khakis on Thursday, while Kenney wore a sweater and skirt. Judge Scott Sells said that he received information that some members of the public were trying to record portions of the trial, so he modified the decorum order to require members of the public to turn their phone off entirely, lest there be “a severe consequence.” The media decorum rules remained the same.
Prosecutor Jennifer Viehman was the first to question Kenney on Thursday. She asked Kenney to back up to Dec. 17, 2018, when she was visited by the FBI and CBI at her home in Idaho, the subsequent statement she provided to authorities in Colorado on Dec. 20, and the tour of Nash Ranch, the Frazee ranch and Berreth’s home on Dec. 21.
Kenney said it was not easy to provide the statement but said she wanted to because she couldn’t live with what she knew. She further said in court Thursday that it was hard to discuss the testimony in court.
Viehman pulled up several photo exhibits of items used during the plot and of some of the scenes of the crime, including Frazee’s truck and Berreth’s townhome and vehicles.
She said that after bagging up six bags of trash and items during the cleanup at Berreth’s home, she placed them to the left of Berreth’s sedan. Kenney was also shown photos of the inside of Berreth’s home and described the blood that was spattered across various parts of the interior.
Further photos showed the locations where she found the trash bags, where she got the cleaning supplies and other items inside the apartment.
Viehman asked Kenney about where Berreth and Frazee’s daughter, Kaylee, was when Frazee allegedly killed Berreth. She said he told her that the baby was in her jumper in the back room when he hit Berreth in the head with a baseball bat. Kenney wept as she recounted that conversation and as she was shown photos of Kaylee in the jumper and some of the other items from the home.
She testified that wipe marks on sofa cushions and other items were caused by the bleach and Windex she used to clean the apartment. She pointed out that she is in one of the photos, along with law enforcement officers, and was pointing out where she found a tooth during the Dec. 21 tour. Kenney told Viehman that the photos show how she left the townhome after cleaning and not how she initially saw it.
As Viehman continued to walk her through the photos, Kenney pointed out the places she purposely left blood spatter in the hopes that investigators might find it, including on the back of a cedar chest near the fireplace and on both the rock face and wood paneling of the fireplace.
Kenney said, as she did Wednesday, that it took her about four hours to clean the inside of Berreth’s townhome. She said, again, she parked in the alley, grabbed the bags from near Berreth’s car, put them in her car and left. She reiterated that she went to Sonic and then to the Frazee Ranch afterward.
She told the court she believes she was at Frazee’s ranch for about three or four hours after cleaning before she went back to Berreth’s townhome to send the text from Berreth’s phone to her mother. She reiterated the timeline of events she discussed Wednesday about how she and Frazee then went to a Florissant gas station and then drove to Nash Ranch to get the black tote that contained the bat allegedly used to kill Berreth and possibly her body.
The tours of Frazee and Nash ranches
Kenney said that on the same day she went on the tour of Berreth’s home with authorities, she also took police to Frazee’s ranch in Florissant as well as Nash Ranch.
Prosecutor Viehman submitted a video from a body camera to show the court.
In the video, Krystal was seen talking with police, including Colorado Bureau of Investigations Agent Gregg Slater. Police were seen looking at the house and the barn. A law enforcement officer, possibly Slater, could be heard saying he thought the time was about 8:30 a.m.
Kenney was wearing a black jacket and black sunglasses in the video. Her hair was in a ponytail.
Frazee watched the video with interest from his seat in the courtroom. Kenney stared down and didn’t watch.
In the video, Slater asked Kenney to describe the black tote, which she did, including details about the clasps and hinged lid. When asked where Frazee allegedly burned it, she said it was in a round aluminum water trough with holes in the bottom.
She pointed out where she had first parked when she got to Frazee’s ranch on Nov. 24, noting that she got out and talked with Frazee for 60 to 90 minutes. He told her he needed to do chores and tend to Kaylee.
In the video, Kenney told Slater that Frazee had given her Berreth’s phone before she drove to Woodland Park, then back to a Conoco in Florissant. She further described how she and Frazee drove between Nash Ranch, Woodland Park and the Frazee ranch.
They then started to walk toward where Kenney had parked that day and she pointed out the burn pit area.
When asked if the discolored dirt has changed since she last saw it, Kenney said she didn’t see a major difference. She pointed out a nearby container and said it was identical to the black tote Berreth’s body was allegedly burned in. Kenney also showed Slater where the trough had been. She said she knew it came from somewhere on his property.
She said she brought the trash bags from Berreth’s home, containing items that were bloodied, to add to the fire. There were two white garbage bags and four black ones, she said. Kenney said she was present when Frazee first started the fire. In the video, she was seen showing authorities where Frazee got the wood from.
There was a brief break when the video was paused because the judge had heard a report that somebody was drawing a sketch in the courtroom. Adam Stiegerwald, one of Frazee’s attorneys, identified a man who was called up to the stand and said he was drawing and taking notes. The judge had denied a sketch artist for the trial on Oct. 31. Deputies were directed by the judge to rip out the sketches and they did so, removing multiple pieces of paper from the notebook. The judge warned if it happened again, the man would be held in contempt of court with a sentence that could land him six months in jail.
More deputies were brought into the courtroom to watch over those in attendance after this incident.
Around 11:45 a.m., they resumed playing the body camera footage.
In addition to the wood, Kenney said Frazee also had gas and motor oil ready. Kenney took authorities to where Frazee had them sitting out that day. Kenney said she only saw one red gas can.
Kenney said Frazee put green tin roof pieces on top of the fire. She showed authorities where those tin pieces were located, though they were different sizes than she remembered.
At one point, Slater could be heard on the video saying that Kenney mentioned Sheila Frazee, Patrick Frazee’s mother, came outside to look at the fire from the deck.
Kenney said Frazee poured gasoline into a “mineral bucket” and tossed that on the fire as well. Frazee put the entire black tote into the fire, she said. She left after that, so she didn’t see it completely burn, she said.
After Kenney said Frazee used a single match to light the trough’s contents on fire, the video ended.
Viehman then introduced a second video.
This follow-up video showed Slater talking with Kenney. She described everything she took from Berreth’s home during the cleanup and detailed what she was wearing at the time. She put it all in trash bags, she said. She had been wearing a white jump suit that day, she said, with a gray sweater underneath and a black pair of leggings. Kenney said she put her socks, underwear and bra, and hairnet and shoe covers into the trash bags as well.
She said the following items were also in the trash bags:
–Two big stuffed animals (including a white horse)
–Wooden building blocks
–Books, including Berreth’s Bible or some other religious-looking book
–Plastic cookie cutters
In the video from 9 a.m. on Dec. 21, Slater asked Kenney if she remembered if any items survived the fire that she took from Berreth’s home, and Kenney said she didn’t know what was in some of the Hobby Lobby bags she took from the home. They also discussed what cleaning supplies Kenney used.
Viehman noted that Kenney pointed out in the video specific areas where things were taken and moved.
The state then brought in a black tote, which Kenney said looked exactly like the tote from Frazee’s property. The state also brought in a cardboard box. Inside, Kenney said, appeared to be the gas can seen in the video which Frazee allegedly used to light the fire.
Amid tears, Kenney said it’s the faded, red gas can she saw.
The court broke for lunch just after noon.
Prosecutors wrap questioning of Kenney
After lunch, Kenney was back on the stand and again reiterated that when she came to the agreement with the district attorney’s office to plead guilty in the case, she knew she faced a potential prison sentence and agreed to testify truthfully at Frazee’s trial.
She confirmed to prosecutors that images shown of the Nash Ranch showed the place where she and Frazee went to get the black tote that Frazee had left on the haystack and walked the court back through how Frazee moved the tote into his truck with a tractor. She said she remembered holding a ladder as Frazee climbed up a haystack to move the black tote to where he could grab it with his tractor.
Kenney said that she could see Frazee’s house from where he burned the tote and saw his mother, Sheila, come out of the house and onto the deck after the fire had started. Kenney said Sheila came out after Frazee used tin to try to quell the height of the flames. She didn’t know if Sheila saw her, she said.
Viehman showed more pictures of the ranch grounds and Kenney again reiterated what she said Wednesday happened there that day. She asked Kenney if one of the totes seen in a photo is the same one brought into court Thursday, to which Kenney responded that she believed it was.
She said the fire was still burning when she and Frazee went to retrieve her car at a Conoco station, but that she looked once at the tote as the fire was burning. She said she only looked briefly and saw “rubble” and a “burning heap” and that the tote had started to melt. She testified Thursday that Frazee did not tell her what he was going to do with the remains of the fire.
Kenney said she remembered sending texts from Berreth’s phone around 7:30 a.m. the next morning with Frazee because Frazee “wanted to make it look like she was still alive and was having normal conversation,” and that he told her what to text, which was along the lines of, “Call me when you guys are awake.”
Per his instructions, she drove to Berreth’s condo to send these texts so the cell phone would ping off the Woodland Park cell tower, she said. She reiterated her Wednesday testimony about turning the phone off and on at various times and about Frazee calling her on Berreth’s phone and her being uncomfortable with that and asking him to call her own phone instead.
At one point, Kenney testified, Frazee told her the fire burned all night and into the morning and that “it was really hard” for him, she said. She said he told her that he was going to put the remnants either in the river or take them to the dump. She said he had the two ranch hands who were working on his ranch before Frazee started the fire and could help him load the remnants, but she wasn’t sure if they knew what they were doing.
Kenney testified that Frazee told her he had “used Kelsey for what she was worth,” which he said meant she’d run errands, water the horses and other duties along those lines. She started to cry in court, and said she told Frazee she “couldn’t kill Kelsey and I wasn’t going to.” She said she could perform those everyday tasks like cleaning, cooking, moving hay and feed the horses, but she could not do what he was asking of her. She said he knew she could at least clean, because she used to clean homes and had cleaned for him before.
Finally, Viehman asked her: “The person that told you he had beaten Kelsey Berreth with a baseball bat — is that person present in the courtroom?”
“Yes,” Kenney answered and pointed to Frazee. He didn’t react.
Prosecutors then ended their questioning.
Defense cross-examines Kenney, asks why she never told police
Defense attorney Adam Stiegerwald started the cross-examination of Kenney by asking her if the reason she pleaded guilty to a tampering with evidence charge, which is a class 6 felony (the least-serious felony charge in Colorado), is because she knew that she moved Berreth’s cell phone in order to try and impair the investigation.
He worked throughout his cross-examination to have Kenney show that she had multiple opportunities to alert authorities – or anyone else – about Frazee’s alleged plans and how she was able to plead guilty to tampering with evidence before giving a formal statement to authorities.
He noted that she did not plead guilty for the cleanup, for sending messages from Berreth’s phone or for destroying it – pointing out that each of those acts could have earned her extra time. He noted that she was not charged with being an accessory to the murder, which is a class 4 felony and carries a much more severe penalty upon conviction or a guilty plea.
Kenney told Stiegerwald that the steps she took were part of a plan she made with Frazee. He continued to ask her questions about all the other parts of the plan she went through with — driving to Berreth’s house with a metal pipe, in particular — and noted she had not been charged with attempted murder. Three attempted murder charges could add up to between 48 to 144 years in prison, he said.
“You were looking at, essentially, the rest of your life in prison. Did you know that?” Siegerwald asked, to which Kenney replied she did not.
“Your worst-case scenario is three years in prison,” he said. She started to cry and said, “Yes.”
He continued grilling her about how prosecutors allowed her to plead guilty to the tampering charge – and not more severe charges – and how she could end up only with probation. Kenney said she doesn’t know if she’s planning on asking for probation.
Stiegerwald then dove into why Kenney did not notify Berreth or her family about Frazee’s alleged plan if she knew about it for so long, and why she told the court she was testifying against him if she said earlier Thursday that it was because Berreth’s family deserved to know the truth. At no point between Nov. 22 and Dec. 20 did she notify Berreth’s family, he said.
He had her note that she first came to Colorado in September 2018 after making the coffee-poisoning plan with Frazee and detail the steps they discussed. Kenney told him that Frazee had a kind of power over her to get her to do things she did not want to do.
Stiegerwald had her note that when she went to Berreth’s townhome with the coffee – the first meeting between Kenney and Berreth – she could have instead drove two more miles to the police department, called 911 or left town instead. Did Frazee have power over her to go to Berreth’s instead of doing those other things, he asked. Kenney replied, “Yes.”
She explained that she wanted to give the coffee to Berreth to get “the measure” of her.
Kenney reiterated that she gave Berreth a fake name during the meeting and lied to Berreth about the purpose of the meeting and Stiegerwald continued to ask her why she told no one about the plan – including her aunt who was inside the car during her meeting with Berreth – on the 12-hour drive back to Idaho or once she had arrived home.
Stiegerwald then pushed her harder on her claims that she felt endangered by Frazee, even though they were about 750 miles apart when she was in Idaho. She reiterated that she testified that she was scared Frazee had “people” in Idaho, but Stiegerwald pointed out that Frazee never went to Idaho and that she came to Colorado 10 times instead.
He asked her again: The reason she did not call law enforcement after the coffee plan was because she was scared?
“I didn’t call law enforcement because I didn’t think he was capable,” Kenney testified.
He asked her why she came back to Colorado in October if she was still scared of Frazee, and why she didn’t call police but called Frazee instead. She said again they met up and he talked about “his intention for me to kill Kelsey Berreth.” He says she took the pipe, drove to Berreth’s house instead of stopping at the police station on the way, and when she got scared, went back to Frazee’s and spent most of the day taking care of his and Berreth’s child.
Stiegerwald tried to juxtapose Kenney claiming she was afraid of Frazee and a week later making the drive back to Colorado, allegedly with a baseball bat.
“You’re not coming for some kind of softball tournament,” Stiegerwald said. “You brought that baseball bat to kill Kelsey Berreth.”
“I never was going to kill Kelsey Berreth with a baseball bat,” Kenney responded.
He continued to grill her about when she sat outside Berreth’s home with the bat, and what her thoughts were at the time.
“I thought about the situation I was in,” Kenney responded. “I did not think about killing Kelsey.”
But Stiegerwald said, “You went back to his house, that’s how afraid you were?”
She responded, “Yes.”
She said during the last October visit she told Frazee she was not going to commit the murder. She also told Stiegerwald when questioned that she never saw anyone watching her or her family, despite saying she feared people were.
She said that after not hearing from Frazee between Oct. 21 and Nov. 3, she hoped he had dropped the idea. But Stiegerwald pointed out that was when he called her when she was with her family, and she did not call law enforcement, but instead got away from her family so she could talk to him. He had her admit she didn’t try to record the call or have anyone listen in and that she checked plane tickets afterward.
Stiegerwald, though questioning, had Kenney admit that she then spoke with Frazee again the day before Thanksgiving – thus making it four conversations with Frazee over the past two months. But she denied that the only thing that they had talked about was killing Berreth.
He then questioned her about the talk the day before Thanksgiving of a “cleanup.” She said “yes” to questions about how she said she couldn’t come at first because she had a house full of people and not because she didn’t want to be part of the plot, and that after that conversation, it would be two days before she arrived to Colorado after agreeing to come back down.
She said she thought that maybe it was just another hoop she had to jump through in order to show Frazee she was loyal. Stiegerwald asked her how she believed it was a trick if she decided to buy a hair net, rubber gloves and bleach and to bring the full body suit, and why instead of calling any family, friends or police, she instead talked to Frazee during the drive down.
About halfway to Woodland Park — around Wellington, Utah — Frazee called. It was at that point that Kenney realized something had likely already happened, she said.
She said that was when she realized it was not a hoop or a setup and testified: “I believe I said it seemed like something really had happened.” Stiegerwald then had her admit that she drove six more hours to Frazee’s ranch, stopped and got the keys to Berreth’s townhome and drove there.
She told Stiegerwald, going back through her earlier testimony, that she thought the scene was really bad once she got inside and that she thought she should clean it so Berreth’s mother wouldn’t have to see the gruesome scene. He had her note that she did not think that was the time to call police or someone who could help instead of cleaning up, and that she instead chose to put on the full body suit, shoe covers and hair net and carry on with the cleanup.
“That’s the story that you had to tell those agents to get your plea deal?” Stiegerwald asked her.
“I had to tell them the truth,” Kenney said, after a long pause.
Stiegerwald noted that the plea agreement said Kenney was aware of the murder and that agents and prosecutors believed she didn’t participate in the murder or know how Frazee was allegedly going to kill Berreth on Thanksgiving Day, and that Kenney knew she could possibly avoid jail once she signed the plea agreement.
“You knew exactly what needed to be said to get this deal?” Stiegerwald queried. “The truth,” Kenney responded.
Stiegerwald asked her about leaving blood spots in the apartment on purpose, which she previously testified was the case, and why she didn’t want to be discovered earlier, after the coffee plan, or after she became concerned that Frazee had killed Berreth while on her way down – or any of the other instances she could have given the information up, including when the FBI called for the first time.
Stiegerwald had Kenney admit she lied to the FBI the first time and noted again that she claimed she wanted to be caught. She testified that when agents came to her house, she said she would cooperate but said she did not tell them about any of the clues.
He again noted that the first time she talked to law enforcement was after she received the plea agreement and a letter and bullet points outlining what she needed to talk about, which she confirmed.
Stiegerwald then began to question her about things she testified about Wednesday and Thursday which he claimed were first discussed in court and new to the defense.
She said that the story about Frazee fantasizing about having a son around with her was the first time she had told that story. She also said that she first told the story about giving Frazee a stuffed animal for Kaylee in court Wednesday and said she never told either story to law enforcement.
Stiegerwald asked if when she said that Frazee “wasn’t as excited as she hoped” about their unborn child, if she meant that Frazee was implying she should have an abortion, to which she responded she did not.
Kenney said she has told the truth for the past year, to which Stiegerwald ended his cross-examination: “For the past 10 hours, you’re telling the truth. And it just so happens to be what you needed to say to stay out of prison.”
Redirect questions for Kenney from prosecutors
Upon redirect, Kenney said that she didn’t tell Frazee about the abortion because she thought he would be mad at her and that the No. 1 facet of the plea agreement was to tell the truth and provide a full and complete statement.
“And did you do that?” Viehman asked.
“Yes, I have,” Kenney answered.
Kenney said she never attempted to kill Berreth nor try to put drugs in her coffee. She said she had not read any witness reports when she spoke to law enforcement in December and February and that she was not aware that law enforcement already knew about the text messages and phone calls that authorities had tracked.
She again said, as she did Wednesday, that she only felt safe once investigators showed up to her home in Idaho: “I knew I would be able to talk,” she said, adding that she knew she was in trouble and didn’t want anyone else to get involved before then and get them in trouble too. She also said she felt from Frazee at that time because police officers were in her home.
Kenney told prosecutors she was being truthful about leaving evidence behind because she wanted to be caught, that she was not in the state of Colorado on Nov. 22, and when asked if it was the truth that Frazee killed Berreth, she said: “Yes, I believe so.”
When asked if she wished she had called police sooner, she said she didn’t think anyone would believe her, but looking back on it, she wished she would have called them earlier.
Questions from the jury
After the redirect, the judge asked Kenney questions submitted by the jury.
One juror asked how many times she entered and exited Berreth’s home. Kenney said she went in and out only once.
To answer another question, she said Frazee suggested buying the burner phone that she used, and that she only went back to Woodland Park to send the texts from Berreth’s phone because Frazee asked her to do it.
The jurors also asked her about what time she first started to fear for her safety around Frazee. Kenney responded that it was when he became mad that nothing happened after she brought Berreth coffee.
Frazee’s attorney asked her how many burner phones she had, to which she said she had two. Prosecutors asked her what she did with the second. She responded that she used it to text Berreth to set up a coffee meeting, but Berreth declined the offer. She said she burned the phone after she left on Oct. 21.
Kenney was excused for the day around 3 p.m. — though she was ordered to stay available to the court — and prosecutors called the two ranch hands that Kenney said help move the remnants of the torched tote.
Two ranch hands to Frazee explain their duties before, after Thanksgiving
Court resumed at 3:26 p.m. Thursday and the prosecution asked for 18-year-old Kyle Ritchie to come to the witness stand.
4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May asked if Ritchie knows how Frazee is, and Ritchie confirmed that he worked as a ranch hand for him starting sometime in June or July of 2018 through November 2018. He said he met Frazee through a family friend two years ago.
He said he was the only ranch hand for three to four weeks, before Frazee hired his longtime best friend, Samuel Dygert, whom the prosecution would call to the witness stand after his testimony. They were in charge of cleaning the property, fixing odds and ends and working on the fencing, Ritchie said. He said he met Sheila Frazee, Patrick Frazee’s mother, and 1-year-old Kaylee a few times, but never met Berreth.
Ritchie said during the week of Thanksgiving, Frazee asked Dygert and Ritchie to move a rusted-out horse trough — meaning it had multiple holes from rust in the bottom — to a different, but nearby, location on the property.
They were also asked to put wooden pallets in the trough, Ritchie said. He said he doesn’t remember Frazee telling him why.
Sometime after Thanksgiving, Ritchie showed up for work and noticed that the pallets had been burned. He said he didn’t think anything of this and that “it was just another day at work.”
He said he talked with Frazee about the burned wood, and that Frazee mentioned he had burned the pallets and that the fire had gotten “decently big.” He said Frazee said the fire was about 13 feet tall. He burned deer and elk antlers in it, too, which Ritchie said he was bummed out about because he wanted the antlers.
That same day, Frazee asked Ritchie to put the trough, which had cooled by the afternoon, into the back of a cattle trailer. They put more items to haul away in that trailer before bringing it to a Teller County Waste, a garbage collection service. Ritchie said he didn’t remember when they went to the waste station.
May asked about Frazee’s request for the ranch hands the week of the Thanksgiving and Ritchie said he was asked to move some dirt from one area of the property to another to cover some “spots” where Frazee had burned the trough. He said this was sometime before Thanksgiving but couldn’t pin down the exact date. He said he got dirt from near the first bend of the ranch’s driveway and brought it up closer to the house and barn, where the trough had been. He did this at Frazee’s direction because Frazee wanted the area to “look normal,” Ritchie said.
Before dumping the dirt, Ritchie cleaned the burn area and used magnets to pick up between 100 and 150 nails to avoid any flat tires, he said.
May brought up a picture from the Frazee property that showed Frazee’s truck as well as dirt in the foreground. Part of the dirt area was a different color and when asked, Ritchie said that was where he’d spread dirt to cover the burn area around Thanksgiving. He described the dirt as tanner or lighter than that of the surrounding area. He also pointed out a gasoline can in the picture.
In court, May showed Ritchie a gas cannister, which the teenager said looked similar to the one in the photograph. Then May pulled out a black tote similar to the one the prosecution believes Berreth’s body was transported and later burned in. Ritchie confirmed that he’d seen those types of black totes on the property before but didn’t know what they were used for.
The district attorney then pulled up another picture, this time showing what had been under the uncovered burn area. Parts of the ground were grayish and appeared wet. It was starkly different than the surrounding ground. Ritchie confirms the photo showed what they covered up.
He said when he came back to work after Thanksgiving, he noticed a silver, metal garbage can about two or three feet away from the trough. The lid was on, so he never looked inside, he said, but he assumed there were ashes from whatever Frazee had burned. Frazee didn’t tell him what was inside, he said. He helped Frazee load the garbage can into the back of his truck — he estimated it was between 40 and 50 pounds — and never saw it again, he said.
During the cross-examination, defense attorney Ashley Fridovich Porter asked if Ritchie recalled talking with a detective at the Woodland Park Police Department. Ritchie confirmed he talked with Det. Mike McDaniel for 30 to 45 minutes.
During that time, Ritchie said he knew Frazee was a suspect for a crime in connection to a missing person, so he felt it was important to tell the detective everything he knew.
Ritchie also explained that he only saw ash in the bottom of the trough when he arrived to work after Thanksgiving Day. He said he didn’t see or smell burned plastic.
During a redirect, May asked if Ritchie would make up anything to get Frazee in trouble. He said no. When asked, “Do you still like him today?” the defense objected, and the question was sustained.
The second ranch hand, Samuel Dygert, was the last person to take to the witness stand Thursday afternoon. He confirmed that he had worked with Ritchie on Frazee’s ranch from September 2018 until November 2018.
Dygert said he recalled moving the trough to a horse trailer after something was burned in it. That day, he said he didn’t know there had been a fire. Frazee later mentioned a fire to him but didn’t specify that it had been in the trough, he said.
Frazee told him that the fire was pretty large, and he had to put it out because the flames were so high, he said.
Ritchie and Dygert then covered the burned area with dirt from an area by the driveway, he said.
They then loaded up trash, including the trough, to take to Teller County Waste and a scrap metal place in Colorado Springs. Dygert said he went with Frazee on both of these trips, but Ritchie didn’t join them to the scrap metal place. During one of those trips Dygert met Frazee’s brother at a gas station, which the brother had mentioned in his previous testimony .
Dygert said they made this trip around Thanksgiving, but he couldn’t remember exactly when in relation to the holiday.
There was no cross-examination and Dygert was excused.
Court ended early Thursday afternoon, around 4:35 p.m.
‘I figured out a way to kill her,’ friend testifies Frazee told him
At the end of the day Friday, the man at the witness stand in the Teller County courthouse said he recalled alleged murderer Patrick Frazee wondering why the case of his missing fiancée had gone national and saying, “if I had known it would have blown up this big, I never would have —” before trailing off.
The man’s testimony came after the afternoon recess on Friday.
It wasn’t clear by the end of the day Friday how many more witnesses the prosecution planned to bring up, or how many the defense had in their pocket ready to take the stand. But prosecutors started the day by having two K-9 handlers testify, both of whom said their dogs hit on items at different locations that were involved in the murder plot. Later in the morning, a Sonic employee and Conoco employee testified and provided information about Krystal Lee Kenney at the fast food restaurant’s drive-through, and both Kenney and Frazee entering and leaving a parking lot at a Florissant Conoco. Both occurred after the alleged murder and the prosecution brought up surveillance video showing their movements.
Early on Friday afternoon, several FBI agents testified about their searches of the Frazee and Berreth properties, about the burn pit and the plastic remnants, and about their discovery of a partial tooth, which prosecutors tested for DNA earlier this summer.
On Thursday, the Teller County courthouse was somber throughout the day as Kenney, who claimed Frazee demanded she help him kill Berreth before allegedly doing so himself, continued her testimony . The defense repeatedly asked why she never contacted police or told her family or friends about the murder plot. While she was excused for the day, she was ordered that she must stay available to the court.
K-9 handler testifies that bloodhound hit on hay bale
Court started at 8:30 a.m. Friday, with Judge Scott Sells reminding the court that it will not be in session Monday because of Veterans Day. Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May then picked up with questioning.
Julie Nash, who co-owns Nash Ranch, told May that she leased grazing rights to Frazee and that he had a lease for the area, including the barn, as well as a key to the ranch, in November 2018. Nash said nobody else was leasing the ranch at the time and that she knew Frazee kept items in the barn, including a tractor and hay.
She told Frazee’s defense attorney, Adam Stiegerwald, that she found law enforcement on her property on Dec. 21, the day Kenney said they toured the property.
May then called Elizabeth Police Department Officer Mike Hurst, who also previously worked for the Teller County Sheriff’s Office and who specializes in working with K-9s – including bloodhounds, tracker dogs and cadaver dogs.
Hurst introduced his 140-pound bloodhound cadaver dog, Radar, who is trained to detect human decomposition and can pick up scents from a body, fluids, and other human remains like teeth, tissue, hair, feces, urine and skeletal remains. Hurst said he and Radar have spent more than 5,000 hours training and have been in the field to find bodies or scents 30 to 40 times. Radar has never had a false hit, Hurst testified.
Hurst and Radar were asked to assist in the case in February this year. The two went to Nash Ranch along with CBI agents and Woodland Park police. Radar searched around the red barn on the property, including the tractor inside.
He said Radar sat —indicating a positive hit for the smell of human decomposition — after smelling the hay bales.
Hurst said it was only after Radar indicated that he noticed small stains toward the top of the 12-foot hay bales, so he decided to get on top of them. He said it was “quite an adventure” getting to the top of the stack of bales with Radar.
Prosecutors showed a picture of the top of the hale bale taken on Dec. 21, showing indented hay that was discolored – brown or possibly dark red – and which looked wet. Hurst said that spot is where Radar indicated again once he and Hurst were atop the hay bale. May showed a video of Radar sniffing around on top of the hay bales and sitting by the stained area of hay. Hurst said that even though the tote had been removed from the bale months earlier, he believed Radar could still smell something there because the barn had protected the hay from weather.
May also asked Hurst about Radar’s training differentiating between the smell of a decomposing human body versus a decomposing body of another animal, and Hurst confirmed that is a big part of Radar’s training.
When Hurst was cross-examined by defense attorney Ashley Fridovich Porter, he said he could not confirm that the hit was definitely due to a decomposing body and that he had never asked Radar to sniff hay bales for decomposition before.
Another handler says his K-9 hit on truck, inside townhome
May then called Brian Eberle, who has a bloodhound named Lucy and who previously trained with a Jefferson County bloodhound trainer.
Lucy is trained to find different types of decomposing human matter in different places – including elevated areas and places where remains have been buried or hidden, Eberle testified. She will lay down at the source of a hit, he said.
Ebrele said he was asked to come out with Lucy to Woodland Park on Dec. 4, 2018. He said he was “asked if he could run Lucy around the vehicles” in Berreth’s driveway.
Lucy found no indication on a Chevrolet truck which was registered to Berreth’s parents, then moved over to Berreth’s Toyota sedan, where the K-9 gave a positive indication of a decomposing human scent on the back corner of the driver’s side.
May explained that Kenney had previously testified that she put bloody items from the murder cleanup in trash bags and placed them near the Toyota sedan for a few minutes. He asked if Lucy could find a possible hit from that area and Eberle said that was possible.
May asked if Lucy could pick up that scent if it was from 10 days earlier — Nov. 24, 2018 — and Eberle again said it was possible.
She, like Radar, had never given a false positive, Eberle said, and was in the 90-95 percentile for accuracy.
Eberle said Lucy also gave an indication on a pair of underwear in the upstairs bathroom of Berreth’s home. At the time of the search, Kenney had not yet come forward to authorities with her testimony, so Eberle did not know she had allegedly cleaned the home with bleach and other chemicals.
When cross-examined by Porter, Eberle would “potentially” expect Lucy to pick up scents inside the home if blood had sat in the condo for a day or two, even if it had been cleaned with bleach. He told her that Lucy did not indicate on any of the other objects that Kenney said had been spattered with blood, including areas where she said she left spatter like the fireplace and baby gate.
The judge asked Eberle questions from the jury about how the bleach could have affected Lucy’s scent-finding. Eberle said that they don’t train their K-9s with bleach or other harmful chemicals because they don’t want to expose those hazards to the dogs. So it was possible that impacted Lucy’s ability to smell for decomposition, he said.
Security director shows Kenney was at work around Thanksgiving
Prosecutor Beth Reed called Abbey Abbondandolothe, senior director of the security department for the health system for which Kenney worked in Idaho, to have him testify about Kenney’s badge usage at the hospital on Nov. 21 and 23.
He said on Nov. 21, her schedule and movements were fairly normal, and that he had no reason to believe somebody else was using her badge. The same went for Nov. 23.
Kenney’s father testifies
Reed then called Kenney’s father, Sidney Kenney, to the stand.
She asked him a few questions about their relationships, where Sidney Kenney explained that they were close and she had been living with him on and off for the past year. He said she was easy to please as a child and was always good at what she tried to do.
“She likes people and she likes people to like her,” he said.
She asked him about the events surrounding Nov. 22. He said the plan was for all the family to sit down for Thanksgiving dinner in the afternoon. He said he saw both Kenney and her ex-husband that day and was at their house — they still mostly lived together at the time — until around 6:30 p.m. that day. He said Kenney was there the whole time aside from an hour she said she went to help gather up her ex-husband’s cows that had escaped their pen.
But he said she did not mention going out of town that weekend. He said he saw Kenney again the evening of Nov. 23 around 7 p.m. but that she again never said anything about plans for the weekend. He said he then saw her again sometime late on Nov. 25 or on Nov. 26.
Sidney Kenney said he did not know Frazee personally, but was aware that Kenney had spoken about Frazee 8 to 10 years earlier. He testified Friday that he remembered he didn’t think he liked what he was hearing about Frazee at the time. Upon cross-examination, Sidney Kenney told Stiegerwald that it was not unusual for Kenney to go to Colorado to visit her mother.
Court went into recess just before 10 a.m.
Sonic video shows Kenney stop at drive-through after alleged cleanup
Court resumed at 10:26 a.m. with Prosecutor Jennifer Viehman calling Sonic employee Shannon Kadiuraus to the stand. Kadiuraus explained that she now works at a Sonic in Colorado Springs, but in November 2018, was a general manager at the Sonic in Woodland Park.
While working there, she was asked by law enforcement to provide video from Nov. 24, 2018 from the fast food restaurant’s surveillance cameras.
Woodland Park Police Department’s Commander Chris Adams contacted her on Dec. 20, 2018 about the footage, she said. She gave him the videos he requested.
Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office Investigator Stephanie Courtney was called to the witness stand next and said she reviewed those Sonic videos, which she received from Adam. She said she looked around the 1 p.m. timestamp in the footage for a black Volkswagen, which would have been the car Kenney had borrowed from a friend in Idaho to drive to Colorado.
Courtney said she was able to find this vehicle and captured stills from it, which were displayed on the PowerPoint in the courtroom.
One photo, from the inside of the Sonic, showed an employee leaning out the door toward a drive-through customer. Courtney said she believes she could tell it was Kenney based on the picture.
A second picture showed the same scene from the exterior of the building. Courtney said she knew the car in the photo was Kenney’s car based on information she had received earlier.
The final photo showed a blonde woman in a gray sweatshirt leaning over toward the foot of the passenger side seat as she drives away from the drive-through window. Courtney said she still believed this was Kenney.
The defense and jury did not have any questions.
Former commander with Woodland Park police analyzes Conoco footage
Prosecutor Beth Reed called up William David Stover, who is an IT manager for the Florissant Conoco at 2636 W. Highway 24 in Florissant. He confirmed that he was asked by law enforcement in December 2018 to retrieve images from Nov. 24, 2018 from the outdoor cameras at the Conoco. He did so, he said, and was excused by the prosecutor.
Reed then called Chris Adams, who works for the CBI now, but was a commander with the Woodland Park Police Department at the time of the investigation. He said he met with Stover and has reviewed the footage provided.
The prosecution then went through dozens of images that were time-stamped and showed Frazee’s red pickup truck and the black Volkswagen that Kenney borrowed from a friend entering and leaving the Conoco station from multiple angles.
At the end of the photo presentation, Reed asked if these movements were consistent with what Kenney had told authorities about where she went on Nov. 24, 2018. Adams said it did.
The prosecution then played a lengthy video showing the comings and goings of Frazee and Kenney from that the afternoon and evening of Nov. 24. The video shows the following:
–4:17 p.m.: A black Volkswagen entered the Conoco parking lot and drove out of view to the gas station’s parking area
–4:32 p.m.: A driver pulled into the gas station in a red pickup truck. Adams identified the person as Frazee. He was wearing a sweatshirt, pants and had his hood over a baseball hat
–4:34 p.m.: Frazee started pumping gas into the truck and then went inside the Conoco. A few minutes later, he returned and filled up a six-gallon gas can and then put it in the back of the truck
–4:39 p.m.: Frazee drove away from the gas pump to the parking area at the Conoco. There was no black tote in the back of the truck. Adams said at this point, he believes Frazee parked next to Kenney and they were having a discussion.
–4:48 p.m.: Frazee’s truck left the parking area and turned east on US 24 toward Nash Ranch. Adams said he believes Frazee was driving with Kenney in the passenger seat. He said he believes they were heading to Nash Ranch.
–6:57 p.m.: Frazee’s truck pulled into the Conoco from the Florissant side of US 24 and went straight to the parking area.
–6:59 p.m.: A black Volkswagen leaves the parking lot of the Conoco and headed east on US 24. Adams said according to Kenney’s testimony, she drove Frazee’s car down to the Conoco to get her borrowed car, which still had the trash bags from the alleged murder cleanup at Berreth’s condo, and drove it to Nash Ranch.
–9:37 p.m.: A black Volkswagen returned to the Conoco from the Florissant side of US 24 and went to the parking lot. Kenney previously testified that she and Frazee were both in the car and they returned for him to get his truck.
–9:40 p.m.: The black Volkswagen left the Conoco parking lot and turned left to head west on US 24. The red pickup followed a few seconds later, but turned right onto US 24.
Adams confirmed that investigators found a Conoco receipt in Frazee’s home that matched the time he was seen on surveillance at the gas station.
Court ended for a lunch break at noon.
FBI Evidence Response Team agent discusses searches
After lunch, prosecutors called FBI Special Agent Charles DeFrance, who is the senior agent for the FBI Denver Office’s Evidence Response Team. He went out on all of the evidence response team searches during the case, he said.
DeFrance said he was involved in the search on Dec. 14 and 15 of Frazee’s ranch, the search of Frazee’s truck on two separate occasions and the Frazee ranch again on Dec. 21. He said he also processed some items in as Berreth’s townhome on Dec. 19.
He explained how his job involves documenting everything at a scene so investigators can decide what is significant and if there is other evidence they should search for. When they go to a scene, they continually process it, reevaluating the plan as need be based on evidence found at the scene and the context of it, he said.
DeFrance said they returned to the Frazee property on Dec. 21 after Kenney gave her formal statement to investigators and they gleaned more leads. He said that during the searches on the 14th and 15th, investigators had teams inside and outside the home, as well as a human remains detection team.
The investigators looked for burn areas but would not find one until Dec. 21, after Kenney gave investigators more specific information, DeFrance said. He said that investigators noticed the black plastic tote that was shown in court during the initial search in mid-December and looked inside it, but did not collect it until they went back to Frazee’s property on the 21st.
DeFrance and a fellow investigator had arranged to meet Kenney at the home so she could show them where the burn area was at the Frazee property. They both arrived before she did and after a quick walk-through, walked down the hill, closer to the home to meet with Kenney. When she arrived, they asked questions about the burn site and other items in that area and Kenney was able to describe the area without seeing it, DeFrance said. Once she was done describing it, DeFrance let her lead the way to the burn spot. She pointed it out, he said.
DeFrance said Kenney also told them about how Frazee placed the tin roofing to cover the fire and hold the heat in – something investigators already believed after they had found similar pieces of roofing on the property. He said she her claims appeared accurate.
He said that agents and investigators used luminol, a chemical that reacts to human blood and glows blue in the dark, on Frazee’s red pickup truck but that it seemed to be reacting everywhere – making investigators think something aside from blood was causing the reaction.
DeFrance said that he scraped across the area where Kenney said the fire burned and said he could see and smell burnt plastic. He said the plastic was level with the ground underneath the layer of gravel that had been placed on top of the burn scar.
DeFrance said he searched Berreth’s house on Dec. 19 — a day before Kenney gave her statement to investigators. He said it was a “relatively narrow” search and that they used luminol there too, but it was not effective.
He said investigators were treating the condo that day as a potential murder scene but they later learned there had been a “pretty substantial” cleanup. At the time, he said he thought the townhome seemed relatively well-kept and clean.
But by Dec. 21, he said, they knew to look for signs of the cleanup — which he called substantial because of the information Kenney had told them about the manner in which Berreth was allegedly killed.
On cross-examination, DeFrance said that seven different K-9s were involved in a search of the Frazee property on Dec. 14 but none of them alerted to anything, including around the burn area, he said. He noted that they divided the property into sections and the area of the burn may have been on a dividing line. He did confirm that the area was searched by investigators, but possibly not K-9s.
Team leader of FBI Evidence Response Team testifies
The FBI Evidence Response Team’s leader, Special Agent Ashley Cape, then was called to the stand. She said investigators found partially full containers of accelerants on the property when they searched Frazee’s home.
She said they found a drawer full of receipts during the searches of the Frazee home, and that some of them had relevant time stamps regarding when he got gas, including one from the Florissant Conoco on Nov. 24, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. That receipt, which was for $75 worth of gasoline, had “off road” handwritten on it.
Kenney previously testified that Frazee tossed motor oil into the fire to make it burn hotter.
FBI agents testify they found what appeared to be a tooth
Denver FBI Special Agent Donald Peterson, who works on the Safe Streets Task Force, was the next witness called to the stand. He was also a team leader for the search team and has special training in crime scene analysis.
He said he was present for multiple searches:
–The Frazee ranch searches on Dec. 14 and 15 (he was the team leader for this one)
–The Berreth townhome search on Dec. 19
–The Frazee ranch search again on the Dec. 21 (he was the team leader for this one)
He pointed out the burn area from the Frazee’s property in photos published in the court slideshow and explained the discolored patch, then also noted that you could see the home’s deck from the burn area, which was about 5 feet by 8 feet, Peterson said.
Peterson explained how they used hand tools, including a pickaxe, and brushes to scope out a perimeter around the burn area and remove the dirt and other material Frazee allegedly covered the burn area with. This exposed a plastic crust and wet spot in the soil, he said. The photos showed a clear difference between the dirt and the charred gray material. The land was slightly uneven in this area, and the wet spot was on the downhill side of the burn mark.
He also noted that where the plastic crust ended and the wet soil began, the melted plastic was curved and slightly raised, indicating something in the shape of an arc had stopped it from flattening out.
He was shown several pictures of the plastic crust and explained how investigators sifted other material that was in the burn pit.
Investigators collected as many big, solid pieces of the melted plastic as they could. As they did so, they also sifted through the dirt of the burn area.
Peterson said he noticed a smell once the burn area was uncovered. It smelled of plastic, he said.
On the final section of dirt they sifted through, which included the wet area of the burn, they found what they believed to be a partial tooth, he said. A photo of the suspected tooth was shown in court Friday.
Prosecutor Dan May then called FBI Special Agent Janie Rojhani to the stand — another agent involved in the searches who photographed the Frazee property on Dec. 21. She photographed three bats on the property that day, she testified. She also said she recognized a gas can shown in court as the one from Frazee’s property, which she said was about one-quarter full during the search.
May then called FBI Special Agent Stephanie Benitiz to the witness stand, who was involved in the Dec. 14 and 15 searches of Frazee’s home and has special training in searches.
She said they found a Christmas tree ornament and the box it came with that Berreth’s brother had previously testified he mailed to Berreth’s address as a gift for Kaylee, as well as paperwork about ownership of a horse with Kenney’s name on it.
She said that there were signs that a child lived there, but few toys at the home. She also testified that the home did not appear safe for a toddler, as there were sharp edges, a hot burning stove in the center of the house with no child gates around it and chemicals around the house.
She, as did Peterson, also discussed the different consistencies of the soil in the burn area and mentioned finding the partial tooth.
Benitiz said she thought that was significant: “It was a tooth at a site that we had been briefed on, where a body had possibly been burned.”
The court then went on a short break but was back in session at 3:20 p.m.
Longtime friend of Frazee’s testifies, says Frazee discussed killing Berreth
After the lunch break, May called Joseph Paul Moore to the stand. He is a Park County cattle rancher who said he’s familiar with other cattle men and women in the Park, Teller and Fremont County areas.
Moore testified he first met Frazee when Frazee was between 10 and 13 years old and was riding horses, that he’s been to Fremont County to help Frazee with his cattle and that he’d known Frazee for 20 or 21 years. He said he offered Frazee a job somewhere around 2001 to 2003 and that he’d been to Frazee’s property several dozen times over the years and called him an “excellent” cattleman.
He said that in late 2018, he had a good relationship with Frazee.
In court Friday, he said Frazee had “so much going for him.” Moore said he sometimes called him his step-kid. Through tears in court, Moore testified: “You just don’t want picture somebody that you’ve known this long and trusted – you just don’t want to think that they could do something like this.”
Moore said that he and Frazee were close enough, that if he was going out of town, he’d call Frazee and have him come check on his animals while they were gone.
Moore said the first time he met Berreth was at a ranch around November 2016, when she was helping move Frazee’s calves. Moore said Berreth did not know how to handle all the cows, having never been in that situation before. He testified that Frazee was not pleased with her.
“He berated her horribly,” Moore said. “He yelled at her, cussed at her, just terribly.”
He said that was one of two times he met Berreth. But he said Frazee told him that Berreth was pregnant — something Frazee claimed to have not known until she was in the hospital giving birth.
It wasn’t long after, Moore said, that Frazee started saying things he thought out of the ordinary.
During a trip to shoe horses, Moore said Frazee said he was having trouble with somebody and told them that “kids go missing all the time from playgrounds and schoolyards.” Moore said he told him he shouldn’t say those things, though Frazee said he was kidding.
In another instance, Frazee mentioned that he’d met a man in Frisco or Breckenridge who was a “hit man for the mob,” Moore said. He thought this was funny because he assumed somebody in the mob would never say something like that, so he brushed it off.
Moore said that on April 26, 2018, the two were running their bulls on another ranch. Moore said he asked Frazee how things were going with “Kaylee Jo’s mom,” which Moore said is how Frazee referred to Berreth.
“He said, ‘I figured out a way to kill her,’” Moore testified, “And I went, ‘Don’t even talk about things like that. Get that s— out of your head.’ He just kind of grinned and said, ‘No body, no crime, right?’”
Moore said he told Frazee, again, to “get that s— out of your head.”
During that summer, Moore said, Frazee told him about how he had people spying on or watching Berreth and taking pictures of her because he said he wanted to sue her for custody of Kaylee. Moore said Frazee sounded serious about his claims. Frazee claimed to have a picture from one of these people of Berreth’s car outside a liquor store. The car was running and Kaylee was inside, Frazee told Moore. Moore asked to see the photograph and Frazee said it was on his computer at home. Moore said he never asked about it again.
Another instance that made suspicious after the fact, Moore said, was one in which they were discussing the film “True Lies” during the summer of 2018.
Moore said he brought up a line from the movie he thought was funny at the time: “Women: Can’t live with ‘em, can’t kill ‘em.”
He said he told the joke to Frazee, laughing lightheartedly. But he said Frazee responded: “Not so. No body, no crime.” Moore said he blew it off as a joke.
After the FBI took Frazee’s phone in December, he met with Moore in Woodland Park and asked to use his phone to make a call on Dec. 4, 2018. Moore said the call lasted 5 minutes, 58 seconds, according to his cell.
Moore said he could only hear what Frazee was saying — not what the person on the other line was saying. He said they were discussing horses.
“If I get arrested — because they’ve taken my phone — I’m going to have my friend here call you and it will be from this phone number so come and get these horses,” Frazee said over the phone, according to Moore.
Moore said the area code for the number was 208, which indicates an Idaho number. He said he never talked to the person Frazee called that day.
In early December, Frazee started to make many comments about Pike and San Isabel National Forest further west of Florissant, Moore said. Frazee said if Berreth had committed suicide, she could just run up to the national forest and do it and nobody would ever find her. Frazee said there were parts of the national forest where no man has ever been, or ever would be for thousands of years. Moore said Frazee brought this topic up often — that Berreth had gone to the national forest and had killed herself.
One time, Moore said he asked how that could be the case if investigators said her cell phone had pinged off a cell tower in Idaho, to which Frazee replied, “Huh. Yeah.”
When they talked about their Thanksgiving plans, Moore said Frazee said he had picked Kaylee up from Berreth on Nov. 22, went to the bank and Walmart, fed cattle and then went home to have Thanksgiving at the Frazee ranch. Moore said he was acting “very odd, very nervous” as he said this.
During one of their trips down to Westcliffe to take care of cattle there in December 2018, Frazee mentioned to Moore than Berreth’s blood could be on him. He said she had a nosebleed and put her head in his lap, so he got blood on his pants, shirt and boots.
“Do you think they’ll be able to find any of that even though it’s all been washed?” Frazee asked, according to Moore.
Moore replied that authorities can find blood even where people can’t see it.
He never wondered out loud where Berreth was or if she was OK, Moore said. When he’d say that he hoped Berreth would just show up and everything would go back to normal, Frazee wouldn’t react, he said.
On several trips, Frazee asked, “Why are they even investigating this? If there’s no body, there’s no crime. What are they even after me for? What do they think they’re going to find?” Moore said he remembered.
Frazee said during one call with Moore that their conversation “was being recorded” but he felt like he needed to ask if anything was “disrupted by the red barn” which Moore understood as the red barn at Nash Ranch. Moore said no, and Frazee said, “Oh, alright, just curious.” This phone call had indeed been recorded and was played in court Friday afternoon.
After this call, Moore immediately called Frazee’s attorney and then law enforcement. He then went down to Nash Ranch, but didn’t report seeing anything out of the norm, aside from noting that some alfalfa hay that had previously been there was no longer in the barn. He said he did not get on top of the hay bales at any time.
Moore said they talked again on Dec. 20, 2018.
“He couldn’t understand what this whole big thing was all about,” Moore said. “It made no sense to him. (He said) ‘People go missing every day all across the United States and this is national news. It’s coast-to-coast coverage. I don’t even understand why there is such a big deal over this.’”
Moore replied that a white, beautiful, young mother had gone missing, so it was what the media cared about.
He said Frazee’s response was: “Man, if I had known it would have blown up this big, I never would have —” and didn’t finish sentence.
Moore said he never asked Frazee if he killed Berreth.
The defense confirmed a few details from Moore’s testimony, noting that the two liked to joke around a lot and sometimes “talked BS.”
Moore was excused but not released and was ordered to stay available to the District Attorney’s Office.
Patrick Frazee’s friend testified he said Berreth was ‘never coming back’
Two people who worked alongside Krystal Lee Kenney in Idaho said Kenney appeared “sad,” “quiet” and “resigned” when she returned to work after she allegedly cleaned up a murder scene in Colorado.
Later Tuesday morning, a “very good” friend of Frazee’s discussed a trip he and Frazee made in which Frazee worked to establish an alibi, the friend said, and a CBI crime scene analyst discussed the tiny spots of possible blood spatter found inside Berreth’s home, and how there were much longer streaks of possible blood on the side of the floor boards that she processed after they were ripped up.
On Tuesday afternoon an arson expert testified about the burn area at Frazee’s property and how bodies break down in a fire, and a friend of Frazee’s testified what he told her after Berreth went missing. After a final break, three women whom Frazee communicated with in the months and years surrounding Berreth’s disappearance testified about his behavior toward Berreth, which they said was abnormal.
Coworker says Kenney said she did what she had to do to stay safe
Court began at 8:35 a.m. Tuesday. First, the state called Delynn Bird, who worked with Kenney as a nurse at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Hospital in the recovery room.
She said Kenney doesn’t work at the hospital anymore and that they didn’t socialize outside of work.
Prosecutor Beth Reed asked if she had heard of Frazee, and Bird said she had, but not until she started seeing the media coverage of this case. Kenney never talked about Frazee at work, she said.
Kenney told her she was making trips to Colorado, she said. She said she knew Kenney left to go to Colorado on Nov. 23, 2018 — the day after the alleged murder — because a coworker had to pick up Kenney’s shift.
She didn’t see Kenney again until Nov. 28, when she came into work on 7 p.m., Bird said. She noted that Kenney looked tired.
On Dec. 26, Bird learned from a coworker that Kenney was linked to Berreth’s disappearance. That evening, she said Kenney seemed quiet at work. When Bird asked her about Berreth, Kenney said the press may “hound them at work about the case” and that she did what she had to do to keep herself and her children safe, Bird said.
Bird asked about Berreth’s cell phone and Kenney shrugged. Bird said she didn’t know if this meant she was involved or not.
Kenney appeared “flat” and “resigned,” Bird said, which was not typical for her.
During the cross-examination, defense attorney Adam Stiegerwald asked for more information on the day Kenney appeared tired. Bird said she didn’t ask why she appeared that way.
Coworker recalls Kenney as sad, quiet at work on Dec. 26
The state called another nurse, Allyson Wright, to the witness stand next. She also works at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Hospital and filled in for Kenney’s shift on Nov. 24, 2018.
She said she saw Kenney in passing, but only knew her professionally.
They had texted about logistics for Wright to fill in for Kenney, and Wright said Kenney had told her she needed to do “something” in Colorado, but didn’t specify what. On Nov. 23, Wright saw Kenney in the recovery room, and Kenney verified Wright would cover her shift and thanked her for doing so.
The next time Wright said she remembered seeing Kenney was Dec. 26. That day, she said Kenney “didn’t look good” and it appeared that something was wrong. She’s normally happy and talkative, Wright said, and that day she seemed sad and quiet. When she asked if Kenney was OK, she was quiet before shaking her head and saying, “no.” Kenney said she had gotten into a bad situation.
Kenney asked if Wright had heard about Berreth missing out of Colorado, and Wright said yes, and Kenney said she had gotten herself mixed up in that, Wright said. But she didn’t explain any details.
Wright said she recalled that Kenney told her she did what she had to do to keep herself and her kids safe, and that she feared for her safety.
That was the last time Wright saw Kenney, she said.
Prosecutor Jennifer Viehman asked if Wright was trained in cleaning up bodily fluids, and Wright said she was, but there is no formal training other than “cleaning it all up.” She said they don’t use bleach to clean up blood.
Close friend details how they switched cars in Idaho before alleged murder
Megan Garrison, of Jerome, Idaho, was the next witness called to the stand by the prosecutors.
She said her ex-husband and Kenney’s ex-husband worked together, and they knew each other through that connection. Over time, they became close friends, Garrison said.
They have borrowed each other’s vehicles in the past — Garrison took Kenney’s truck to help her move, and Kenney would borrow her car because it was more fuel efficient.
Garrison confirmed she owns a Volkswagen Passat.
She said Kenney would talk vaguely about her trips to Colorado, where she had horses and a dog she shared with a Colorado man. She’d also visit her mom there, she said.
Garrison first heard about Frazee the night before Kenney married her now-ex-husband.
On Thanksgiving, Garrison asked Kenney if she could borrow her pickup truck, which Kenney allowed. They swapped vehicles at the Jerome Walmart — which was halfway between their homes — the following evening. Garrison mentioned it was pouring rain when they exchanged cars, so their conversation was short.
Sometime on Nov. 24 or 25, they switched back at the same Walmart, Garrison said.
In mid-December, Kenney reached out to Garrison to let her know the FBI may contact her to search her car. Kenney said she had provided buccal swabs for them.
During a cross-examination, Stiegerwald confirmed that the Volkswagen had expired tags. He also noted that Kenney texted Garrison that she was “staying at her place” that night as an alibi in case Kenney’s husband came looking for her.
Stiegerwald then asked about a gun that Garrison had in her car. She said she keeps a 9mm loaded gun under the driver’s seat in case she needs it to protect herself. She checked on the gun after Kenney called her about the FBI and noticed there were six bullets in the magazine, she said. She said she didn’t remember if there was one in the chamber.
When asked, Garrison said she remembered telling the FBI there was one round missing.
On a redirect, Viehman asked if there was any indication that the gun had been used and Garrison said no.
Special agent collects Berreth’s gun from Kenney’s friend
Special Agent Rodney Draper, who has worked with the FBI since 2002, was called to the witness stand next. He has worked out of the Boise office since December 2013.
Draper said he was called around Dec. 15 or 16 to go to Twin Falls, Idaho to work on this case.
He conducted multiple interviews and searches in connection to this case, he said. This included helping search Kenney’s home and her cell phone, and interviewing her ex-husband, Chad Lee.
On Dec. 17, Lee told Draper that Kenney had bought a new phone only a few weeks before the interview.
The Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office seized Kenney’s phone on Dec. 19. Draper helped to extract information from her phone and downloaded it onto a disc to give to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. He didn’t have much information on the case as a whole at this point, he said.
On Dec. 21, Draper learned that Kenney had given Berreth’s gun — which she allegedly brought with her back to Idaho, per Frazee’s request — to her high school friend Mark Pearson when she returned to Idaho from Colorado. Draper met Pearson in a parking lot in Boise, where Pearson works in construction. Draper said Pearson had the gun zipped in a black synthetic bag with a box of ammo in the front seat of his truck. Draper took photos before collecting it. From there, it was transported to the Denver FBI office for further testing.
The state entered this gun as evidence after showing it in court. Draper confirmed it was not loaded and he had used zip ties to ensure it did not move. He did not open the box in court.
The gun was not loaded when he received it, he said.
During the cross-examination, Stiegerwald asked if Draper had scanned any of Kenney’s burner phones and he said he had not. He only scanned the phone Kenney had owned for a few weeks.
The next witnesses were on their way to Cripple Creek from out of town. The court took a recess at 9:38 a.m. Prosecutor Viehman said they are ahead of schedule.
Detective describes burn pit in back of Kenney’s home
After a mid-morning break, prosecutors called up Twin Falls Police Officer Josh Hayes. Hayes currently works as a detective on the special investigations unit for the Twin Falls Sheriff’s Office.
On the evening of Dec. 16, 2018, the CBI reached out to him and briefed him on the missing person case. They asked him to look into a cell phone ping and phone number that was listed for Kenney. He said they needed help getting a search warrant for her home, which was in Kimberly, about eight miles outside of Twin Falls.
Hayes said he was able to get a warrant for buccal swabs from Kenney, which an evidence technician at the department performed. That woman testified after Hayes, and confirmed she collected the buccal swabs from Kenney at the police department on Dec. 17.
Hayes also got a warrant for Kenney’s phone. He, along with Special Agent Draper, downloaded the information on Dec. 19 and Hayes took a copy with him back to Twin Falls. As they downloaded the information, Hayes said Colorado Bureau of Investigations Agent Gregg Slater asked him to look for the name “Pearson.” Hayes said he found him through Facebook.
On Dec. 17, authorities got a search warrant for Kenney’s home, Hayes said. He noted that he received consent from Lee, Kenney’s then-husband, when he tried to call Kenney. They searched the home again on Dec. 21. On that day, Slater told Hayes to look for a burn pile that may contain the remains of a purse, documents and a cell phone. He was also instructed to look for a bat, he said.
He found a burn pile about 500 feet away from their home, Hayes said.
The state presented multiple photos in the courtroom — the first showed a burn pile and separate burn pit in the back of Kenney’s home and the second was a closer look at the burn. Lee told Hayes that was not where they would normally burn items from the property.
Other photos showed the burned ground and rubble, and a very small piece of an electronic device. Hayes said it resembled something in a phone. They also saw glass, which could have been from the phone, he said. The prosecution also showed pictures of a circuit board on the electronic device, more burned pieces of the possible phone and a burned glass screen protector.
They found paperwork where the edges hadn’t been burned, but each piece crumbled apart upon examination, he said.
They gathered what they could for evidence, Hayes said, and transported it to the CBI on April 1, 2019. Some of the items, including the burned cell phone pieces and burned screen cover, were shown in court Tuesday morning.
During the cross-examination, Stiegerwald confirmed with Hayes that some items were completely burned, and others were left behind because the fire wasn’t hot enough.
Frazee’s ‘very good’ friend explains his alibi-obtaining trip
One of Frazee’s “very, very good” friends, Robert Slagle, was brought to the witness stand next. They’ve known each other more than 10 years, he said, and were friends in November and December of 2018.
Slagle said Frazee told him about a package at Berreth’s townhome, and around Dec. 2, he asked Slagle to pick it up for him. Slagle said Frazee told him that the Woodland Park Police Department had reached out to let him know about the package. The state published surveillance video that they said showed Slagle at Berreth’s home picking up the package and leaving. He said he noticed the surveillance camera when he got out of his truck but had also seen it on previous visits to her townhome. He noted that it’s fairly obvious.
He said he didn’t know if Frazee had ever noticed the camera before.
Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May asked if they went to collect alibi evidence after the date of the alleged murder. Slagle confirmed they had but wasn’t sure of the date. He said he just knew it was after Berreth had been reported missing.
They first went to Ent Credit Union, then drove by a Safeway and a gas station. Slagle said he didn’t recall going to any other locations.
The state published a photo of Frazee and Slagle at the teller window of the Ent. At this point, Slagle said Frazee told him he made bank deposits on Thanksgiving afternoon.
He said Frazee told him he went to the Safeway on Nov. 22, which is why they drove by it. He also said the same about the gas station.
When May asked if Frazee went over a timeline with Slagle about Nov. 22, Slagle confirmed he repeated it several times. May handed Slagle an envelope and while he said he didn’t know whose handwriting it was — he didn’t know if it was Frazee’s — the envelope appeared to have a timeline written on it.
Slagle said the information on the timeline appeared to match what Frazee had recounted to him on “several occasions” about Nov. 22.
May continued to ask more questions about this alibi-obtaining trip. He asked if Frazee told Slagle that he was in Woodland Park around 4:30 p.m. that day, and Slagle said no. He noted that Frazee and Berreth exchanged Kaylee at Berreth’s home, but didn’t know the details of it.
May asked if Frazee mentioned anything about Berreth eating Thanksgiving dinner with him. Slagle said he recalled something about Berreth preparing a meal, per Frazee, and that Berreth expected him to eat with her. Slagle said Frazee never mentioned anything about going into the home for dinner or anything else that day.
He said he remembered Frazee telling him that he, Berreth and Kaylee went to Nash Ranch the day before Thanksgiving — Nov. 21 — and then returned to Frazee’s ranch. Berreth had indicated that night that she wanted to get an apartment closer to her work in Pueblo, Slagle said. As they drove to the Frazee ranch that evening, Frazee stopped the car and threw up near the Florissant post office, Slagle said. Berreth went to the Woodland Park Walmart to buy medication for Frazee for an upset stomach and diarrhea, Slagle said.
In December, Slagle drove to Nash Ranch with Frazee and he mentioned that he and Berreth and broken up, he said.
Frazee never mentioned Kenney, Slagle said, aside from saying that there was a person in Idaho who was helping him sell dogs and for whom he was training a horse.
Stiegerwald cross-examined Slagle and started off by asking about the surveillance video showing him picking up the package at Berreth’s front door. Stiegerwald said it wasn’t clear in the video that he was picking up a package.
He then asked about Slagle’s relationship with Frazee. When asked, Slagle said Frazee never mentioned anything about a mob contact in the mountains — which had been mentioned in a testimony on Friday — or said anything along the lines of “no body, no murder.” Slagle said he would have remembered if his friend had said that.
CBI crime analyst discusses possible blood found on side of floor boards
Prosecutors then called CBI crime analyst Tanya Atkinson to the stand, who is a latent print examiner and has been trained in bloodstain pattern analysis. She told the court she had testified around 70 times in various cases and has been admitted as an expert in half the cases. The court has admitted her as a crime scene expert for the Frazee case.
She photographed and processed Berreth’s townhome on Dec. 6 and on the Dec. 19-21 searches. She testified that she also processed the scene at Nash Ranch on Dec. 21 and in February 2019. She testified Tuesday that she was called to Berreth’s apartment because of apparent blood on the toilet inside the home. She said a presumptive test was done on the possible blood and on other items inside the home.
She testified that during one of the late December reviews of Berreth’s home, she found wipe marks on various parts of the apartment that made her believe it had been cleaned.
Prosecutors also showed her several exhibits that showed what appeared to be tiny blood stains on various items in the townhome, as well as the floorboards that were pulled up after Kenney gave her statement to investigators.
Atkinson said that there were possible blood stains on the sides of the floorboards, which she said a presumptive test showed was positive for blood. Several of the boards showed possible blood stains that went along nearly the full length of their sides.
She explained how she swabbed the evidence for potential blood and how she packaged and sealed the items as evidence. Most of the exhibits shown were various items from inside the apartment Atkinson had processed, and she was shown multiple floor boards.
May, the district attorney, then showed Atkinson a photo of the discolored portions of a hay bale inside the Nash Ranch barn that Kenney and other have talked about during the trial. The discolored area was shown to be about 38 inches by 30 inches, and May then had her measure the bottom of the tote, which was about 38 inches by 20 inches, she said. She testified she saw no other areas of discolored hay inside the barn when she processed it.
The court took a lunch break from 12 p.m. to just after 1 p.m.
After lunch, Atkinson retook the stand and was cross-examined by Stiegerwald. She told him the first time she was at Berreth’s townhome was on Dec. 6 and that she knew that it had already been searched by police and processed by CBI, and that Berreth’s parents had stayed there since the alleged crime was committed. She confirmed that Berreth’s family found the suspected blood on the toilet. She also confirmed that BlueStar blood reagent was used inside the bathroom.
Atkinson told Stiegerwald that she went to a Waste Management facility on Dec. 17 to look for trash Frazee dumped that day and confirmed she did a presumptive blood test on a tarp with a brown or red substance on it.
Stiegerwald walked Atkinson back through the Dec. 19 and 20 processing of Berreth’s home and pointed out the tiny size of the alleged blood spatter that was left behind, and stressed that many of the tiny spots were not found until Dec. 20. He asked her if any of the spots on which investigators used BlueStar had turned up with presumptive negatives, and she said that they collected from presumptive positive spots. She said presumptive tests from various parts of the apartment did turn up negative – particularly under a few floorboards and near the fireplace floorboard.
On redirect, Atkinson said crime scene analysts stopped collecting once they had a dozen pieces with presumptive positive samples of blood. She said at that point, they felt they had collected enough samples.
When asked questions from the jury, Atikinson reiterated that investigators collected samples from the discolored portion of the hay bale and said that she did not measure the diameters of stains on Berreth’s home’s floor.
Another CBI crime scene analyst, Eric Bryant, was called to the stand and testified that he took samples of the hay bale, which were shown in court.
Arson expert testifies about how bodies break down in fires, the Frazee Ranch scene
Prosecutors then called Adams County Fire Rescue Investigations Chief Jerry Means to the stand – a fire investigator of nearly 30 years who also worked for CBI before retiring earlier this year, and who was entered as the state’s arson expert in the case.
Means testified he was contacted Dec. 21 to help investigate the case and said he had experience in dealing with melted plastic in fire investigations, as well as on investigations involving human remains.
He told May when shown a picture of the burn area at the Frazee ranch – in which he was present – that it was fairly obvious that there was black plastic melted into the gravel and soil in the area and that the plastic had fused with portions of the soil. He described the two types of plastic and how they melt down, and said that the melted shape of the black tote would be consistent with what would happen with the type of plastic of which the black tote was comprised.
Means then discussed what could happen to bodies if they are burned in the matter in which Kenney has testified that Frazee burned Berreth’s.
He said that the “wet” area Kenney had discussed seemed to be more oily than wet, and went on to explain how it was common for the body to liquefy in a fire such as the one at the Frazee ranch. He said fat and skin can liquefy and drip, creating a sticky, oily material. He testified that eventually, a fire will break down muscles and bones and that burning a body can produce soil staining like the oily substance seen further downhill from the burn area. He said the plastic and oily substance would have burned downhill from the burn site.
Means also said that it was possible that motor oil caused the oily and wet-looking stain in the soil, but that he couldn’t say the stain in question was caused by motor oil, human oil, all three or a combination. But again, he testified that the burn area they saw was consistent with the story shared by prosecutors. He said that the tote would have liquefied first and that the metal trough would have contained the plastic save for the holes at the bottom – which was consistent with the scene that has been described so far during the trial.
Means said extremities will burn first and the torso and upper pelvis would be the last to burn, and said that if something fell on a body’s head in a fire, it could disintegrate. He also testified that depending on how long bones are exposed to fire, they are prone to disintegrating too.
“You can pick one up with a gloved hand, and just – poof. It turns to nothing. … It turns to dust,” he testified Tuesday.
He said that animal antlers are tougher than human bones but can also be mistaken for human bones because of the marrow they contain inside.
Stiegerwald then got his turn to cross-examine Means. He asked about the plastic residue and about nails that should have remained in the fire’s remnants because of the burnt pallets – which Means had told prosecutors would have been picked up by magnets if they were used.
Stiegerwald continued to ask Means about clasps for the black tote and why they were not found in the fire, to which Means responded he did not find them.
In answering jury questions, Means said he did not recall getting the odor of a burned human body at the scene, but upon a question from May on follow-up, he said that the month between when Berreth’s body was allegedly burned and when he toured the scene could have “dramatically” changed the odor of the scene.
Friend of Frazee’s says he told her: ‘Oh, she’s never coming back.’
Prosecutors then called Laurie Luce to the stand, a woman whose horses Frazee cared for over a period of about 5 ½ years, she said. She said that initially, he was a very private person but eventually opened up and started talking about what she said was surface-level stuff like dating and love interests. She told prosecutors she had met Kenney once when she came to her house with Frazee.
She testified that she found out Frazee had a daughter when she walked by his truck and saw Kaylee inside when she was about 4 months old. She testified that Frazee told her he had a relationship with the girl’s mother but didn’t learn she was pregnant until she had the baby – something the court had previously heard during the trial.
Luce said Frazee said his daughter’s mother did not want to be a mother, so he would have to be the only parent moving forward, she testified, and that the conversation happened sometime in the spring of 2018. She described Frazee as being the happiest she had seen him but said Frazee never mentioned Berreth by name.
Luce said Slater, the CBI agent, called her in January 2019 about the conversation. She said she recounted telling him Frazee had been vague during the discussion and that she told him about what Frazee had said about Berreth not wanting to be a mother. She testified she remembered Frazee paying an attorney to try and get custody of the child, and told that to Slater as well.
Luce told the court that Frazee went to her house on Dec. 20, and that she felt concerned for him and asked how he was doing. She testified that Frazee told her some details about the search of his property that had occurred days earlier and said he felt some of what the investigators did to his property “seemed a little mean and unnecessary.”
She said that they talked about Nov. 22 at the time. Luce testified that Frazee told her he went to Berreth’s to pick up their daughter before he went to run errands and to give Berreth her gun back, claiming to Luce that Berreth had threatened suicide. He claimed that he didn’t want to give it back but did anyway, she said. Luce said in court Tuesday that Frazee expressed frustration of telling the story “so many times” but she told him she had never heard it before.
She said Frazee also discussed that day several scenarios regarding what might have happened to Berreth. First, she said, he told her that Berreth might have flown away because she had a lot of friends who were pilots. He also proffered that she might have gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd in Pueblo.
But Luce testified that she instead asked him about the phone ping in Idaho, which had been reported by media outlets at that point. She testified he did not answer. She said she offered to him that maybe Berreth tried going home but died by suicide, or that maybe Berreth was coming back.
“Oh, she’s never coming back,” Luce testified that Frazee told her, though she admitted in court that she did not initially tell the story and only told prosecutors a few weeks ago when she was subpoenaed.
Luce told the court that sometime between August and October 2018, Frazee told her he wanted to raise his daughter with someone else. Later, she testified, Frazee told her: “I wanted her (Berreth) to help with medical expenses before. Now I just want her gone.”
Ashley Porter, one of Frazee’s defense attorneys, cross-examined Luce and pointed out that she wasn’t entirely truthful when she spoke with Slater on Jan. 10. Luce responded she was truthful but did not feel comfortable at the time talking about what Frazee had confided in her, and admitted that she left some information out.
Luce was then excused and the court took another recess, as both of the defense attorneys said they felt sick Tuesday.
Woman Frazee dated says they talked about ease of hiding body in Colorado
The jury was kept outside the courtroom for the next witness as a juror had an issue. Prosecutors called Kayla Daugherty, a personal and professional acquaintance of Frazee’s, who said she and Frazee had dated in the spring of 2016 for a couple of months. She said she and Frazee hadn’t spoken since spring 2018, when he cared for some of her horses.
She testified that Frazee told her about the vastness of Teller County and that it would be hard to find a body during a discussion in 2015. When Viehman, the prosecutor, asked Daugherty if she remembered a separate statement Frazee made about saying a body could be hidden anywhere in Colorado, she said no. She said that the topic may have come up a second time but that she didn’t remember.
Viehman asked her if Frazee told her that somebody could carry a body on a horse somewhere no one could find it, to which she replied, “Yes.” Daugherty said she told police that information when she was interviewed, and that she agreed with Frazee when they discussed the topic.
Upon cross-examination, Stiegerwald noted that she told police she first pointed out the statement about hiding a body to Frazee.
The court then worked to decide if the testimony was admissible in court since the jury was left outside. Viehman argued the testimony was relevant because Berreth’s body still hasn’t been found, and Stiegerwald argued the testimony had no logical relevance.
But Judge Scott Sells ruled the testimony was admissible despite Stiegerwald’s objections because it established Frazee’s knowledge of the Teller County area.
After the jury was let back into court, Daugherty again took the stand, they went back through the aforementioned testimony in front of the jury and she was subsequently released.
Woman texted with Frazee around the time of alleged murder
The state then called Savannah Greasby to the stand, for whom Frazee had been shoeing horses for about nine years, she said. She said she and Frazee mostly talked intermittently, mostly about the horses, but that he asked her to dinner around October 2018, which she said she could not make. But the court was shown a text message thread between the two from Nov. 21 through Dec. 4, which was admitted as evidence.
The messages showed she texted Frazee “hey” at 10:44 a.m. on Nov. 23 and that he didn’t respond until 2:33 p.m., also saying “hey.” The messages showed she asked him how his day went, to which he responded that it was long, but life was about to slow down. They talked about meeting up, the messages showed, but did not do so.
The messages showed Frazee texted her just after midnight on Nov. 21, that they talked about Kaylee and a mess she had made and that he texted her about getting there when he gets done, though Daugherty said she was not sure what he was referring to and told him to go to bed. They told each other happy Thanksgiving in messages the next day.
On Nov. 26, she reached out saying she was thinking about him, and on Nov. 28, after more messages about him apparently not taking her money for shoeing her horses, he told her not to take a sassy tone with him and that he was the all-inclusive passage. Later that day, they both talked about being stubborn and Frazee said Greasby had met her match, according to the messages.
The two exchanged more text messages on Dec. 1, and she texted him on Dec. 3, but he did not respond, the messages showed. On Dec. 4, the messages showed, Frazee apologized saying life had taken some awkward turns. She said she didn’t need details and that she understood.
They did not speak again until Dec. 10 and discussed hanging out that week, but Frazee said he had an issue with his truck and couldn’t. The next day, the texts showed, she said she was sorry to him. That was the last time they spoke via text, Greasby said, and she testified that she didn’t recall speaking to him on the phone since either.
Daugherty told Viehman she was not aware Berreth was missing while they talked but later learned she was. She also testified that she knew little about Frazee and Berreth’s daughter and that she didn’t remember Frazee saying much about Berreth other than claiming she was bipolar and in rehab, and saying he wanted full custody of Kaylee.
Defense attorneys and the jury did not cross-examine her or ask further questions.
Woman Frazee worked for says he never had anything good to say about Berreth
The state called Kathryn Donahue next – another woman for whom Frazee shoed horses. She said they would talk every time he came to do so and that he mentioned one time he had friends in Idaho. She said when she first met him, Frazee said he was “free,” meaning he had no kids or wife.
Donahue recounted an incident around December 2015, in which Frazee showed up with Kaylee. She said she assumed he was babysitting, to which Frazee replied that the girl was his daughter. Donahue told the court Tuesday she was surprised because she did not know he was dating anyone. She also said that Frazee – as others have testified he told them – said that he did not know Berreth was pregnant until she went into labor.
She said that after Kaylee was born, Frazee would bring the baby around during farrier work, but that he never had anything good to say about Berreth.
“We didn’t discuss her a lot, but he would never say anything kind about her,” Donahue told the court.
She said she called a tip in for the case, saying Frazee told her Berreth took off shortly after their daughter was born and that Frazee described Berreth as absolutely crazy. Donahue said that the four-to-six times she saw Kaylee, that she saw nothing that would indicate abuse or that the baby was anything but happy.
Donahue then discussed a conversation she had with Frazee around Dec. 19, 2018. They had initially talked about his farrier work and she asked how he was holding up, she testified. She said he asked if she saw the news, and she pressed him for details after hearing about Berreth.
Donahue testified Tuesday that Frazee told her Berreth’s employer had called him and said their daughter’s health insurance was going to expire at the end of January because Berreth hadn’t maintained it, and that he told her employer that Berreth was getting up for work every day but evidently not going. She said he also told her Berreth went to rehab.
Donahue told the court she didn’t ask further question the rehab story but noted that Frazee still had few good things to say about Berreth and that he didn’t talk about what he thought happened to her.
The defense did not cross-examine Donahue, nor did jurors ask questions. Donahue was excused for the day but not released completely, and the court adjourned just after 4 p.m.
Prosecutors told the judge they were ahead of schedule and needed to work on getting witnesses to Cripple Creek days before they expected to originally testify.
Berreth’s coworkers describe her as quiet, sweet, loving to her newborn
Multiple people who worked with Kelsey Berreth before she disappeared from Woodland Park in November 2018 described her as private, kind and very loving toward her 1-year-old daughter. This contradicts what other witnesses claimed Patrick Frazee, her fiancé who’s accused of killing her, told them.
One of the coworkers testified that Berreth told her Frazee wasn’t treating her well at one point.
Also on Wednesday, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation forensic scientist who worked on the case testified that the blood found inside Berreth’s townhome was most likely hers and that a possible tooth fragment tested positive for female human DNA.
The prosecution brought forward one of Frazee’s friends, who testified that Frazee said Berreth had given him custody of their daughter, and a handful of authorities who were involved in the investigation, including two experts who had already testified.
Before the court broke for lunch, Fourth Judicial District Judge Scott Sells said he’s cautiously optimistic that closing arguments could start Friday afternoon. He noted they are far ahead in the trial process.
Sells also gave Frazee a courtesy advisory that he has the right to testify. He replied, “Yes, sir.” The judge said the prosecutors can cross-examine him and the jury can ask questions. He also has the right to remain silent, Sells said. It’s not yet clear if he will choose to testify or not.
Teller County Waste manager: There was no trash at Berreth’s home around Thanksgiving
At 8:30 a.m., Judge Sells returned to the courtroom and prosecutors called Stephanie Howerton to the witness stand. She has been an office manager for Teller County Waste for two years.
She said she has records for trash pickup at Berreth’s home.
Prosecutor Beth Reed showed a printout of the trash schedule on a slideshow in the courtroom. Typically, Berreth’s trash was picked up on Fridays, but with the Thanksgiving holiday, it was pushed back to Saturday. According to the schedule, trash hadn’t been put out that week or the following week. Howerton said trash wasn’t picked up from her residence until Dec. 21, 2018.
Berreth’s coworker at Doss calls Frazee after she goes missing
The state then called Jennifer Barks, who worked as a human resources director for seven years at Doss Aviation, including in November and December of 2018.
Barks said she knew Berreth through the hiring process and noted her because they had very few female pilots. She said she was excited when women were hired as pilots.
Barks worked alongside Melissa Russ, her human resources business partner, who also worked with Berreth. Russ was interviewed by the prosecutors after Barks.
Barks said she assisted Berreth with leaving work when she took a leave of absence in August 2018.
Barks confirmed the Woodland Park Police Department contacted her in December 2018. She knew about the investigation at the time, so she anticipated the phone call, she said. She recalled that police asked about employment dates and benefits, and wanted to understand how benefits would change for someone moving from full-time to part-time. Berreth moved to part-time work in the fall of 2018.
She told police that Frazee was Berreth’s emergency contact. On Dec. 3 — a day after Berreth was reported missing — Barks called Frazee to ensure he knew she was missing, she said. She said Frazee asked if somebody could “take the baby,” which prompted Barks to ask about Kaylee, the 1-year-old girl Frazee and Berreth had had in October 2017. Frazee said the baby was fine. During the conversation, Frazee claimed that the Woodland Park Police Department kept calling him, so he put Barks on hold multiple times, Barks said. When they were able to talk, Frazee said he and Berreth had broken up because she wanted space, Barks said.
She said he also told her that Berreth had a drinking problem and went to rehab. Barks said she challenged him on this comment because pilots at Doss Aviation work in close quarters and a coworker would have spoken up. In court, she said Frazee didn’t respond to this.
She said she explained that Berreth had taken a leave of absence in August 2018 for a medical reason.
Frazee never offered any speculations on what happened to Berreth, Barks said.
Prosecutor Jennifer Viehman asked if Frazee said anything about Berreth running off to get herself “healed up,” which Barks confirmed she did recall.
When Viehman asked about the alcohol abuse that Frazee had mentioned, Barks said she was never notified about Berreth having any issues with alcohol.
After Berreth went missing, Barks looked at Berreth’s life insurance policy and noticed that Berreth didn’t have a beneficiary listed. Frazee had been listed as her beneficiary previously, but Doss Aviation was switching ownership — and therefore, benefits — at the time and she had not yet completed the necessary paperwork. Doss Aviation was acquired by L3 Harris.
During the cross-examination, Ashley Fridovich Porter confirmed that Barks always takes notes during phone calls. But Porter pointed out that she told special agents that she didn’t take notes on the call with Frazee.
The jury asked if Berreth was ever randomly tested for drugs or alcohol. Barks said no.
Human relations employee helped Berreth prepare to move to part-time
The state then called Barks’ business partner Melissa Russ to the stand. Russ now works in human resources for a government contractor. In her position, she said she took care of employee issues, hiring and helped them with benefits.
Russ said she hired Berreth around September 2017 and she was required to take a drug and alcohol screening at the time.
She worked with Berreth through her orientation and when she took leave for her baby in October 2017. She also helped Berreth transition back to work after her maternity leave.
Russ said she helped Berreth with her benefits as well. In November 2018, she said they had discussions about moving to a part-time position and how it’d impact Berreth’s benefits. Berreth started some paperwork in November 2018 for this, Russ said.
Part-time employees don’t get benefits at Doss Aviation, Russ said, and she notified Berreth via email of this change because she assumed Berreth wouldn’t want to lose medical benefits for her and her daughter. Berreth was concerned about not having medical insurance for her daughter, Russ said. Ultimately, she decided the benefits Berreth had would stay in place through the end of 2018. She said she doesn’t recall if she was able to tell Berreth about this update since it was approved after Thanksgiving.
The defense did not have any questions, but a juror asked why Berreth wanted to move to part-time status. Russ said she never got a specific answer, but that she’d only inquired about going part-time after returning from maternity leave.
Viehman confirmed it was not common for flight instructor to switch between full-time and part-time.
Frazee’s friend: He said Berreth gave him custody of baby, she wouldn’t check in for months
Anissa Smith was the next witness the state called to the witness stand. She has lived in Florissant her whole life and used to rodeo with Frazee. She said she’s known him since she was 8 years old.
Smith said Frazee leased land from her grandparents for his cattle. He’d also shoe and trim their horses, Smith said. She said she was sometimes on the property when he was working.
Viehman asked Smith about any times when Frazee mentioned he had a daughter. Smith said Frazee did not mention Kaylee “before this,” and said she thinks he first mentioned Kaylee in October 2018. She said she remembered that she was shocked and tried to ask more about Kaylee. Frazee told her he had picked her up at the hospital on the day she was born, she said.
“He just said her mom (Berreth) told him to come pick her up,” Smith said.
She said he had talked about Berreth while they were shoeing horses, so she was familiar with her name.
When Frazee told Smith about his daughter, he also claimed that he had full custody of the child, Smith said. She recalled that Frazee had told her Berreth had signed over her rights when Kaylee was born. He told her that Berreth wouldn’t reach out for weeks or months at a time to check on Kaylee, Smith said.
She said she met Kaylee when Frazee brought her to Smith’s grandparents’ home in early November 2018. She said she didn’t see any signs of abuse or neglect at that time.
Smith said she was first interviewed by a district attorney’s office investigator on Dec. 21.
Former police commander says they never found information suggesting Berreth was alive
The state then recalled up former Woodland Park Police Department Commander Christopher Adams. He also testified on the third day of the trial. He now works for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
He was a lead investigator with the police department on this case.
Prosecutor Beth Reed asked him to discuss the efforts the department made to find Berreth after she was reported missing. Adams listed them out:
–They sent out press releases to the media to spread the word
–Berreth’s family met with the press to explain the situation and describe Kelsey Berreth
–Police looked at bank records, cell phone records and social media records
–Police searched Berreth’s townhome
–Police opened up a tip line (which received between 500 and 600 tips, Adams said, and many were followed up on. Some people did not call back. Some calls were from psychics, he said.)
Adams said according to Kenney’s testimony, Frazee had discussed putting Berreth’s remains in a river or a landfill, which led investigators to search the Midway Landfill near Fountain . Adams said they didn’t find anything substantial at the landfill and the search ended in mid-April .
Reed asked if Adams knew anything about EVRAZ Steel, a steel manufacturer, and Adams said he learned of the name about a month ago in relation to the silver trash can that found was near the trough where Frazee allegedly burned Berreth’s body. A ranch hand previously described the trash can and its placement on the fifth day of the trial.
Adams also confirmed that he was not aware of Frazee and Berreth’s child custody exchanges at the police station in Woodland Park. He said they never received any calls for service from either of them before, he said.
Throughout the investigation, he never found information to suggest that Berreth was alive, he said.
Reed then asked about the gun that Berreth had in her possession before her disappearance. Frazee is accused of giving it to Kenney to take with her back to Idaho , where she allegedly gave it to her friend, Mark Pearson, to hold onto. Adams said they were able to collect the gun from Pearson and traced it. They found the original purchaser was Berreth and that she bought it in 2014.
District attorney investigator got buccal swabs from Kaylee
The state then recalled another witness who had already testified: Stephanie Courtney. She’s an investigator with the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. She previously testified about surveillance video showing Frazee and his truck at a Walmart and ATM, as well as Berreth at the Woodland Park Safeway .
She was also tasked with getting buccal swabs from Kaylee on Dec. 21, which Courtney said was not an easy thing to do. She’d never had to take a buccal sample from a 1-year-old before.
“I think she thought I was going to give her candy… She bit down on it and didn’t want to let go,” Courtney said in court.
She turned the sample over to the Woodland Park Police Department, which eventually gave it to the CBI.
Work friend recalls discussions with Berreth around time of alleged murder
Robert Hill was the next witness prosecutors called up to the stand. He’s a flight instructor at L3 Harris, which acquired Doss Aviation. He said he’s worked as a flight instructor since February 2017 and got his pilot license in 2010.
He started at Doss in November 2017 and went through the training program, which he said requires long hours and studying 12 hours a day. He called it “intensive” and “the hardest training program I’ve ever done.”
Hill said he got to know Berreth through the training program but knew her from a previous job at Springs Aviation out of Falcon, which is northeast of Colorado Springs. They went through part of the program together — in the spring and summer of 2018. He remembered talking about their time at Springs Aviation, which they enjoyed but didn’t get many students to work with.
Hill said they were fairly close, but not romantically. He said he thought Frazee was Berreth’s husband and that she had talked about him at work. He knew Frazee was Kaylee’s father, he said.
Berreth had mentioned that she didn’t get along well with Frazee’s mother, Sheila Frazee.
Once, she came into work and seemed stressed and when Hill asked why, Berreth replied that Frazee had been “acting like a dick” that day.
Hill said he didn’t know much about Berreth and Frazee’s custody arrangement, but he knew Frazee brought Kaylee to work with him. Berreth never mentioned giving up custody of her, Hill said. He met Kaylee a few times when Berreth would bring her into work when she was about 1 year old. He said she slept most of the time and he didn’t see any indication that she was being abused.
On Nov. 20, 2018 — two days before Thanksgiving — Reed and Berreth had dinner together at a Chili’s. They talked about work and their Thanksgiving plans, he said. Hill asked if she would bring Frazee to the company’s Christmas party and Berreth said no because Frazee didn’t “like wearing khakis or slacks,” Hill said. He said he thought this was odd.
Hill said when Berreth came into work one time, she said a random woman had come to her house with a coffee. Hill recalled talking with Berreth about the strange encounter. Hill said he didn’t remember if Berreth told him that she drank the coffee.
In a previous testimony, Kenney had said she brought Berreth a coffee that was supposed to have something in it that would kill her, per Frazee’s request. Kenney testified that she didn’t follow through with this plan, but did give Berreth an untouched coffee from Starbucks.
In August 2018, Berreth took time off to go to a stress rehab facility, Hill said. He didn’t remember how long she was gone.
When asked, Hill said he had no indication that Berreth was using drugs or alcohol. In the time he got to know her, she never drank, he said.
When he said this, Frazee scribbled notes on paper in the courtroom.
During the cross-examination, defense attorney Porter asked for more details on their relationship. Hill confirmed their friendship grew as they worked together.
He said he assumed Berreth and Frazee were married because Berreth told people they were. He confirmed he found out later that that wasn’t true.
Flight instructor: Berreth said Frazee wasn’t treating her well
Prosecutors called Carolyn Sharp to the witness stand next. She is a flight instructor at Doss and has worked there for four years.
She said Doss provides initial flight training for active U.S. Air Force pilots. They have about 200 students now, with more on the way, and fly anywhere from two to three times a day with the student, she said. They typically spend about three hours with each student, depending on the mission that day.
She said it is common for them to fly multiple times with the same student.
The instructor and student are in close quarters, especially in the plane, and they have call signs. Sharp said hers is “Razor,” which is a play on her last name. She said she can tell what students had for breakfast, if they have alcohol issues, if they haven’t done laundry and more — they are that close during the training.
She said she got to know Berreth through work. She offered Berreth her guest room so she could stay there during the week and not commute every day.
Sharp said new hire training takes extra work for a civilian who doesn’t come from USAF training. When she first took the job, Berreth took up Sharp’s offer, and stayed with her during the week. She’d go home on weekends. Sharp said she knew Berreth lived around Woodland Park or Florissant. Sharp said Berreth was pregnant at this time and knew Frazee as her boyfriend.
When Berreth was staying with Sharp, she’d call Frazee almost every night, Sharp said. She said she didn’t eavesdrop on their calls, so she didn’t know what they talked about.
Sharp said she noted changes in Berreth’s body language after these calls — it seemed that things were “not OK,” Sharp said. When she asked about it, Berreth was quiet and would say she didn’t want to bring Sharp into it. Berreth briefly mentioned Frazee wasn’t treating her well at one point, Sharp said.
She stayed in Sharp’s guest room during the workweek for about six weeks.
At one point, Berreth had to stop training because she couldn’t comfortably sit in the cockpit with her pregnancy. Sharp said Berreth ended her training just before the second part of that instruction.
After Kaylee was born and Berreth returned to work, Sharp saw Berreth almost daily. Sharp kept a photo of Kaylee from when she was born on her fridge, she said. Berreth talked about the newborn all the time, she said. Sharp met Kaylee several times when they were doing administrative duties at work, she said. Berreth had called beforehand to make sure it was OK to bring Kaylee into work and Sharp had replied that it was fine, as long as she didn’t mind others holding the newborn.
She described Kaylee as a beautiful, well-behaved and happy baby. She didn’t notice any signs of abuse. Berreth loved being a mom, Sharp said.
“What a woman of strength to be able to do that,” Sharp said. “I don’t know if I could.”
Prosecutor Viehman asked if Sharp ever had concerns about Berreth drinking or using drugs. Sharp said no. She added that she never saw any signs of that — only stress tied to being a new mother working in a high-pressure job.
“Would Kelsey have ever left Kaylee?” Viehman asked.
“No,” Sharp replied.
She said Berreth was private, quiet, reserved but sweet during the whole time she knew her.
“I always really liked her,” she said.
Court broke for a recess at 10 a.m.
Two more of Berreth’s coworkers testify
Prosecutors called two more of Berreth’s coworkers to the stand Wednesday morning after the recess — around 10:18 a.m.
Peter Sergejev, a flight instructor at Doss Aviation who worked with Berreth, testified that he was close with Berreth and they talked often, venting to each other and having coffee from time to time.
Before Thanksgiving, Berreth told Sergejev that she didn’t have many plans for the holiday and would maybe make a turkey, he said.
Sergejev said he met Kaylee two times and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary about the child. Berreth would share updates about her daughter growing up and learning to crawl and told Sergejev that she liked being a mother, he said. Berreth had told him about going to the rehab facility in August 2018, he said.
Frazee’s attorneys declined to cross-examine Sergejev and he was excused after just several minutes on the stand.
Mark Maryak, the chief pilot for initial training at Doss Aviation, testified that Berreth had successfully completed the Doss training program. He said most instructors have 20 years of USAF experience and even they call it “grueling.”
He said that he never had any concerns that Berreth was abusing alcohol or drugs. Doss instructors specifically look for those type of issues, Maryak said.
Maryak said Berreth told him that her leave of absence from work in August 2018 was a rest program for possible chronic fatigue. When she returned to work about a week or two later, she seemed more rested, Maryak said. He said they regularly remind their pilots how important a good night of sleep is.
He last saw Berreth on Nov. 21 – a day she flew – and he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, he said. He said he believes she was scheduled to fly the following Monday, Nov. 26.
On Dec. 2 — the day Berreth’s mother called Woodland Park requesting a welfare check for her daughter — Maryak tried calling Berreth three times. She didn’t answer, he said.
Frazee’s attorneys also declined to cross-examine Maryak and he was excused after about 10 minutes on the stand.
CBI forensic serologist explains DNA evidence found at Berreth townhome
Lindsay Roup, a forensic serologist for the CBI, testified about the DNA evidence collected from Berreth’s townhome and how the items were tested.
She said she examines fluid like blood or semen, which is separate than DNA analysis.
Roup said the toilet in the home tested positive for blood, along with other areas of the bathroom: Swabs from the wall, under the towel rack, the sink, the side of the tub and the door.
The tests of other items – a metal file, the inside of a washer machine and a bottle of bleach – did not indicate the presence of blood.
The court broke for an early lunch about 11:30 a.m. Testimony was expected to resume about 12:30 p.m. Before everybody left, Judge Sells said he will meet with both attorneys to discuss an upcoming witness off-the-record.
Previous townhome owner testifies about blood in home
The early afternoon testimony centered on the blood discovered inside Berreth’s townhome — and who it belonged to.
Sue Gorney, the previous owner of Berreth’s townhome, took the stand after court resumed on Wednesday afternoon. Gorney testified that she had lived in the townhome primarily alone for 26 years, aside from having a roommate for the first five months. She sold it to Berreth’s parents, who bought it for her, on May 11, 2018.
She met Berreth once, she said.
Prosecutor Dan May asked Gorney if she had ever cut herself or bled inside the home. Gorney said yes, explaining that her skin cuts easily if she knocks into things around the house. She said this happened especially while she was moving out of the home last year.
Gorney testified that she remembered wiping up a drop of blood off her while moving, but it was not a lot. Her skin was too thin for band-aids, so she let her cuts air dry and blood would sometimes drip in the house, she said.
Gorney said she was moved out of the home by the end of April and had vacuumed and mopped the floors and wiped down the walls, cabinets and appliances.
Frazee’s attorneys did not question Gorney.
Forensic expert says she’s confident tooth fragment was human
Diane France, a forensic anthropologist and adjunct professor at Colorado State University, was called to the stand as an expert in forensic anthropology. She said police have called her hundreds of times to help in cases over the last 35 years.
Her area of expertise is helping determine whether remains are human or not. She said she can usually do this just by looking at a picture. She’s testified more than 20 times as an expert in Colorado, she said.
In the Berreth case, NecroSearch International, the company that helped search a landfill for Berreth’s body, contacted France. She volunteered and was assigned to analyze anything that could be possible human remains.
France said hundreds of bones were found, but many were chicken bones and none were human.
The CBI also contacted France in the case, asking her to examine a possible human tooth fragment that was found in Berreth’s condo. France took pictures of the possible tooth and testified that it certainly looked like one.
Prosecutors then handed France the pictures of the tooth, which appeared to be broken and about 1/5 of an inch. She said it appeared to be a molar. France said she went through “her extensive remains collection” and determined that the tooth was consistent with a human tooth. She said it definitely did not belong to a dog, horse or elk.
During this discussion, Darrell Berreth, Kelsey Berreth’s father, leaned forward and listened intently.
Frazee’s attorney Adam Stiegerwald cross-examined France and referenced that she had said she was 80 percent confident it was a human tooth. France agreed, but said she did not like putting a percentage on it.
She said a DNA analysis of the tooth could raise her confidence from 80 percent to 100 percent.
When the defense asked, France testified that the broken tooth appeared to be fractured. She noted that there are a few ways to fracture a tooth, including blunt force trauma and severe light technology.
Prosecutors asked France if there was anything inconsistent with a human tooth in the fragments she saw. She said no. When asked, France said blunt force trauma could involve somebody getting hit with a bat.
CBI forensic scientist: Blood found in townhome was likely Berreth’s
Caitlin Rogers, a forensic scientist with the CBI who specializes in DNA analysis, testified about the evidence items that were tested at the CBI’s Pueblo lab.
Rogers used what was believed to be Berreth’s toothbrush and mouth guard to build a DNA profile for Berreth. When asked, she described DNA as a “molecular footprint” that codes a person’s looks and functions.
She said DNA stays on an item until it’s destroyed or removed. For example, she said, she believed she could get a DNA profile from somebody who had sat in one of the jury chairs a month ago, possibly even six months ago.
She looked at multiple items as a part of this case, she said. The lab did an analysis on each one. She has 12 reports for each round of analysis, she said, plus a 13th that is all-encompassing. She said this is the most she’s ever done for a case.
One hundred and nineteen items were submitted and she tested all but 27, she said.
She used buccal swabs to obtain a DNA profile from Frazee, Kaylee, Cheryl Berreth (Kelsey Berreth’s mother), Clint Berreth (Kelsey Berreth’s brother) and Gorney, the previous townhome resident. She said she was also provided buccal swabs for Kenney.
She explained that she wanted to have all buccal swabs for people who may have been in contact with the crime scene.
In the analysis of the blood found on the side of Berreth’s bath tub, Rogers said her final conclusion, which came on July 10, showed that it was a mixture of two people’s DNA. But the blood was much more likely — 46 septillion times more likely — to be Berreth and an unknown individual than two unknown individuals, she said.
Rogers also said it was 100,000 times more likely to be Gorney and an unknown person than two unknown people.
When Viehman asked if it was fair to say Berreth was the main contributor to this blood spot, Rogers said yes.
The blood sample from the bathroom toilet was at least 108 septillion times more likely to be from Berreth than someone else, Rogers testified. All of the genetic material in the single-source sample was consistent with Berreth, Rogers said.
About the same high likelihood was applied to the blood sample found on the front fireplace and on the baby gate in the home: Each sample was 100 septillion times more likely to be from Berreth than someone else, Rogers said.
Berreth’s family was taking notes attentively during this point in Rogers’s testimony.
Court broke after Rogers’s testimony and was scheduled to resume shortly before 3 p.m.
CBI scientist: Tooth fragments tested positive for human DNA
After the break, Rogers’ testimony continued. She said Berreth’s likely DNA was found in the positive blood samples in the home.
Rogers did a presumptive test for blood n the grout on the fireplace tile, which came back positive. She then did a DNA test and her June 21 report showed that the profile was 100 septillion times more likely to belong to Berreth than an unknown, unrelated individual.
Rogers said she also tested red-brown stains on the hardwood floor. The presumptive test came back positive and her July 10 report found that the profile was a two-person mixture. She explained that the mixture is at least 150 quadrillion times more likely to be observed by Berreth and an unknown individual than two unknown individuals. The mixture was at least 36 undecillion (which is a number followed by 36 zeros) times more likely to come from Berreth and Gorney than two other people, she said.
In another testing of a separate area of the hardwood floor, Rogers said she found a mixture of three contributors, including at least one male. She said it’s 79 sextillion more likely to have originated from Berreth and two unknown people than three unknown people. And it was seven times mores more likely to have come from Frazee and two unknown people than three unknown people, Rogers said. She said she tested if it could have been Frazee, Berreth and Gorney, and the test came back positive, meaning it was a possibility. Rogers said she concluded that Berreth and Gorney were the two main contributors.
Viehman asked Rogers about her tests on a sample of hay from Nash Ranch. She tried a presumptive blood test, which came back negative. DNA was not detected on the hay, she said.
Prosecutors then asked her about one of the two possible tooth fragments, both of which appeared to have come from where Frazee had allegedly burned Berreth’s body. A picture of one was shown on the slideshow. It appeared about half a centimeter wide.
Rogers said she analyzed the fragment, which tested negative for blood and saliva. But a DNA test detected female human DNA, Rogers said. She tried to develop a DNA profile from the fragment, but there wasn’t enough DNA available. The remainder of the tooth was sent to the FBI.
Five teeth were found in Frazee’s home during a search of the property between early December and late January, according to a search warrant released publicly in March. But these have not been brought up in court as of Thursday and are likely unrelated to the investigation.
In further questioning about the blood found inside Berreth’s home, Rogers explained that she tested two chairs — one to the right of the TV stand and one to the left.
The right chair had a DNA mix of three people, including at least one male. The left chair had a mix of two people. She said it was 47 septillion times more likely to originate form Berreth and an unknown person than two unknown people.
A possible blood mark from the front of the couch tested positive. Rogers concluded that it was almost definitively Berreth’s blood.
Viehman then asked about additional floorboards that had been submitted for evidence. Rogers said she received a part of the floors from the living room for testing. It tested positive for blood and the DNA mixture showed two possible contributors. She said she concluded it belonged to Berreth and Gorney.
She tested another part of the hardwood floors, which she noted had red-brown staining in places. She swabbed in multiple places. The first one showed a mix of three people’s DNA. The second one showed a mix of two people.
Another section of the floor tested positive for blood and two people’s DNA. It was at least 22 undecillion times more likely to be from Berreth and Gorney than two unknown people, Rogers said. Another piece of the floorboard proved similar results: It was 4.4 quattuordecillion times more likely to have come from the two women than two unknown people.
In another sample of the hardwood floor, Rogers said she found moderate support of Frazee’s DNA. It was mixed with two other people’s, she said.
Prosecutors showed one last piece of the hardwood floor, which contained seven parts. She took a sample from each part, which all tested positive for presumptive blood.
Overall, she said these results showed that the blood samples in the townhome overwhelmingly matched Berreth’s DNA.
As the last question of the day, Viehman asked how bleach can affect DNA.
Rogers said it destroys it to the point where it cannot be detected.
The trial will resume at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May said he expects the prosecution will be able to wrap their witnesses Thursday. One witness, who will arrive in Colorado from out of state on Thursday morning, is their second-to-last witness, May said. At the latest, they will rest their case Friday morning, he said. Defense attorney Adam Stiegerwald said he also anticipates closing statements on Friday afternoon after their witnesses.
When Judge Sells asked how much time they’ll need for closing statements, May said about 30 minutes for the prosecution and Stiegerwald said an hour for the defense.
CBI agent says he doesn’t know where investigation would be without Kenney’s testimony
A lead agent in the Patrick Frazee murder case testified on Thursday morning that he doesn’t know where the investigation would be without the testimony of Frazee’s ex-girlfriend Krystal Lee Kenney, who was accused of helping Frazee murder Berreth but took a plea deal on a tampering charge.
Frazee’s lead attorney, Adam Stiegerwald, pushed back on Kenney’s testimony, pointing out that she only provided information to investigators after the plea deal was signed.
Also on Thursday, jurors heard more testimony about the DNA evidence discovered inside Berreth’s townhome. Stiegerwald pointed out that evidence of Frazee’s DNA was hardly found among the samples tested.
Mary Longmire, a Teller County Department of Human Services employee, testified about her conversation with Frazee, in which he provided information about his fraying relationship with Berreth and their contact before she disappeared. She said Frazee told her he talked with Berreth on Sunday morning, Nov. 24, and later received a text from Berreth, asking, “Do you even love me?” Frazee said he tried to respond, “Of course I do,” but his text didn’t go through, Longmire testified. Frazee said he did not hear from Berreth again, according to Longmire.
Jurors also heard detailed testimony about text exchanges between the phones of Frazee and Berreth, and Frazee and Kenney. And an FBI agent who specializes in cell phone data testified about the phone activity of all three of the phones from Nov. 23, when Kenney began driving from Idaho to Colorado, to Nov. 25, when Kenney returned to Idaho.
CBI analyst: Possible Frazee DNA on one area of home
Day 9 of the trial began with more testimony from Colorado Bureau of Investigation DNA analyst Caitlin Rogers, who had testified on Wednesday about the blood samples found at Berreth’s home and the tooth fragments found on Frazee’s property.
Frazee’s attorney, Adam Stiegerwald, questioned Rogers about the evidence tested from Berreth’s townhome after her disappearance last year, pointing out that Frazee’s DNA was hardly found inside the home. He also noted that the hay sample and hay swine from Nash Ranch underwent a presumptive blood test and both came back negative.
In addition, he pointed out several other items that tested negative for blood, including possible blood on the right side of the fireplace, possible blood underneath the cedar chest, candles on the windowsill, a floor vent in the living room and more. He said Kenney isn’t a contributor to many of the evidence points or swabs either, which Rogers confirmed.
During the cross-examination, Stiegerwald asked Rogers about the genetic material found inside Berreth’s the home. Frazee was excluded from several of the tests, except for two samples found on the floorboard, Rogers confirmed.
Stiegerwald also pointed out that the Kenney’s DNA was not detected inside Berreth’s home. When the prosecution asked Rogers if she was surprised that Kenney’s DNA wasn’t found inside the townhome, she said no.
Kenney had testified that she wore a protective suit and gloves and cleaned Berreth’s home with bleach, and Rogers said bleach destroys DNA.
CBI agent describes Berreth’s office
The state called CBI agent Michael Hecht, who interviewed many of Berreth’s coworkers at Doss Aviation after her disappearance. He has worked more than 12 years in law enforcement.
He said he was familiar with Doss Aviation, where Berreth worked before she went missing.
On Dec. 4, he interviewed several flight instructors. He returned the following day to look through Berreth’s work space for evidence, such as a suicide note, itinerary and more. He said he found no evidence that indicated where Berreth may have been.
A photo submitted into the evidence showed a typical desk area: A chair, a computer, a calendar with a Bible verse and a picture of Berreth and Frazee’s young daughter, Kaylee.
DHS worker recounts interview with Frazee
The state then called Mary Longmire, who has worked for the Teller County Department of Human Services for 15 years, to the witness stand. She normally works as a supervisor, but sometimes steps in for “field work,” she said.
She became involved in the case after the department received a referral, she said, and her the director asked her to be the case worker. She recalled this happened on Dec. 21, which is the same day Frazee was arrested .
Police told her he was arrested for murder, she said. Longmire said she had to do interviews of anybody who sought custody of Kaylee.
Police told her he was arrested for murder, she said. Longmire said she had to do interviews of anybody who sought custody of Kaylee.
She said she met with Berreth’s parents — Cheryl and Darrell Berreth — Sheila Frazee (Patrick Frazee’s mother), Erin Frazee (his sister) and her partner Pamela Flowers, and Frazee himself.
She said she talked with him on Dec. 21 and they went through paperwork. She talked with him again on Dec. 26. Prosecutor Viehman asked for more information on the latter discussion.
Longmire said she wanted to gather information on Frazee and Kaylee to complete a “social history” because the department wanted to give Kaylee to relatives who lived outside of Colorado.
Frazee provided her with a lot of information on Kaylee’s development and schedule, she said. He told her that he and Berreth had decided to separate and talked about their co-parenting plan, she said. Frazee also told her that they were separated when Kaylee was born and that Berreth never wanted to fix things, she said. He also said he was the sole bread winner and didn’t mention Berreth’s employment at Doss Aviation until a later date.
When asked about his relationship with Berreth in 2018, Frazee said she had gone to California for rehab for about two weeks and claimed it was for depression and alcohol, Longmire said. Frazee described friction in the relationship over money, telling Longmire they had “heated discussions” before Berreth got employed with Doss around August 2017, Longmire said.
Frazee said Berreth lived in an apartment when she first moved to Colorado and that she sometimes lived with him at his mother’s home. In September 2017, Berreth’s parents rented her a townhome in Woodland Park. Around this time, Frazee had been talking about Berreth’s pregnancy, Longmire said. When Kaylee was born, Frazee said he would watch their daughter while Berreth was at work, but Longmire said there was no indication that Berreth “dumped off Kaylee” on Frazee.
Longmire then described the conversation she had with Frazee about Thanksgiving 2018. Frazee said Berreth called him to come pick up Kaylee on Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving. He said he agreed to meet her about 90 minutes later at the Florissant post office. Frazee said they talked about their relationship then and while driving to Nash Ranch to get water, Longmire said. Frazee said they talked about going their separate ways and that they would split custody of Kaylee equally.
After stopping at the ranch, Frazee got sick and threw up, he told Longmire. He said Berreth went to get medicine and returned with it, before taking Kaylee to her townhome. Frazee said Berreth texted him to say they made it home safely.
On Thanksgiving Day, Frazee said he talked with Berreth around 9-9:30 a.m. and told her he would pick up Kaylee about 12:30 p.m. that day. He told Longmire that he picked up Kaylee — Longmire said she assumed this took place at Berreth’s home — and said he and Berreth agreed to talk again the next morning.
Frazee told Longmire they texted the next morning and decided that Kaylee would stay with him. He said he was supposed to keep the baby until 5:30 p.m., when they’d meet at the Florissant post office. He said Berreth texted him to say he should keep Kaylee, Longmire said.
Frazee told Longmire that Berreth texted him the next morning, saying she wanted to go to church alone that Sunday. Later that Saturday, Frazee said they had a heated conversation about their relationship and Frazee told Berreth he would keep Kaylee “until the storm blew over,” Longmire said. He said Berreth “lost it,” Longmire testified.
Frazee said he talked with Berreth again on Sunday morning, Nov. 25. He called her again later that afternoon and it went to voicemail, Longmire said Frazee told her. He said he later received a text from Berreth, asking, “Do you even love me?” Frazee said he tried to respond, “Of course I do,” but his text didn’t go through, Longmire testified.
Frazee claimed that he tried calling her later that night and again tried to contact her over the next three days, through Wednesday, Nov. 28. When asked if he had been concerned, Frazee said he became concerned as time went by, Longmire testified.
Stiegerwald, Frazee’s attorney, asked Longmire about her Dec. 26 conversation with Frazee and confirmed if Frazee and Berreth – according to the conversation – were at the Nash Ranch late on the night of Nov. 21. Longmire said yes.
Longmire was excused and court went into recess shortly after 10 a.m.
CBI agent: “Honestly don’t know” where case would be without Kenney
Gregg Slater, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent who contacted and interviewed Kenney, testified about how Kenney has helped the case. He had testified on day three of the trial.
First, prosecutor Viehman asked if a cadaver dog was ever used on the burn area on the Frazee ranch or on his truck. Slater said no. On Dec. 14, they were unaware of any information about a tote or burn pit because Kenney had not yet come forward with her story, he said.
When prosecutor Viehman asked where the investigation would be without Kenney’s involvement, Slater responded: “I honestly don’t know.” He said before Kenney’s Dec. 20 interview — when she spilled her testimony to law enforcement and investigators — Slater believed something had happened in Berreth’s bathroom and home. He said they didn’t know about the tote, burn put, Nash Ranch or Conoco meet-ups. They did, however, know that Berreth’s and Frazee’s phones had traveled together around Thanksgiving.
“We didn’t know anything other than Berreth was missing, her belongings were missing… her behavior was off,” Slater said.
Slater said he traveled to Kenney’s home with an FBI special agent and Twin Falls police detective in Twin Falls, Idaho, on Dec. 17, 2018, and attempted to interview her. The authorities had warrants to search her home and to collect a buccal swab from Kenney for a DNA test.
In her living room, Slater explained that they knew she was involved in Berreth’s disappearance and had evidence to support it. They wanted to hear her side of the story, Slater said.
Kenney agreed to talk but asked to have an attorney. And before she gave a statement to the investigators three days later, she signed an agreement with the district attorney’s office — a detail brought up by Frazee’s attorney, Adam Stiegerwald, in his questioning of Slater.
When Kenney did talk, Slater said she provided the investigators with information about the black tote container, in which Berreth’s body was allegedly burned; the Nash Ranch, where Frazee allegedly kept the black tote; and the area where the tote was allegedly burned on Frazee’s property.
Slater said they returned to the ranch on Dec. 21 and only then noticed the discoloration in the dirt, where Frazee had allegedly burned Berreth’s body in a rusted-out trough and asked ranch hands to cover the burn area.
Kenney also informed the investigators about the blood found on Berreth’s toilet, floor, baby gate, couch and fireplace in her townhome. Slater said they did not notice this when they first entered Berreth’s townhome.
“If Kenney didn’t tell you about that, would that evidence ever have been found?” Prosecutor Viehman asked Slater.
“No,” Slater replied.
Viehman then asked about Berreth and Frazee’s relationship. Slater said based on their texts back and forth, Berreth initiated most of the conversations and Frazee responded infrequently. She would text him about picking up Kaylee, thanking for him for picking up the baby, details about the next exchange and her frustration about the status of the relationship. Those texts went back as far as April 2018, Slater said.
Berreth would text Frazee about starting a family together and if that was ever going to happen, if he loved her and not being able to see Kaylee as much as she wanted, Slater said. She would also text him information of houses they could purchase, he said, and she’d talk with her parents about the properties and if they could help with a down payment.
The last time Berreth posted on Facebook was Oct. 30, 2018, Slater said. He noted there were a lot of photos of Kaylee on her profile page. She’d send many photos of the newborn to Frazee as well, he said. She would also send him links to various properties through Facebook. Slater said he didn’t see any responses from Frazee. After the media had picked up the story that Berreth was missing, Slater noticed many people posting on Berreth’s Facebook wall, but he never saw a comment from Frazee.
Viehman asked if Slater ever found a flight itinerary for Berreth, which he confirmed. He said he found an itinerary for her to go to California in August 2018. This would have been for rehab for possible chronic fatigue, prosecutors said previously. Slater said he found information that showed Berreth had sent the itinerary information to Frazee.
Viehman then backed up to the day of the alleged murder — Nov. 22, 2018 — and asked about the text exchange between Frazee and Berreth, and Frazee and Kenney. Slater detailed the texts:
-3:37 a.m.: Frazee texted Berreth telling her he will come to Woodland Park after his chores and could take Kaylee with him on errands (Walmart and the bank) while Berreth napped. Then, they could figure out a plan for the day.
-3:53 a.m.: Berreth texted Frazee letting him know they had just gotten home to her townhome. He replied, “OK, thanks.”
-9:15 a.m.: Berreth texted Frazee asking if he wanted to go out to eat. He did not respond.
-9:37 a.m.: Berreth texted him asking him to call when he was awake. He did not respond.
-12:41 p.m.: Berreth texted Frazee that she bought sweet potatoes in case he wanted a sweet potato casserole, but forgot pecans.
-4:39 p.m.: Frazee texted Kenney saying happy Thanksgiving and to call when she could. Kenney did not reply.
-5:32 p.m.: Berreth’s phone texted Cheryl Berreth (Kelsey Berreth’s mother) that they went shooting that day and that she had had fun using her gun again. She said Frazee was going to let her keep it and that she’ll now feel safe running again. Cheryl Berreth responded, “Great!”
-9:35 p.m.: Kenney texted Frazee saying, “Happy thanksgiving to you guys too!”
Slater then detailed the texts from Nov. 23, the following day:
-6:59 a.m.: Berreth’s phone texted Frazee asking him to call her when he was awake
-7:32 a.m.: Berreth’s phone texted Frazee saying she was running late and would call when she got home. Frazee responds, “OK. Be safe.”
-3:13 p.m.: Frazee texted Berreth, asking how her shopping was going. Her phone replied saying she was just looking and hadn’t seen anything she liked.
-After 5 p.m.: Berreth’s phone texted Frazee asking him to keep Kaylee that night because she was tired.
-5:23 p.m.: Frazee responded, saying sure, that he didn’t mind doing so. He asked if she needed anything and she said no.
The CBI investigator then moved on to the texts from Nov. 24:
-7:24 a.m.: Kenney texted Frazee about looking at horses around 9 that day.
-7:26 a.m.: Frazee said 8:45 a.m. would be better.
-7:41 a.m.: Frazee texted Berreth to see if she was awake.
-7:43 a.m.: Kenney texted Frazee saying she didn’t know if she could make it by 8:45 a.m.
-7:45 a.m.: Berreth texted Frazee apologizing because she didn’t hear her phone. She said she would call after she showered.
-Unknown time: Kenney called Frazee saying she would call later.
-1:01 p.m.: Kenney texted Frazee saying she was curious if then was a good time to come over and Frazee responded that was fine, as he was almost back home. He said he’d be back home in 15 minutes.
-3:59 p.m.: Berreth texted Cheryl Berreth and said she’d call her the following day.
-4:07 p.m.: Frazee texted Berreth saying if this was what she really wanted, he’d respect her wishes and give her space. “If you change your mind, you can call me,” his message read.
-4:21 p.m.: Kenney texted Frazee thanking him for letting her see the horse.
-4:33 p.m.: Frazee texted Kenney saying it wasn’t a problem and to let him know how many mares she wanted to breed and they would make it work.
-6:25 p.m.: Kenney texted Megan Garrison, saying she was going to stay at Garrison’s house that evening and if that was OK, which Garrison agreed to. Garrison is her friend from Idaho. In a previous testimony, Kenney said she borrowed Garrison’s car to drive to Colorado.
-6:32 p.m.: Garrison responded that it was fine for Kenney to stay the night.
Slater then continued to show texts between Berreth and Frazee from the following day, Nov. 25:
-7:34 a.m.: Berreth texted Frazee, asking to call her when he and Kaylee wake up
-8:53 a.m.: Berreth texted Frazee, saying “Patrick.Frazee1985@gmail.com. Password Kaylee05.” Frazee responded, saying thanks and “I’ll look at ’em when I get time tonight.”
-Unknown time: Berreth texted Frazee, “Call me when you guys are done.” Frazee responds, saying “OK will do.”
-Unknown time: Berreth texted Frazee, “Do you even love me?”
-6:29 p.m.: Kenney texted Frazee, “After talking to the powers that be, he thinks just my sisters buckskin”
-Unknown time: Slater said a response from Frazee didn’t go through, but said: “Why would I bend over backwards and stand behind you through everything if I didn’t? So to answer your question, yes I do.”
Slater said he found no more texts from Frazee to Berreth after that – none between Nov. 26 and Dec. 4. Police seized Frazee’s phone on Dec. 4.
Slater said he went to the Frazee ranch on Dec. 14, before talking with Kenney, but the authorities, at that time, had no specific spot to search on the property. They later found a burn area up the hill from the home, about 50 to 75 yards away.
Slater confirmed that he and an FBI agent questioned Kenney on Dec. 20 but first ensured that the agreement for the plea deal was signed with the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Slater said it was what the investigators were told to do first.
Later in the testimony Thursday, Stiegerwald asked Slater if the Nash Ranch is isolated. Slater said yes and that cell service isn’t good there. Earlier in the trial, the prosecution’s witnesses showed that Frazee wasn’t overly responsive to texts.
FBI agent details call records
The state recalled Kevin Hoyland, a cell phone expert with the FBI. Hoyland helped track the cell phone activity of Frazee, Berreth and Kenney. He previously testified on the fourth day of the trial.
Cell phone records showed that Kenney’s phone moved from Idaho to Colorado on Nov. 23, arrived in Colorado on Nov. 24 and left later that day, arriving back in Idaho on Nov. 25.
On her way to Colorado, Kenney’s phone received six calls from Frazee’s landline phone, totaling 160 minutes of talk time.
In Thursday’s testimony, Hoyland said Berreth’s phone showed a lot of activity near Gooding, Idaho, on Nov. 25. Her phone texted Frazee at 5:11 p.m. and got a response at 5:20 p.m. Frazee called her phone at 5:20 p.m. and 5:21 p.m. but the calls went straight to voicemail. Those calls were the last activity from Berreth’s phone.
Hoyland also testified about the cell activity on Kenney’s phone from earlier in the year. He said her phone used cell towers around Teller County for five consecutive days in June 2018. The same happened for four straight days in July, one day in August, one day in September and three non-consecutive days in October. The prosecution asked if the day in September was the 23rd, and if the October days were the 15th, 16th and 21st. Hoyland confirmed that was correct and that the only way Kenney’s phone could have connected to those towers was if it was within the towers’ parameters.
Investigators also asked Hoyland to look for a single call to a certain 719 number. Hoyland said he was told that number was related to a “burner phone.” He was asked to see if he could tell where the phone was located.
Hoyland said the phone had a single-call record but without tower data. It also had text messages. Hoyland couldn’t tell where exactly it was, noting the phone number could be manipulated and that burner phones are “commonly used by criminals.”
Criminal intelligence analyst outlines details of Frazee, Berreth, Kenney phones’ texts, calls
At 2 p.m., prosecutors called up Kevin Clark. He is a senior criminal intelligence analyst with the Colorado Springs Police Department Metro Vice Unit. He said he is in a strategic communication role and is regularly asked to create visual aids to support investigations from other law enforcement groups.
On Dec. 17, 2018, an FBI agent asked for his help in connection to this case. FBI Special Agent Hoyland, who testified before him, gave him some Verizon call detail records and Clark built a “toll analysis,” which would determine the other numbers that the phone had called, among other data.
The first set belonged to Frazee. The second was Berreth’s. And the third was someone who may have been involved, Clark said. The latter was a 208 area code, which is in Idaho. It was assumed this was Kenney.
Clark said he was also given surveillance footage and photos from all the relevant Woodland Park and Florissant homes and business, including the Safeway, Ent Credit Union, Walmart, Williams Furniture, Conoco and Berreth’s neighbor’s surveillance.
He used all this information to compile multiple timelines, which he printed on big white boards for the trial. The timelines show the communication between multiple cell phones and Frazee’s landline in Florissant between Nov. 22 and Dec. 4, 2018. It mirrored what Slater had said in his previous testimony Thursday, but with more details filled in.
He started with the timeline from Nov. 22:
-12:22-12:31 a.m.: Frazee’s and Berreth’s cell phones signaled together west of Cripple Creek.
-1:18 a.m., 1:19 a.m., 1:20 p.m.: Berreth’s phone called Frazee’s phone. He didn’t answer the first two, but answered the third. All phones pinged off the Florissant tower.
-1:29 a.m.: Berreth’s phone called Frazee’s phone and it connected for 20 seconds. Her phone was in Divide and his was in Florissant.
-1:35 a.m.: Frazee’s landline called Kenney’s cell phone. It went to voicemail.
-1:42 a.m.: Berreth’s phone called Frazee’s cell. The call lasted four minutes. Berreth was in Woodland Park and Frazee was still in Florissant.
-3:33 p.m. and 3:34 p.m.: Berreth tried to call Frazee and then he tried to call her. Both phones are in Florissant.
-3:37 a.m. until 3:53 a.m.: Frazee’s cell and Berreth’s cell send multiple text messages back and forth.
-9:03 a.m.: Berreth’s phone called Cheryl Berreth (Kelsey Berreth’s mother) for about six minutes. Her phone was in Woodland Park.
-9:25 a.m.: Berreth’s phone texted Frazee’s cell asking to go eat. Around this same time, Cheryl Berreth called Kelsey Berreth’s phone and they talked for about six minutes
-9:37 a.m.: Berreth’s phone sent Frazee a text asking him to call her when he woke up
-9:40 a.m.: Frazee’s phone called Berreth’s phone. His phone was in Florissant and her phone was in Woodland Park
-12:24 p.m.: Commercial surveillance captured Berreth and Kaylee at the Woodland Park Safeway
-12:30 p.m.: Williams Furniture showed Frazee’s truck traveling north toward Berreth’s home
-12:31 p.m.: Frazee called Berreth’s phone. Both were in Woodland Park
-12:31 p.m.: Berreth’s red Chevy traveled north toward her home, as seen on the Williams Furniture camera
-12:33 p.m.: Berreth called Frazee
-12:38 p.m.: Frazee’s truck drove south away from Berreth’s home
-12:41 p.m.: Berreth texted Frazee saying she bought the sweet potatoes
-12:44-12:50 p.m.: Frazee was spotted in his truck at the Woodland Park Ent
-12:52 p.m.: Frazee and Kaylee were seen at the Walmart
-1:19 p.m.: Frazee’s truck drove north toward Berreth’s home, as seen on the Williams Furniture surveillance
-1:24 p.m.: Frazee, Berreth and Kaylee were seen at Berreth’s front door, as seen on her neighbor’s outdoor cameras
-4:20-4:32 p.m.: A camera captured Frazee at Berreth’s door
-4:24 p.m.: Frazee’s landline called Sheila. His phone was in Woodland Park
-4:34 p.m.: Frazee’s red pickup truck drove south toward Highway 24
-4:37 p.m.: Frazee called Kenney. Frazee’s phone was still in Woodland Park. It went to voicemail
-4:39 p.m.: Frazee texted Kenney to wish her a happy Thanksgiving and asked her to call him when she can.
-4:43 p.m.: Kenney’s cell called Frazee and they talked for about two minutes, 21 seconds. Her phone was in Idaho. His phone was just west of Divide.
-4:50 p.m.: Frazee called Kenney and they talked for four more minutes. His cell phone had moved to the east side of Florissant. Within seconds, Berreth’s phone signaled in the same place.
-5:32 p.m.: Berreth’s phone sent an iMessage to Cheryl Berreth about going shooting that day because Frazee was letting her keep her gun. Prosecutors said they believe Frazee sent this text to Cheryl.
-8:29 p.m.: Frazee’s landline called Kenney, who was still in Idaho. They talked for 47 minutes
-9:32 p.m.: Frazee’s landline called Kenney’s phone again and it was sent to voicemail
-9:25 p.m.: Kenney’s phone texted Frazee’s cell saying happy Thanksgiving
-10:03-10:58 p.m.: Frazee’s and Berreth’s phones appear to be traveling together
-11:11 p.m.: Frazee’s phone signaled in Florissant
-11:30 p.m.: Frazee’s landline called Kenney and they talked for 51 minutes
Clark then went on to show text message exchanges from Nov. 23. His infographic in court included the following highlights:
-Frazee’s and Berreth’s cell phones exchanged text messages in the morning. Both phones were using the same tower and sector in Florissant
-Frazee called Kenney, who was still in Idaho, in the morning as well
-Frazee’s and Berreth’s phones continued to ping together west of Cripple Creek, then west of Cañon City, then west of Cripple Creek again, then northwest of Beulah Valley, then both west of Cripple Creek
-Around 3:15 p.m., Frazee’s cell and Berreth’s cell texted back and forth about Berreth shopping
-At 7:14 p.m., Frazee’s landline called Kenney’s phone and they connected for 36 minutes
-They connected again at 9:41 p.m. for 23 minutes. Kenney’s phone was pinging in Utah
-10:20 p.m.: Frazee’s landline called Kenney’s phone and they talked for four minutes. Her phone was in Salt Lake City
-11:06 p.m.: Frazee’s landline called Kenney’s cell and they talked for 33 minutes. Kenney was on her way into Colorado at this point, Clark said.
Court then broke for a 2:30 p.m. recess and returned around 3 p.m.
When it resumed, a detailed timeline of the cell activity was shown in court, beginning with Nov. 24:
-12:16 a.m.: Frazee’s landline called Kenney’s cell phone, which pinged somewhere in Utah
-1:13 a.m.: Frazee’s landline called Kenney’s phone
-6:39 a.m.: Kenney’s phone signaled west of Florissant
-6:42 a.m.: Kenney’s phone signaled near Frazee’s ranch
-7:11 a.m. Frazee’s landline called Kenney’s phone and left a voicemail
-7:23 a.m.: Frazee’s phone called Kenney’s phone. Frazee’s phone was in Florissant and Kenney’s phone was near Woodland Park, near a tower by Berreth’s home
-7:24 a.m.: Frazee’s phone texted Kenney’s phone
-7:26 a.m.: Frazee’s landline called Kenney’s phone for three minutes
-7:31 a.m.: Frazee’s phone texted Berreth’s phone
-7:42 a.m.: Frazee’s landline called Kenney’s phone and left a voicemail
-7:43 a.m.: Kenney’s phone texted Frazee’s phone
-7:45 a.m. Berreth’s phone texted Frazee’s phone
-7:53 a.m. Frazee’s landline called Kenney’s phone
-7:57 a.m.: Frazee’s phone texted Kenney’s phone
-7:57 a.m.: Frazee’s phone texted Kenney’s phone
-8:32 a.m.: Berreth’s phone called Frazee’s phone for 16 minutes and 27 seconds. Both phones were together in Florissant, connecting to the same tower
-8:33 a.m.: Kenney’s phone texted Frazee’s phone
-9:22 a.m.: Frazee’s landline called Kenney’s phone for five minutes. Her phone was in Woodland Park
-10:47 a.m.: Frazee’s phone called Kenney’s phone. His phone was west of Divide
-10:54 a.m.: Cheryl Berreth called Kelsey Berreth’s phone. Kelsey’s phone was on the east side of Divide
-11:39 a.m.: Frazee’s phone called Kenney’s phone. His phone was east of Divide. Kenney’s phone was in Woodland Park
Clark continued to show a timeline of activity throughout the afternoon and also included surveillance video of Frazee and Kenney at a Conoco station in Florissant. The timeline included the following:
-12:06 p.m.-12:45 p.m.: Frazee’s phone signaled, and around the same time, Berreth’s phone signaled. The phones were together west of Cripple Creek
-12:51 p.m.: Arlo notification signaled for Berreth’s neighbor’s surveillance, which showed part of her front door
-12:58:27: Both Frazee’s and Berreth’s phones signaled and co-located
-1:00 p.m.: Sonic surveillance footage showed Kenney in her friend Megan Garrison’s Volkswagen
-1:01 p.m.: Kenney’s phone texted Frazee’s phone
-1:05-1:06 p.m.: Frazee’s and Berreth’s phones signaled near Florissant
-1:38 p.m.: Kenney’s phone signaled in Florissant. It was the last activity from Kenney’s phone for several hours
-3:56 p.m.: Frazee’s phone called Berreth’s phone. Frazee’s phone was in Florissant. Berreth’s phone was near her home in Woodland Park. The call was two minutes.
-3:59 p.m.: Berreth’s phone sent an iMessage to Cheryl Berreth
-4:03 p.m.: Berreth’s phone moved in Woodland Park from a sector near her house to the south
-4:17 p.m.: Kenney was seen on Conoco surveillance footage. Her phone signaled there
-4:21 p.m.: Kenney’s phone texted Frazee’s phone
-4:21 p.m.: Kenney’s phone called her ex-husband, Chad Lee
-4:33 p.m.: Frazee’s phone texted Kenney’s phone
-4:32-4:39 p.m.: Frazee was seen on Conoco surveillance video filling up a red gas can
-4:49 p.m.: Frazee’s truck left the Conoco
-5-5:59 p.m.: Frazee’s and Kenney’s phones signaled together at Nash Ranch
-6:24 p.m.: Frazee’s phone called his landline for two seconds. His phone was in Florissant
-6:25-6:32 p.m.: Kenney’s phone texted Megan Garrison
-6:57 p.m.: Frazee’s truck returned to the Conoco
-6:59 p.m.: The Volkswagen left the Conoco
-7:23 p.m.: Frazee’s landline called Frazee’s phone for six seconds. Frazee’s phone was in Florissant
-7:32 p.m.: Kenney’s phone received a call. It was in Florissant
-9:37 p.m.: The Volkswagen pulled into the Conoco.
-9:40 p.m.: The Volkswagen left and turned west from Conoco. Frazee’s red Toyota left and turned east
-10:53 p.m.: Kenney’s phone signaled near Breckenridge. It continued to signal on Interstate 70, headed west
The timeline Clark presented in court also included cell activity from Nov. 25, showing that Berreth’s phone and Kenney’s phone both signaled near the Colorado-Utah border shortly after 4 a.m. Later that morning, at 7:09 a.m., Frazee called Kenney’s phone and left a voicemail. At 7:43 a.m., Berreth’s phone texted Frazee’s phone – a text prosecutors say was written by Kenney, Clark said.
Throughout the day, Frazee’s landline and phone and exchanged calls and texts with Berreth’s phone, which signaled 30 times in southern Idaho that afternoon, Clark said.
The final cell phone activity from Berreth’s phone was at 5:13 p.m. on Nov. 25.
On Nov. 26, Frazee’s landline and Kenney’s cell phone connected nine times. The following day, he called her three times. The final call was more than an hour long, Clark said.
They had multiple connections from Nov. 28 through Dec. 4. Later in the day on Dec. 4, law enforcement seized Frazee’s phone.
Clark testified that he didn’t see any calls or texts from Frazee’s phone to Berreth’s phone between Nov. 26 and Dec. 4.
Court ended early for the day around 3:40 p.m. The state said they had a couple more witnesses for Friday morning. The judge said he is cautiously optimistic that they will still holding closing statements Friday afternoon. If not, they will start that Monday morning, he said.
Ex-inmate says Frazee asked him to kill witnesses, including Kenney
An inmate who was in the same jail as Patrick Frazee testified Friday that the accused murderer of Kelsey Berreth asked him to kill multiple witnesses in the case, including Krystal Kenney, the woman accused of helping him carry out Berreth’s killing.
On Friday, prosecutors also showed 17 different letters that a witness, who’s a former inmate, said he exchanged with Frazee, who was in the same jail. The man is on probation now. In their passed notes, Frazee asked the man to kill witnesses — Kenney, Michelle Stein (Kenney’s friend in Idaho), John Moore (Frazee’s friend who previously testified), Wendi Clark (Moore’s significant other) and lead Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agent Gregg Slater — and described where they live now and what they look like. In a testimony, Slater confirmed the descriptions of each person and their places of residences were all accurate.
In one letter, Frazee allegedly wrote he’d “really like to see Kenney with a bullet in her head.”
Friday was already expected to be a big day in court, as closing arguments were possible. However, the prosecution rested its case shortly after lunch, Frazee’s attorneys did not call any witnesses and Fourth Judicial District Judge Scott Sells decided to push closing arguments to Monday.
But before court broke for the weekend, Judge Sells ruled that the jury could also consider second-degree murder or manslaughter in the case if they decide to not convict Frazee of first-degree murder. Second-degree murder carries a prison sentence of eight to 24 years and manslaughter carries a sentence of two to six years.
Frazee’s attorneys have pushed for lesser charges in the case.
Analyst: Blood stains ‘consistent’ with someone getting hit by bat
To begin the testimony Friday morning, prosecutors called to the stand Jonathyn Priest, a former longtime Denver police officer who now specializes as an expert in blood stain pattern analysis and crime scene reconstruction.
Priest testified that the blood stains found inside Berreth’s townhome matched what he’d expect to find in a case of a bloodied person getting struck repeatedly. He said the victim in this case — he didn’t name Berreth — could have been hit 10 to 15 times. Bloody footprints discovered around Berreth’s home showed that a person was likely stepping in a “pool of blood” while they walked around, Priest said.
“People aren’t easy to kill,” he said. “They’re very resilient. And beatings are nasty in that they don’t really have the effect that they have on television.”
Priest, who has attended several hundred hours of training in blood stain and blood spatter analysis, said the field involves identifying particular blood stain types and concluding what could have happened or could not have happened to cause those stains and patterns.
With that, Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May began asking Priest about the blood stains found inside Berreth’s townhome. When asked if the blood stains could indicate that someone had been struck by a bat, Priest said, “certainly it’s consistent.” Kenney testified earlier in the trial that Frazee struck Berreth with a baseball bat, killing her.
Priest said when it came to the blood spatters in the condo, all the drops were only centimeters or millimeters long on whatever surface on which they landed.
As he testified, the prosecution played body camera video from Dec. 21, 2018 of Kenney showing authorities where she saw blood inside Berreth’s home. This was the day after she told authorities her full story.
Blood was also found on the television in the townhome, and Kenney said she saw blood and bloody footprints all over the bathroom floor. Priest said a bloody footprint would mean that person stepped in a “relatively significant source of blood.”
In the video, Kenney also said she saw blood in Berreth’s kitchen, including on an appliance, a coffee maker, on the counters and high up on the wall. Priest said that if someone is struck by something, blood would splatter in an arc, with the length of it depending on the force of the strike.
“This is consistent with what I’d expected to see if I saw a blood source in the living room that was being struck with an object multiple times over,” Priest said.
In the video, Kenney and investigators went up to the loft on the second floor and she pointed out bloody footprints upstairs — another indication of a large source of blood, Priest said.
May later pulled up a picture of the blood on the toilet in Berreth’s bathroom. Priest described the blood as a “transfer stain,” meaning something that had blood on it had touched the toilet and left the stain.
“Something bloody contacted this toilet bowl,” Priest said.
“Can you tell us what it was?” May asked.
“No,” Priest said.
May then pulled up a picture of Berreth’s couch, which had wipe marks where someone had used a towel of some sort to wipe the couch with a cleaning liquid in a circular motion.
“In my experience, it is consistent with an effort to clean up an area – of anything,” Priest said.
May pulled up more pictures, which showed blood drops on the fireplace grout, on the front and back of wooden chairs and on the hardwood floor. On the hardwood floor, blood had seeped between the cracks and bloodied the sides of the floorboards, which couldn’t be seen from above.
May also brought up a picture of blood on a floorboard, similar to the previous ones he’d shown, but this one had tested positive for DNA belonging to somebody other than Berreth. Priest noted that the stain would have required a lot of blood, not just a few drops, to make that sort of stain.
May also presented a piece of the floorboard in court and gave it to Priest to look at. Priest said he noted that some hard object had made contact with the wood in two separate locations because there were significant indentations. He said it wasn’t consistent with wood imperfections, but rather something interrupting, or hitting, it.
May asked Priest again if the blood stains in Berreth’s townhome were consistent with someone who was beaten by a bat.
“Oh, absolutely,” Priest said.
At the very minimum, he explained, the victim would have been struck twice, though it was likely more.
“One to start the bleeding and one to create the impact pattern,” Priest said. “But a single impact creates a bit of a pattern. What (Kenney) describes — I see something much more massive.”
Priest estimated the victim may have been struck 10 to 15 times.
May then asked Priest how he would explain why there was so little blood discovered in the townhome. Priest said the spatter stains across the different areas of the home indicated a significant source of blood. He said Kenney’s testimony about cleaning the townhome for hours explains why investigators didn’t see a lot of that blood.
May concluded his questioning by asking if Priest considered the townhome to be the scene of a homicide.
“There is nothing here that tells me the death was accidental,” Priest said. “It’s very consistent with what I’d expect to see in a homicide.”
During the cross-examination, prosecutor Ashley Fridovich Porter confirmed that Priest did not see most of the spatters because Kenney had previously cleaned it. She made a point to explain that he had not actually seen most of these spatter himself. When she asked if it was fair to say a large part of his analysis was based on what Kenney said, Priest said yes, but added that his experience in previous, similar situations helped too. Priest said he likely would have come to a similar conclusion without Kenney’s testimony.
During a redirect, May said there were no inconsistencies between what Priest found at the townhome and Kenney’s testimony.
The jury asked how much blood the offender in this crime would have on them afterward. Priest said typically, the offender doesn’t get much blood on themselves because of the direction of the force, especially in a beating. Blood is usually forced away from the individual delivering the blow, he said.
Former inmate testifies that Frazee asked him to kill witnesses
The former inmate – whom prosecutors asked media to not identify, out of fear of retaliation from prison gangs – said he met Frazee in the Teller County Jail on Sept. 26 of this year. They were housed together in the same pod from the time they met, until Oct. 12.
During that time, they talked to each other and wrote letters.
In their second conversation, Frazee asked the fellow inmate about a tattoo on his face. He was curious about what it meant. The inmate, who has been convicted of two felonies, told Frazee it was from a prison gang, but that he was no longer a member.
The two inmates were curious about each other’s cases and talked about them often. The former inmate said Frazee was concerned about his own upcoming trial in Berreth’s killing.
Frazee asked if the prison gang could do something about the case, saying he could possibly bond his fellow inmate out of jail if he helped him murder the witnesses, the former inmate testified.
The former inmate confirmed to prosecutors that Frazee asked him more than once to murder a witness in the case.
The prosecutors then began showing the handwritten letters between Frazee and the former inmate. The letters referenced “instructions or suggestions to carry out the hits so to speak on the witness” and named specific witnesses, including Kenney and her friend, Michelle Stein.
During cross-examination, Frazee’s attorney, Adam Stiegerwald, questioned the former inmate about how he got involved in the Frazee’s murder trial. Stiegerwald, in the questioning, said the former inmate met with prosecutors on Monday night and had previously contacted the defense attorneys, but declined to talk.
Stiegerwald asked him if he considered selling the jail letters on eBay, since Frazee “would be famous.” The former inmate said he did consider that, but finally felt like he wanted to do the right thing and testify.
He also said he hoped to get a plea bargain by testifying, since he was facing a felony charge that could land him up to 30 years in prison. That charge has since been dropped to a misdemeanor, but the former inmate said he didn’t know this at the time he came forward.
During a redirect prosecutor Beth Reed confirmed that nobody at the prosecution table was involved in the dropping of those charges.
CBI agent details jail letters where Frazee allegedly asked other inmate to kill witnesses
Reed then called up Gregg Slater, the CBI agent, who went through 17 of the letters that Frazee and the inmate allegedly passed back and forth while in the Teller County Jail. Slater said he reviewed these letters. He said all the letters appeared to match Frazee’s handwriting. He read them out loud in the newsroom:
Letter 1 read, “You know where to find Krystal Jean Lee Kenney? Chad Lee? Michelle Stein? John Moore? Wendi Clark? They all need to disappear until at least Nov. 22 after the trial.” All of those people were endorsed witnesses in this case. The letter listed out who each individual is and noted Clark as the “cash cow.” The writer instructed the receiver to call or text “her” using a fake name to say the horses have been taken care of or the elk hunt was successful. While Sheila Frazee’s name was not on the note, her landline and cell phone were.
“My life and my little girl’s life depends on you!” the first letter read.
The writer, who’s assumed to be Frazee, wrote in letter 8 that the planning got his blood flowing, even though he’s “never been a criminal.”
“If I walk out, you and me could pull all kinds of s**t. I know all sorts of rich ranchers around the west,” it read.
In the same letter, Frazee allegedly wrote he’d “really like to see Kenney with a bullet in her head.”
In letter 9, Frazee allegedly claimed that the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office was working with Kenney to give her quotes to say so her testimony matched the circumstantial evidence in the case.
“I know the DA helped put words in her mouth,” the letter read. “No video, no weapon, no body, no forensics, but with the help of the DA, they’re coaching her on the circumstantial evidence for a blank statement to match up.”
Reed asked about Slater’s Dec. 20, 2018 interview with Kenney and Slater confirmed it was the first time he’d heard this story and it was the same one she told in court.
In letter 12, Frazee allegedly said the former inmate would need to “kidnap and hide ’em until you’re done. South Florissant. Guy and chick. 55 to 60 years old.” Slater said Frazee was referencing Moore and Clark here.
In letter 13, Frazee allegedly said “I’m not the monster they say I am. I don’t know what happened or where she went,” and “Any advice how to defend my innocence?”
He is accused of writing in letter 14: “Do you have funds or resources to go to Idaho and back? Was thinking if you could cap ’em in the desert.” Slater said he was talking about Kenney and Stein here.
In letter 15, he allegedly wrote: “I’m excited if we can pull this off — only thing better would be if Krystal sent someone a text from her phone confessing and telling the truth that I didn’t have anything to do with it at all. Gregg Slater and all five disappear,” referencing Kenney’s family, including her children and Chad Lee, and Stein.
Most of the letters had instructions to flush the bathroom paper towels once the former inmate had read the message.
The defense did not cross-examine Slater.
The prosecution then said they would rest their case. The defense — after confirming that Frazee would not testify — also rested without bringing up any witnesses.
What’s planned for Monday
The judge pushed the closing statements to Monday because the court had not reached a decision on legal matters regarding jury instructions.
After closing statements, the jurors will go to the jury room to begin deliberations. They will have access to the evidence as well. It’s not yet known how long they plan to deliberate the case.
At the end of the day Friday, the judge determined that if the jury doesn’t find Frazee guilty of first-degree murder, they could then find him guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter.
Did Patrick Frazee murder Kelsey Berreth? Jury deliberating following closing arguments
Did Patrick Frazee intentionally murder his fiance and mother of his child, Kelsey Berreth, on Thanksgiving Day 2018? That’s the main question the jury will deliberate Monday morning after closing arguments in Frazee’s murder trial.
The case caught national attention when Berreth was reported missing in December 2018 and after Frazee became a murder suspect. Since the trial officially began on Nov. 1, 2019, people around the nation have kept tabs on the happenings inside the Teller County courtroom in the small city of Cripple Creek. Before this trial, Cripple Creek was best known for housing the last mining boom in Colorado. It has also been called arguably the most haunted place in the state — and this trial will likely haunt the city well after it’s over.
What is expected for Monday
On Friday afternoon, Fourth Judicial District Judge Scott Sells pushed closing arguments to Monday because the court had not reached a decision on legal matters regarding jury instructions. That continued first thing Monday morning.
At the end of the day Friday, the judge also determined that if the jury doesn’t find Frazee guilty of first-degree murder, they could then find him guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter. Here’s what those three charges mean:
–First-degree murder involves an intentional and premeditated killing of a person. If convicted, this carries a life sentence or the death penalty (Note: Frazee will not face the death penalty )
–Second-degree murder is still deliberate, but not planned in advance. If convicted, this carries a sentence of eight to 24 years in prison.
–Manslaughter involves recklessly causing another person to die. If convicted, this carries a sentence of two to six years in prison.
Closing arguments began after jury instructions were ironed out Monday morning. The prosecution and defense each had 90 minutes. Each side attempted, for the final time, to convince the jury that Frazee was guilty or not guilty of the charges against him.
Once closing arguments concluded, the 12 jurors went to the jury room to begin deliberations to decide if Frazee is guilty of:
–Second-degree-murder (if not first-degree murder)
–Manslaughter (if not first-degree murder)
–Solicitation to commit first-degree murder
–Tampering with a deceased human body
They will have access to the evidence during this time. It’s unknown how long they plan to deliberate the case.
Judge tells jury their instructions for deliberations
The courtroom was nearly full Monday morning as prosecutors and defense attorneys prepared to deliver their closing statements in the case. The Berreth family – aside from Kelsey’s parents – took up two rows in court, and Frazee’s mother, Sheila Frazee, was present as well.
Judge Sells started the day by reading the jury instructions to jurors. He reminded them of the counts that Frazee faces and that they should find him guilty on each count if they believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he is guilty of that crime.
He reminded the jury that they are to judge how credible the witnesses who testified were and how much weight to give their testimony when making decisions on the various counts. Sells also explained to the jurors how they may find Frazee guilty of charges that are less severe than first-degree murder or felony murder if they so choose – including second-degree murder and manslaughter.
Frazee faces eight counts in the case: First-degree murder after deliberation, three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder after deliberation for three separate incidents, felony murder, tampering with a deceased human body, and two sentence enhancers for committing a violent crime causing death and committing a violent crime using a weapon.
Prosecutors tell jurors Frazee is guilty of first-degree murder after deliberation
Prosecutor Beth Reed started closing arguments for the state by showing a photo of Berreth to the court that included her birth and death dates.
“We all wish Kelsey Berreth had walked through that door right now,” she told the court.
She said that when it was suggested that Berreth could come back, Frazee said, “that’s never going to happen.”
She walked the jurors back through the past two weeks of testimony, in which witnesses outlined months of alleged plotting by Frazee to kill Berreth, her alleged murder, and how Frazee allegedly tried to get his mistress, Krystal Lee Kenney, to kill Berreth on several occasions. Reed also discussed how Frazee allegedly had Kenney clean up the murder scene at Berreth’s townhome in Woodland Park on Nov. 24, 2018.
Reed told the court that Frazee knew that Berreth was dead when he said multiple times in December 2018 that Berreth was not coming back. She said that he knew she was dead when he went to a credit union and Verizon store to try and establish alibis, as some of the witnesses have testified. Three days before law enforcement even knew about Kenney, Frazee was at the Verizon store asking an employee, “What happens to a destroyed, damaged or lost phone? Can you recover information?” Reed said.
She said that Frazee knew Berreth was dead because he never tried to contact her after Nov. 25. There was “zero communication,” according to his phone and phone records.
Reed worked to convince the jury that Berreth had no intention of disappearing, nor was she suicidal, and cited her trip to get Frazee medication in the early-morning hours of Thanksgiving 2018, as well as her trip to a gas station the day before.
“While Kelsey Berreth is planning a future, this man (Frazee) is planning to kill her for months,” Reed told the court.
She said the last time Berreth was seen on camera – at a Safeway with her daughter on Thanksgiving morning – she was planning on making a bread dip she would never get to eat. A receipt showed the amount of groceries she bought.
“This is not consistent that someone’s about to walk up and leave her child,” Reed told the court. “This is not consistent with someone who’s suicidal. It’s consistent with someone who believes she has a future.”
Reed said that the items found at Berreth’s home also showed that Berreth did not leave on her own, and that the phone records and video of Frazee’s movements after Berreth went missing showed he was working to establish an alibi for a murder that prosecutors said he planned for months.
Reed said that video evidence showed that Frazee was not checking cattle on the afternoon of Thanksgiving 2018 but rather was at Berreth’s condo, killing her. She pointed out that his phone was utilizing the Woodland Park cell phone tower despite him claiming he was checking cattle elsewhere and that the only reason he was in Woodland Park was because he was killing Berreth.
Reed noted that later that afternoon, just before 5 p.m., Frazee’s truck was seen on a camera and that black tote in the back of his truck had changed positions.
“Because Kelsey Berreth is in that box,” Reed said. “Her beaten and battered body is in that box, and he’s going to take it to his house, where he keeps it while he eats Thanksgiving dinner.”
Reed then walked the court back through the movements of Frazee’s and Berreth’s phones over the next two days and said that Frazee was “fabricating and manipulating” the calls “to serve his own interest.” She pulled up the hay bale and the discolored spot – telling the court it is “remarkable” the dimensions of the spot matched the size of the black tote.
Reed said that in his first discussion with Woodland Park police, Frazee’s story was not consistent, and noted that Kenney’s testimony lined up with the timeline regarding the cleanup to which other witnesses had testified.
“Is Patrick Frazee’s story credible? No,” she told the court.
Reed said that Frazee was the only person with the means, motive and evidence pointing toward him killing Berreth, and reiterated to the jury that the murder was premeditated.
Reed said that testimony from Frazee’s friend, Joseph Moore, from Kenney and from ranch hands showed that Frazee was deliberating about killing Berreth and cleaning up the murder for months.
“He finished her off because she was a problem to him,” Reed said.
She went back through the expert testimony from CBI and other investigators, detailing the blood spatter and large amount of blood that witnesses testified they found at Berreth’s home.
Reed further said, in working to convince the jury that Frazee was guilty of first-degree murder, that second-degree murder does not apply because “everything was premeditated and deliberated,” she said. She also said that manslaughter did not apply in the case.
She said the jury should find Frazee guilty of solicitation because of Kenney’s testimony that he asked her to come to Colorado to kill Berreth on three separate occasions – the Sept. 23 coffee incident, the Oct. 15 pipe incident, and when Frazee allegedly told Kenney to bring a bat on Oct. 21 – so he wouldn’t be responsible.
“Krystal Kenney didn’t have to come forward. She could’ve stayed silent. But when she did come forward, she told us everything, including the things that subject her to criminal prosecution,” Reed said, adding that “everything” Kenney testified about during the trial was corroborated by physical evidence and that nothing about Frazee’s story was backed up by such evidence.
Reed told jurors that they should convict Frazee on the tampering with a deceased human body count because he burned Berreth’s body, she said, and then disposed of it so no one could find the remains. Reed pointed to Kenney’s testimony that Frazee told her he was going to put the ashes in a landfill or river and that Teller County was a vast area.
She also reiterated that Kenney’s testimony was backed up by physical evidence from the phone records, receipts, and evidence recovered in Idaho, and said that “none” of what Frazee claimed about Berreth’s alleged abuse toward their daughter had been corroborated.
“You have to consider that Patrick Frazee concocted this story about protecting the innocent so he could cover his story,” Reed said.
She went back to the jail letters exchanged between Frazee and another inmate, which were unveiled in court last Friday, and said that the point of that evidence was that Frazee “knows he’s guilty.”
Reed told the jury they don’t have to decide why Frazee allegedly killed Berreth – it could be for various reasons in various jurors’ minds, she said.
“We all want to understand it, but that’s not what you’re being called upon to answer in this case,” Reed said.
She then outlined the definition of reasonable doubt and asked if Frazee didn’t commit this crime, why was there a coverup, an alibi-obtaining trip, the phone scheme, and more.
She also asked why Berreth’s gun was found in the hands of one of Kenney’s friends and why Frazee asked a Verizon employee on Dec. 11, 2018 if somebody could get information from a destroyed phone.
“No body, no crime,” Reed said, quoting a witness’s testimony of what Frazee told him. “That’s what the defendant has been banking on for several months. …The problem for him is the evidence.”
It was a “cruel murder,” no matter what way you look at it, Reed said, adding the evidence against Frazee was “compelling” and that “it’s overwhelming that the defendant is guilty.”
She again told the jurors not to check the boxes for second-degree murder or manslaughter – saying the premeditation was clear.
“The courtroom is where the truth is revealed, and the truth is laid bare,” she said. “In the courtroom is where the coverup, secrecy and deceit come to light. Ladies and gentlemen, the evidence compels you to one verdict and one verdict only — and that is that the defendant is guilty of first-degree murder after deliberation. He is guilty of soliciting Krystal Kenney. And he is guilty of tampering with a deceased human body.”
The court then went on a 20-minute break ahead of Frazee’s defense’s closing arguments.
Defense closes by listing unanswered questions, holes in witnesses’ testimonies
Attorney Adam Stiegerwald handled the closing arguments for Frazee’s defense team. He worked throughout his closings to tell the jury why Kenney was an unreliable witness, calling her story a fabrication to protect herself, and told the jury why Frazee did not kill Berreth. He said the prosecution based their entire case on an unreliable timeline and Kenney’s testimony.
“You are being asked to ignore your common sense and the direct evidence that has been presented to you the last two-plus weeks, and to listen to the circumstantial evidence that supports a story made up by Krystal Kenney after she had the district attorneys sign on the dotted line,” Stiegerwald said, again attacking her over the plea deal she reached with prosecutors before she had to give a formal statement in the case.
Stiegerwald said some of the timeline that witnesses testified about was “made up” and that it was “created … to fit Krystal Kenney’s story.”
“It’s OK to make mistakes, but you cannot build an entire case on it and refuse to acknowledge them,” Stiegerwald said. “This is where it all starts, and it’s made up.”
He told jurors that if the timeline was wrong, the case should come crumbling down. And he continued hammering at video evidence from outside Berreth’s townhome, noting that none of the videos showed Frazee entering the townhome with a bat or with the black tote, nor was there any video of him leaving with the tote that allegedly contained Berreth’s body.
Stiegerwald told the court that there was no blood evidence found on Frazee’s clothing nor inside Berreth’s washing machine and worked to discredit testimony from Kenney and from a blood analyst.
He said that the jury would have to believe Kenney in order to believe the rest of the evidence and said that “there is nothing that she talked about that is believable.”
He again – as he did during his cross-examination of Kenney – worked to establish the multiple times that Kenney could have called police about Frazee’s alleged plot but didn’t, and about the times that she could have told others about the alleged cleanup afterward but did not – even originally lying to the FBI before she agreed to come to Colorado and speak to investigators following the plea deal.
“Is there anybody that believes that? It is absurd. This is the foundation upon which the prosecution has built their case, and it cannot rely on those two things: The timeline and Krystal Kenney’s story,” Stiegerwald told the court.
“Why does she come to Colorado even once to commit murder – let alone twice? Let alone a third time? Let alone a fourth time to supposedly clean up a crime scene?” Stiegerwald continued. “No one believes that.”
He said that Kenney’s claim that Frazee killed Berreth on Thanksgiving didn’t make sense – saying it was “the worst plan” because there are few others days when a person would be less likely to be alone than on a major holiday, and others living near Berreth would have likely been home that afternoon and could have heard or witnessed the alleged murder. He also noted that her kitchen window blinds were open for 48 hours after the alleged murder and nobody saw anything.
Stiegerwald said if Frazee really wanted to kill Berreth, he could have done so when they were in the “middle of nowhere” in Florissant the prior evening.
He also noted to the jury that prosecutors did not try burning the identical black tote that was brought to court to see how it reacted and if it melted in the same fashion the one Frazee allegedly burned did.
“They didn’t want to know that answer,” Stiegerwald told the court.
Stiegerwald then asked about the K-9s that were used in the investigation. They had positive hits on only three items — Berreth’s underwear in her townhome, the back of her Corolla and the top of a hay bale in Nash Ranch. He noted that investigators brought a K-9 to Nash Ranch and forced the dog to go up on top of the 12-foot hay bale. They claimed the dog had smelled human decomposition and sat down. Stiegerwald argued the K-9 was likely just afraid and sat.
“There’s no way to know if these dogs are 100% reliable,” he said.
In addition, Kenney’s DNA was not found anywhere. The prosecution claimed she’s a nurse and therefore knew how to cover herself head to toe, but Stiegerwald said the investigators collecting DNA in this case are also experts. Agents with the CBI and FBI even left behind DNA, he said. Sue Gorney’s DNA was found in the townhome as well, and she hadn’t lived there for seven months .
Frazee’s DNA wasn’t anywhere inside of the townhome either, Stiegerwald said.
“His DNA is not found in this house like it would be if this crime was committed,” he said.
Lastly, he asked why Frazee would tell so many people he knew about how he wanted to kill Berreth.
Stiegerwald said if somebody is planning a murder, they typically don’t tell lots of people about it. But saying those comments also doesn’t make him guilty, Stiegerwald said. There has been too much attention on the “stupid things” he allegedly told his friends, he added. He was alluding to a couple testimonies, including that of John Moore , a longtime friend of Frazee’s, who said Frazee told him ‘I figured out a way to kill her’ on April 26, 2018. Moore also testified that on Dec. 20, 2018, Frazee told him, “If I had known it would have blown up this big, I never would have —” and didn’t finish sentence.
Frazee was dealing with the loss of his father and a battle with his siblings and doesn’t have anybody to give him trusted advice, Stiegerwald said.
He also addressed Frazee’s alleged plan with a former inmate of the Teller County Jail. He said Frazee started to “freak out” in the 11 months leading up to the trial and started talking to the inmate , who is a convicted felon.
“That is not proof of anything,” Stiegerwald said. “That is only proof of being an idiot. Not proof of him doing anything.”
The District Attorney’s Office has built the entire case on the foundation, Stiegerwald said.
“When you realize how shaky the foundation is, the whole things come down,” he said.
Stiegerwald said this case is important to many people in the courtroom, as well as the jurors themselves.
He said the jury will need to cast their vote without any hesitation.
“If you have hesitation, it’s because Frazee is not guilty,” he said.
He said he understand how bad this entire case looks but reiterated that he was asking the jury to look past just how it looks, and instead, examine the evidence that “has been built on a foundation that cannot support it.”
Prosecution rebuttal: ’Find him guilty on all charges’
During a rebuttal, Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May said the defense doesn’t want to explain what happened to Berreth. He described the daily phone calls Berreth would have with her mother, how her coworkers described her as kind, sweet and reliable — it doesn’t sound like somebody who would just disappear on their own, May said.
Berreth can’t walk through that door, he said, pointing to the courtroom’s swinging doors, but the jury can provide justice by holding Frazee accountable.
He said the prosecution does not want the jurors to apply speculation, but to look at the facts. He said Frazee had trashed Berreth’s reputation well before she went missing.
May then listed out pieces of direct evidence, including Kenney’s testimony. He said her story on cleaning the townhouse, taking to the tote to Nash Ranch and burning it is all direct evidence, not circumstantial. She led them to the burn scar area on Frazee’s ranch on her own, and pointed at the exact spot where they would later uncover burned plastic and a large wet spot. That’s also where they found the partial human tooth, May said.
He reintroduced the timeline of Frazee’s, Berreth’s and Kenney’s phones traveling around the area.
“That timeline doesn’t match Frazee’s story at all — it matches everything that Kenney said,” May said.
Kenney’s plea bargain is built on her telling the truth, May said.
May also addressed some of Stiegerwald’s arguments, including that the kitchen window blinds were left open for two days after the alleged murder. May said the window looked out to a private walkway and Berreth’s neighbors were gone on Thanksgiving, which is why they didn’t see or hear anything. He said Stiegerwald pointed out that Kenney’s DNA was missing from the townhome, but the DNA expert said on the stand that she wasn’t surprised by this, based on what Kenney said she had been wearing.
As far as the neighbor’s surveillance footage, May said the defense wants the jury to speculate on the camera, which only picks up movement about 50 percent of the time.
“What were Frazee’s actions? He took a bat into Berreth’s apartment and he beat her, and he beat her, and he beat her, and he beat her. And in some point in that, the victim said, ‘Will you please stop?’” May said.
We want to hold him accountable, he said.
“We are asking you to please stop this defendant from getting away with murder, and find him guilty on all charges,” May said.
Closing statements ended at 11:08 a.m. and the jury was escorted out of the room. Court went into recess at 11:18 a.m.
Jury finds Patrick Frazee guilty of murdering fiancée Kelsey Berreth last Thanksgiving
Almost exactly a year after Kelsey Berreth disappeared from Woodland Park, Patrick Frazee, her fiancé, was found guilty by a Teller County jury of murdering her.
After 10 days full of testimony inside the Teller County Courthouse in Cripple Creek, the 12-person jury determined that based on what they had heard and seen in court, Frazee had indeed committed the crime he was charged with in December: first-degree murder.
In addition, he was convicted of tampering with a deceased human body and three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder after deliberation.
The jury deliberated from just after 11 a.m. until around 2:45 p.m. before delivering the verdict.
Berreth’s father stared down Frazee in the courtroom then shook his head silently as the judge read the verdict. Frazee did not react when the verdict was read in court. His attorney, Adam Stiegerwald, shook his head. Berreth’s family smiled, cried and hugged one another in court after the verdict was read.
Judge Scott Sells handed down Frazee’s sentence shortly afterward. Frazee received the mandatory life in prison without parole for the two murder counts, which were merged. For each of the solicitation charges, he received the maximum 48-year sentence, which run consecutive to one another. And for the tampering with a deceased human body count, Frazee was sentenced to the maximum of 12 years, which also runs consecutively.
In total, he received life in prison without parole, plus an additional 156 years.
Krystal Lee Kenney, Frazee’s ex-girlfriend whom he solicited to help him kill Berreth, has not yet been sentenced. She faces a maximum of three years in prison for tampering with evidence.
Family, friends read letters before judge sentences Frazee
Before Frazee’s sentencing, several of Berreth’s friends and family members gave statements, which were all read out loud by Berreth’s uncle, Scott Morin.
Ira Cline, one of Berreth’s coworkers, discussed in a written statement how Berreth was a proud mother who always had a smile on her face. Both she and Berreth had named their daughters Kaylee, she testified, and they had a connection because of that. She said that everyone at their work missed Berreth and knew that she loved Kaylee “with all her heart.”
Another coworker, David Deray, wrote a letter to Kaylee and told her about how her mother was a pleasure to fly with and was a great instructor. He wrote about his time with Berreth, calling her a “natural pilot” and saying he would remember her kindness and smile – one that would lift him up about most anything – forever.
And a third coworker talked about the hundreds of sorties, or missions, Berreth had flown and the impact she made on others – including the students she had instructed. He called Berreth a quiet and unassuming soul.
The last letter Morin read out loud was written by Cheryl Berreth, Kelsey Berreth’s mother.
“She was our daughter, a devoted, loving mother, a sister, a friend,” the letter read.
She was a positive contribution to society and was beautiful inside and out, regardless of what Frazee had told others, Cheryl’s letter read.
Not only did he kill their daughter, but he chose a horrific death, beating her head with a baseball bat while she tied to escape, it read. He showed no remorse when he put her body in a tote and had Thanksgiving dinner with his family. Then he burned her body, she said, all in the presence of his 13-month-old daughter.
“He sent me a text that morning (Nov. 22) wishing me a happy Thanksgiving,” her letter read. “What a sick man.”
Since the day she went missing, they’ve slept only about three hours a night and have eaten only small meals as they cared for Kaylee, Cheryl said.
“Patrick chose Thanksgiving to execute his plan, forever tainting this holiday for us,” Cheryl’s letter read. Morin’s voice choked as he read it in the courtroom.
Cheryl’s letter said their family has had to take new precautions now.
“We have taken additional steps to protect ourselves as Frazee said he had hitmen and we have his daughter against his will,” her letter read.
This continues to haunt her, she said. At times, the case forced them to reevaluate their faith in God.
Cheryl said they would like all of Frazee’s parental rights to be revoked permanently and immediately. They intend to adopt Kaylee and said they’d appreciate anything that can be done to expedite this process. In her letter, Cheryl wrote that they’ve proved they can care for and raise the baby.
Court hearings to determine who will keep custody of Kaylee have been ongoing since Frazee’s arrest. The Berreths have maintained custody of their granddaughter throughout the case.
She also said they plan to establish an aviation scholarship in Berreth’s name. Cheryl asked that Frazee contribute a substantial amount each year to this cause. She said she wants people to know that her daughter made a difference, her letter read.
The tone of the letter then changed with a single question: “Patrick, how would you like to find out that your daughter’s life ended the way you ended Kelsey’s?”
She said Kaylee will probably stumble across the gory details of her mother’s murder at some point and she will suffer for a lifetime because of Frazee’s selfishness, the letter read.
She said her family is requesting a no-contact order between the Frazee family and the Berreths. In her letter, Cheryl wrote that the Frazee family has a complete lack of courage by choosing to withhold relevant information during this trial. Instead, they chose “to support a killer,” the letter read, and therefore forfeited their rights to Kaylee.
While she believes the death penalty is well-deserved, Cheryl said in her letter that she believes in a forgiving savior and that it’s God’s decision, not her family’s, to take a life.
Cheryl’s letter then turned to Kenney and her part in Berreth’s murder. While she acknowledged that without Kenney’s contribution and testimony, a conviction may have been much harder or even impossible, it doesn’t excuse the fact that Berreth would still be alive if Kenney had taken just one opportunity to tell law enforcement about Frazee’s plan.
“Her excuses are invalid,” Cheryl’s letter wrote.
She added that she has yet to see any remorse from Kenney for anything except getting caught and that her role in the murder deserves a more severe sentence.
Then Morin, who had been reading the letters aloud in court, spoke for himself.
He thanked Judge Sells for overseeing the case and for those who decided Frazee was guilty of murdering his niece.
“We’ve prayed for justice,” he said.
He said Berreth was a great hugger, very loved, and that she loved everyone else.
“And that’s gone, but not forgotten,” Morin said.
Kimberly Morin, Berreth’s aunt, took to the stand next. She said she remembers how Berreth could fit perfectly under her arm when they hugged.
She also recalled that at her daughter’s wedding, Berreth came alone without Frazee and they laughed and smiled the whole time. She said Berreth told her that Frazee said she couldn’t get her nails done for the wedding because “only whores” do so.
She’s never been this angry, she said, but she will continue to love Kaylee just like she loved Berreth.
After Berreth’s family and friends spoke, prosecutor Jennifer Viehman stood at the stand and said one comment that really struck her during this final part of the trial was how Berreth truly mattered.
“We all knew early on that something terrible had happened to Kelsey Berreth,” she said. “We didn’t know just how terrible and how horrible and how brutal the murder of Kelsey was until Dec. 20, 2018.”
She said this case was without a doubt one of the most brutal murders she has ever seen in her 18 years of practicing.
“Mr. Frazee took a shining light from this Earth,” she said. “He not only took her life on Thanksgiving Day of last year, he planned for months to do it. He had Krystal Lee come to Colorado three times to kill Kelsey.”
Viehman asked Judge Sells to sentence Frazee to life without parole for murder after deliberation, plus 156 years for the maximum sentence for solicitation for murder and tampering with a deceased human body.
Defense attorney Stiergerald said neither Frazee nor his mother, Sheila Frazee, who was also in court Monday, wished to say anything.
Just before his sentencing, Judge Sells asked Frazee to stand up.
He said Frazee’s actions were “vicious,” “senseless,” and “without reason.”
“Kelsey spent her last night caring for you and you repaid that kindness in the morning by viciously beating her to death,” Judge Sells said, looking at Frazee. “Your crimes deserve the absolute maximum punishment and I intend to do that.”
Judge Sells then sentenced Frazee to life without the possibility of parole, plus 156 years for three counts of solicitation for murder and tampering with a deceased body.
After sentencing, prosecutors say deal with Kenney was ‘a deal with the devil’
At a news conference following sentencing, Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May spoke, along with prosecutors Beth Reed and Jennifer Viehman.
They called Berreth a wonderful person who mattered and recounted her loving spirit – to her daughter, to her family, her friends and even the pilots she trained. But they lamented that Berreth’s daughter, Kaylee, will never have a memory of her mother. They also discussed the sympathy they felt for her and her family about the manner in which Berreth’s life ended.
“She did not deserve this. This was totally senseless and will haunt us on this prosecution team, and I think this community, forever,” May said.
Reed and Viehman both said it had been “an honor” to work on the case and to bring justice to Berreth’s family. Viehman said getting a guilty verdict in the case was something she would never forget.
May profusely thanked the investigators who poured their time and effort into the case, his team of prosecutors who worked hundreds of hours on the case, as well as the experts who testified during the trial – saying the case could never have been solved without their contributions. He called the experts “just fabulous” and their quality “incredible.”
He and the other prosecutors said Kenney’s testimony was key to the case – that they knew something terrible had happened to Berreth but weren’t able to fully discern what – and how conniving Frazee had been – until Kenney testified.
But May was adamant that they did not want to give the tampering with evidence plea deal to Kenney unless they had to. He said she deserved “every single day” she is sentenced to, should she receive jail time, once she is sentenced in her plea deal.
He said that prosecutors had to “make a deal with the devil” when making the decision to allow Kenney to plead guilty in order for her to make a formal statement.
“We did a deal with the devil. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about that. And I’m not proud of that. But there’s no question that Kelsey wouldn’t have had the sure justice today without making that deal with the devil,” May said. “We thought it was important to solve this case, and in the end, we concentrated on who killed Kelsey.”
May said that Kenney’s next court date is set for Dec. 2 – a review hearing at which she could possibly be sentenced, though the sentencing hearing could also come at a later date, May said. The prosecutors would not discuss what sentence they will ask the judge to impose on her.
But May, Reed and Viehman were clear that there were no deals made with Frazee.
Reed said there was potential that Frazee is a sociopath and that his behavior was consistent with that of sociopaths.
“Based on my observations of Patrick Frazee over the last year, there is the potential that Patrick Frazee indicates and is consistent with a sociopath, and that’s a person who has, basically, an inability to feel empathy with other people,” she said. “I’ve never seen him to be anything but the emotionless state that he has demonstrated in the court throughout this trial.”
The prosecutors said that there are still ongoing efforts to find Berreth’s remains and that another search was done in recent weeks. But they said that the family expressed relief and a sense of justice with Monday’s verdict, and said that the religious family knew that Kelsey was in heaven. Still, how long that relief would last, May said, is another question.
“Again, justice can’t bring back Kelsey,” he said.
Reviewing the case of Kelsey Berreth’s murder
This case started with a missing person report . Cheryl Berreth, Kelsey Berreth’s mother, had called her daughter on Thanksgiving morning, but despite calls and texts since then, Cheryl Berreth hadn’t heard from her daughter again by Dec. 2.
She and Kelsey Berreth’s brother, Clint Berreth, flew from their home in northern Idaho to Colorado and went to Kelsey Berreth’s townhome in Woodland Park.
When they had reached out to Frazee, he said they had exchanged their 1-year-old daughter on Thanksgiving Day and texted her on Nov. 25, but he hadn’t heard or seen from her since. He claimed that they had broken up because Berreth wanted more space.
On Dec. 14 around 8:30 a.m., authorities executed a search warrant at Frazee’s ranch in Florissant. He lived with his mother at the property.
After two days of searching the property, authorities didn’t find any signs of Berreth. About 75 people from multiple jurisdictions scoured the 35-acre home.
On Dec. 20, Kenney came forward and told investigators a story that blew the investigation wide open: That Frazee had asked her to come to Colorado on three different occasions to kill Berreth, whom Frazee had painted as an alcoholic and abusive mother to their 1-year-old daughter, and Kenney had backed out of each one.
Frazee told her he took matters into his own hands and killed Berreth with a bat in her townhouse on Thanksgiving afternoon, then told Kenney to drive to Colorado to clean up the mess, Kenney said. According to her testimony, she found a “horrific scene” inside the townhome, but cleaned it before meeting up with Frazee. They drove together to the Nash Ranch, where Frazee had allegedly stored Berreth’s body in a plastic storage bin, brought the bin to this ranch in Florissant and burned it. She explained these details after accepting a plea deal from the district attorney’s office.
The same day Kenney told her story — Dec. 20 — investigators with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the Woodland Park Police Department and the FBI returned to Berreth’s home to search it a second time.
Kenney agreed to walk through the townhouse with authorities on Dec. 21, the day after she explained her story. According to a body camera video played in court, she pointed to parts of the home and described how she had cleaned up a bloody scene on Nov. 24.
The same day she walked them through Berreth’s townhome, Frazee was arrested on an investigation of first-degree murder charge at the ranch in Florissant. That same day, investigators said they no longer believed Berreth was alive.
On Feb. 4, Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Scott A. Sells issued a summons for Kenney to appear in Teller County Combined Court for her first appearance. She had been charged with tampering with physical evidence , which is a class 6 felony. She pleaded guilty to this, which carries a maximum sentence of three years. As part of her plea deal, she agreed to testify at Frazee’s murder trial.
Opening statements for Frazee’s trial started on Nov. 1, after four days of jury selection. The prosecution details how they planned to find Frazee guilty of all of the charges against him and the defense explained how they will show how the case is built entirely on an unstable and unreliable foundation.
The prosecution called up dozens of witnesses — family, friends, and various experts and analysts — over the two-plus-week trial. Her mother explained how she grew more and more worried as days went by without Berreth returning her calls. She described how she called Woodland Park Police on Dec. 2 to request a welfare check and then flew out to Colorado from Washington with her adult son. They noticed some things were awry in Berreth’s home, like smears on the couch, a full garbage can and stale cinnamon rolls on top of the stove. On Dec. 6, Berreth’s brother noticed blood on the underside of the toilet . They called police and officers immediately asked them to leave the townhome.
That same day, prosecutors brought a Verizon employee David Felis to the stand. He described how Frazee visited the store on Dec. 11 with Kaylee and seemed paranoid and visibly shaken. Frazee allegedly told Felis he was concerned about people having access to his cell phone account.
On Nov. 5, Frazee’s older brother explained what Thanksgiving Day was like for their family. Frazee was expected to come to dinner, but was late, his brother testified . He said his brother’s demeanor was “concerning” in the days after Berreth went missing. This same day, investigators noted their observations on surveillance videos that showed Frazee at Walmart and Ent Credit Union before the alleged murder, and the positioning of the plastic black storage bin in the back of Frazee’s truck. The bin was in a different position before and after the time of the alleged murder, an investigator said.
Kenney was described as the prosecution’s key witness before the trial started and when she was called up to the witness stand on the fourth day of the trial — Nov. 6 — she started by explaining that she’d met Frazee in 2006 and detailed the early months of their relationship. Kenney ended their relationship after Frazee asked her to pick up some “things” for him on his property and while she did so, she said it was “not pleasant.” They stayed friends, but Kenney went on to marry another man in October 2010.
Years later, in 2015, they started to talk more often and an affair began.
“It was like nothing had changed – still the same giddy feeling,” she told the court.
In August 2019, Frazee started to describe Berreth as abusive toward Kaylee, according to Kenney’s testimony, though he never provided any proof of this. He asked Kenney if she was willing to do anything to protect the innocent and claimed his daughter was in “imminent danger.” In October, Frazee allegedly suggested spiking a caramel macchiato with something that would kill Berreth, Kenney said.
Kenney said she brought the coffee to Berreth’s house on Sept. 23, but did not add anything to it. Berreth appeared guarded, Kenney said, and she left. When she told Frazee about it, he seemed angry, she said.
Their second plan was for Kenney to kill Berreth with a metal pipe to the back of the head. Kenney said she went to the Woodland Park townhome Oct. 15, but heard a dog bark, so she jumped back in the car, put the pipe at the end of Frazee’s driveway in Florissant and slept in her car at a gas station.
It was around this time that Kenney said she started to realize that Berreth “was probably doing nothing wrong.”
Frazee gave her one more chance — she’d have to kill Berreth with a baseball bat, Kenney testified. She drove to the townhome on Oct. 21 and sat on the ground outside the building. She then got in her car, which she’d borrowed from a friend back in Idaho, and drove to Florissant. She told Frazee she couldn’t and wouldn’t kill Berreth, she said.
On Nov. 22, Frazee called Kenney multiple times while she was having Thanksgiving with her family, she said. When she called him back, he sounded rattled, she said.
“He told me I have a mess to clean up,” she testified.
She said she believed he’d either killed Berreth or that he was setting her up, she said. She left around 6 p.m. on Nov. 23 and arrived about 12 hours later. She grabbed Berreth’s townhome keys from the end of Frazee’s driveway, where he’d left them for her, and then drove to Woodland Park.
She testified she opened the door and “saw a lot of blood” on the living room floor and the walls of the townhome. She said it looked like somebody had flicked paint at the walls. She cleaned what she could, she said.
“I left little spots so that somebody would see it and then it would raise suspicion or question on what happened,” Kennedy told the court, adding that she hoped police would find the blood.
After the cleanup, she met up with Frazee, who described how difficult it was for him to eat Thanksgiving dinner with his family when Berreth was in a tote in the back of his truck in the driveway, Kenney said.
That day — still Nov. 24 — Frazee allegedly described to Kenney how he’d killed Berreth. He said he covered her eyes with a sweater to have her guess the scent of candles and then beat her to death with a baseball bat, Kenney said. He said he then put the body in a black tote and put it on top of a haystack at the Nash Ranch.
Later in the day on Nov. 24, both Frazee and Kenney went to the ranch, put the tote back in Frazee’s truck, returned to Florissant and put the tote in a rusted-out trough, Kenney testified. She said Frazee used gasoline and motor oil to burn it. Afterward, Frazee forced Kenney to take Berreth’s phone and gun with her back to Idaho. Kenney left later that evening for home, she said. As instructed by Frazee, she sent text messages to his phone, Berreth’s mother’s phone and Berreth’s employer from Berreth’s phone.
They talked “a lot” in the days afterward, Kenney said.
The same day Kenney testified for the prosecution, a specialist with the FBI’s cellular analysis team explained his analysis of the cell records for the phones belonging to Frazee, Berreth and Kenney. Despite the fact that Berreth was missing, her phone was seen traveling with Frazee in the days after her alleged murder.
The following day — day five on Nov. 7 — the defense questioned Kenney’s story . They asked why, despite saying Berreth’s family deserved to know what happened to their daughter, she never reached out to alert law enforcement or tell any of her friends or families.
She could have faced up to 144 years in prison for attempted murder, but will instead face a maximum of three years, the defense said as Kenney started to cry.
The prosecution pulled up another star witness on Nov. 8 — Joseph Paul Moore. Moore said Frazee had once told him that he had figured out a way to kill Berreth, which he had scolded him for.
After the date of the alleged murder, Frazee asked him why the whole nation cared so much about a missing person case, he said. Frazee then said, “Man, if I had known it would have blown up this big, I never would have —” and didn’t finish sentence.
Earlier that day, the prosecution had welcomed two K-9 handlers to the witness stand, and each trainer explained where their dogs had detected the scent of a decomposing human body — a pair of underwear in Berreth’s apartment, the back corner of her car, which was parked in her driveway, and on top of the haystack at Nash Ranch.
On several occasions, experts testified about what they found at the burn area on the Frazee property. On Nov. 8, FBI Special Agent Charles DeFrance said they only found the burn after Kenney pointed it out to them on Dec. 21. He scraped the area and could see and smell burnt plastic. There was a wet mark next to and slightly downhill from the plastic. The same day in court, Denver FBI Special Agent Donald Peterson described what this burn area looked like .
He noted that where the plastic crust ended and the wet soil began, the melted plastic was curved and slightly raised, indicating something in the shape of an arc had stopped it from flattening out. On the final section of dirt they sifted through, which included the wet area of the burn, they found what they believed to be a partial tooth, he said. This was later tested and came back positive for female human DNA , but the fragment was too small to build a DNA profile.
Another longtime friend of Frazee’s — Laurie Luce — testified on Nov. 12. She said she had been talking with Frazee after Berreth’s disappearance and mentioned that maybe the young mother would come back.
“ Oh, she’s never coming back ,” Frazee said, according to Luce.
That day, several of Kenney’s coworkers described her demeanor after the alleged murder. She seemed sad and quiet , which was uncharacteristic, the coworkers said.
On Nov. 13, the prosecution brought up Berreth’s coworkers, who described her as private and quiet, but kind and sweet. One coworker said Berreth once told her that Frazee wasn’t treating her well. These character witnesses came before a CBI forensic serologist, who explained the DNA evidence found at Berreth’s townhome. She said the toilet in the bathroom tested positive for blood, as did swabs from the wall, under the towel rack, the sink and more.
Thursday, Nov. 14 was the penultimate day of testimony in the trial. Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agent Gregg Slater testified on the morning of Nov. 14 that he doesn’t know where the investigation would be without Kenney’s testimony.
The defense responded with comments they’ve made before — that Kenney was not a reliable witness, and only provided information to investigators after taking a plea deal, which ensured she could only face a maximum of three years in prison.
Friday, Nov. 15 was the final day of testimony. The prosecution began in the morning by calling up an expert in blood stain analysis and crime scene reconstruction. He testified about how the blood stains in the townhome matched what he would have expected to see in a case where a bloodied person had been struck repeatedly. He guessed, based on the minimal blood splatter on items and walls around the home, and the larger amounts of blood that had seeped into the floorboards in the living room, that the person may have been struck 10 to 15 times.
The prosecution’s final witness was an unexpected bombshell for many in the courtroom. They brought in a former teller County Jail inmate, who was on probation and whom prosecutors had asked the media not to identify out of fear of retaliation from prison gangs. The former inmate said he and Frazee were housed together in the same pod in the jail and had started talking and passing notes detailing a plan for the inmate to kill the witnesses in Frazee’s case.
After the former inmate was excused, a CBI agent brought up the letters they passed back and forth on the court slideshow.
“If I walk out, you and me could pull all kinds of s—. I know all sorts of rich ranchers around the west,” one letter read. Read about the rest of the letters in this story.
On Monday , Judge Sells reminded the jury of their instructions and prosecutor Beth Reed walked jurors back through the case and reminded them why they should find Frazee guilty of premeditated murder.
Defense attorney Adam Stiegerwald worked throughout his closings to tell the jury why Kenney was an unreliable witness, calling her story a fabrication to protect herself, and told the jury why Frazee did not kill Berreth. He said the prosecution based their entire case on an unreliable timeline and Kenney’s testimony.
“We are asking you to please stop this defendant from getting away with murder, and find him guilty on all charges,” District Attorney Dan May said.
After about 3 ½ hours of deliberations, the jury did exactly that.
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