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Arraignment in case against Patrick Frazee postponed until May 24

Patrick Frazee appeared in Teller County court Friday morning. His team asked that his arraignment be continued until May 24.

The man accused in the disappearance and presumed death of his fiancée briefly appeared in Teller County court Friday morning. 

Both the defense and prosecution agreed to postpone the arraignment hearing for Patrick Frazee until May 24 due to ongoing forensic testing. 

The arraignment hearing is where defendants enter their pleas and a trial date is potentially set. During a brief news conference, Teller County District Attorney Dan May would not comment on any specifics about the evidence that still needs to be processed, or if his office is mulling pursuing the death penalty. 

Frazee is charged with first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased human body and crime of violence, which is a sentence enhancer. He is accused of killing his fiancée and the mother of his child Kelsey Berreth, who was last seen alive on Nov. 22 – Thanksgiving Day. She was reported missing 10 days later by her mother.

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Credit: Courtesy Woodland Park Police Department
Kelsey Berreth has been missing since Thanksgiving and her disappearance has since generated national attention.

The 29-year-old’s body has not been found. Law enforcement has spent weeks searching the Midway Landfill in Fountain for evidence related to Berreth’s disappearance, but it’s unclear if this has yielded any results.

Investigators are about 35-40% through the search, according to the Woodland Park Police Department.

Frazee last appeared in court in February, where a judge determined there was enough evidence for the case against him to go to trial. Much of the evidence presented by prosecutors during that preliminary hearing hinges on information given to investigators by Frazee’s ex-girlfriend, who claimed that he asked her to kill his fiancée on multiple occasions.

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Additional evidence includes cell phone records and surveillance footage that appear to put Frazee in proximity to Berreth’s Woodland Park home after he told police he last saw her, according to the arrest affidavit in the case.

Frazee’s ex-girlfriend, Idaho nurse Krystal Lee Kenney, pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence earlier this year. As part of an agreement, she will testify against Frazee should the case go to trial.

Kenney admitted to disposing of Berreth’s cell phone in Idaho. According to testimony from Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agent Gregg Slater, Kenney told police that Frazee asked her to come to Colorado to clean up the crime scene after he allegedly beat Berreth to death.

Credit: Woodland Park Police Department

Slater said Kenney told police that she complied with Frazee’s request, but that she left small clues for police that she hoped would allow them to crack the case.

Kenney also claimed that Frazee hid Berreth’s body in a barn before bringing her back to his home in Florissant, according to Slater’s testimony. Here, Slater said Kenney told investigators that Frazee burned Berreth’s body and other evidence related to the case and asked Kenney to take her cell phone.

Months earlier, according to Slater’s testimony, Kenney alleged that she rekindled her relationship with Frazee, who never told her about Berreth. When she found out from a mutual friend, Kenney told Slater that Frazee told her that Berreth abused their infant daughter and asked her if she would help kill her.

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According to Slater’s testimony, the pair discussed poisoning a caramel macchiato and offering it to Berreth, but Kenney never went through with it. Kenney also claimed that she waited outside of Berreth’s house with multiple weapons, but she wasn’t able to kill her.

She said she returned to Idaho, and on Thanksgiving, she received a call from Frazee who told her she had a “mess to clean up,” according to Slater’s testimony.

"The prosecution has enormous evidence against Patrick Frazee," Scott Robinson said. "They have phone records, they have location records, they have physical evidence found at the scene of [Kelsey's] townhouse."

Robinson said the prosecution also has the testimony of Kenney.

"The prosecution has a star witness, Krystal Kenney, who explains how the phone, owned by Kelsey Berreth, managed to send out texts from Idaho a few days after her disappearance. And, more importantly, this is a witness that will testify that Frazee solicited her to kill his fiancé not once or twice, but three separate times."

Robinson said Frazee's defense team could try to attack Kenney's credibility.

"After all, she’s lied in the past," Robinson said. "Not only that, [Kenney] could be portrayed as the jealous girlfriend who wants to do away with her rival, Kelsey Berreth."

"... So what’s the prosecution's main limitation? They don’t yet have a corpse. They can get a conviction without a body, but things would go a lot easier for the prosecution if they could find the remains of Kelsey Berreth, consistent with the description by Krystal Kenney of what happened with the body after death."

Frazee was ultimately arrested on Dec. 21 and has been in custody ever since. His and Berreth’s 1-year-old daughter has been in the custody of her parents.

The disappearance of Berreth and Frazee’s ensuing arrest has generated attention from media outlets across the country and has been the subject of a Dateline episode.

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