Click or tap here to watch the entire press conference on the preliminary hearing presented by the district attorney
CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. - Prosecutors are currently laying out why they believe Patrick Frazee is responsible for his fiancee Kelsey Berreth’s death during a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Teller County court.
Most documents in the case – which has generated national attention since Berreth’s disappearance in late November – have been sealed, though Frazee and his defense team have been given access to the evidence against him. Law enforcement investigating the case has been largely mum about what they believe motivated the crime.
Frazee was arrested on Dec. 22 – nearly one month after Berreth was last seen in surveillance footage at a Safeway in Woodland Park. He has since been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder.
READ MORE BACKGROUND ON THE CASE HERE: on9news.tv/2S9cZOY
9NEWS is in the courtroom and will provide updates from the hearing when possible. Check back to this article for the latest. The hearing is slated to begin at 9 a.m.
8:50 a.m.: Patrick Frazee has been escorted into the courtroom. As was the case the last time he appeared in court, he is wearing a bulletproof vest.
The prosecution has filed three additional charges against Patrick Frazee, including tampering with a deceased human body and crime of violence, which is a sentence enhancer.
The documents regarding those new charges have not yet been made public by Colorado Courts.
Tuesday’s court appearance is a preliminary hearing, which means the prosecution will attempt to show the judge that there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial.
The prosecution tried to call Patrick Frazee's mother Sheila Frazee as its first witness, however, her attorney argued that she should not be compelled to testify, citing her Fifth Amendment rights.
The judge ruled in favor of Sheila Frazee and she will not testify at this point, though he has asked that she leave the courtroom.
Woodland Park Police Department Patrol Officer Chris Adams was the first witness who has been called to the stand. He said he became actively involved in investigating Kelsey Berreth’s disappearance on Dec. 3, 2018.
Adams said Berreth’s mother reported her missing on Dec. 2, and said she hadn’t heard from her daughter since Thanksgiving.
Adams alleges that Frazee was the last person to see Berreth alive and that no one else heard from her past Nov. 22.
The prosecution played a recording of an officer’s conversation with Frazee shortly after she was reported missing.
“In the middle of the week, she had basically a heart-to-heart about how, you know, this wasn’t working out,” Frazee said in the recording. “She wanted to go our separate ways.”
In the conversation, Frazee said Berreth blamed her commute from Woodland Park to her job in Pueblo as the reason for the separation and alleged that in the week she was reported missing, the 29-year-old got all of her stuff back from him and asked for some space.
In the recording, Frazee said Berreth told him they’d “figure out the custody arrangement” of their 1-year-old daughter.
“When I gave her possessions back, it was something we addressed ‘don’t do anything crazy,’” Frazee is heard saying. “Our lives grew so far apart in the past year-and-a-half or year, we don’t know each other anymore.”
Frazee told the officers that Berreth was “with her wits” and in a good mindset after their breakup. He said the last time he heard from his fiancee was Nov. 25 -- three days after she was last seen in surveillance video at a Woodland Park Safeway. After that, he said he got a message claiming her telephone number had "expired."
"She had requested that I give her space," Frazee said.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, Berreth’s family claims that custody of the couple’s child was the motive for her murder. Prosecutors have not yet said what they believe motivated the crime.
In a recorded conversation with the Woodland Park Police Department, Frazee is heard detailing how he and Berreth shared custody of their 1-year-old daughter.
He said Berreth would take the child while he was working, and he would do the same while she was working as a flight instructor in Pueblo. The agreement was largely loosely defined, Frazee claimed.
Prior to her disappearance, Frazee alleged that Berreth checked herself into rehab for alcohol abuse in a recorded conversation with police, and had gone to Breckenridge with a friend from church.
He emphasized that Berreth expressed frustration with her five-day-a-week commute from Woodland Park to Pueblo and that the two would exchange their child at locations ranging from the post office to the alley behind her home.
“We lived such separate lives for so long, our exchange of our daughter was in passing,” Frazee is heard saying.
The prosecution continued questioning Adams at the conclusion of the recorded phone call. He discussed surveillance video showing both Frazee and Berreth at a furniture store near her apartment on Nov. 22 — the last day she was seen.
In one still shot from a neighbor’s surveillance camera, a baby carrier, Frazee, and Berreth are seen near the front door of her home. Frazee was also pictured in Walmart surveillance video that day.
The prosecution asked Adams to detail the information that officers learned from a warrant on Frazee and Berreth’s respective cell phones.
Adams said there were two calls between the former couple on Nov. 22 — the day Berreth was last seen. Both of their phones pinged off the tower that services Berreth’s apartment at around 12:30 p.m. that day, Adams said, and sometime that evening, both phones pinged off a tower indicating they were headed west.
That night, Frazee called his mom, Adams said, and the next morning, Frazee’s phone called Berreth’s. Tower information indicates both phones were in the same vicinity.
“The phones were together in the area of Frazee’s house and Cripple Creek,” Adams said.
On Nov. 24, Adams said Frazee called Krystal Lee, an Idaho woman who he described as his friend and former girlfriend. Her cellphone information indicated that she was in Colorado, according to Adams. Lee has previously pleaded guilty to tampering with Berreth’s cellphone and is expected to testify at Frazee’s trial.
> During Tuesday's hearing, the woman was referred to as Krystal Lee, however in prior hearings, including the one where she pleaded guilty, she was referred to as Krystal Kenney.
RELATED: 'I learned that Patrick Frazee had committed a homicide': Idaho nurse pleads guilty to moving Kelsey Berreth's cell phone
According to Adams, on Nov. 25, cellphone tower information indicates Berreth’s phone traveled west to Grand Junction, and pinged at a tower in Utah. It would also ping in the Salt Lake City area, and then finally in Gooding, Idaho.
This was the last time her phone pinged, Adams said.
Lee’s phone pinged in Utah and Idaho at roughly the same time as Berreth’s on that day, Adams said, indicating that “both phones were traveling together.”
The prosecution finished questioning Adams by asking him to look at a surveillance video from a bank that shows Frazee with a baby carrier in the passenger seat of his car. There is a black tote in the vehicle that Adams said investigators would learn played a “significant role” in the disappearance of Kelsey Berreth.
Frazee’s public defenders began their cross-examination of Adams by asking him about the accuracy of cellphone towers and how they receive pings. He conceded that most of the towers were in rural areas and receive pings from a large geographical area, and that he was not an expert in how the technology works.
The cross-examination continued with questions about the search of Berreth’s house. Adams said no blood or active crime scene was found inside, and that he changed the password to Berreth’s Facebook in an attempt to find her.
After Berreth’s disappearance, Adams said he spoke to Colorado Bureau of Investigation analysts who looked for evidence inside her house, and said they didn’t say it appeared this was a crime scene. In previous news conferences, police have said they believe Berreth was killed inside of her home. At this point, investigators haven’t said why they reached this conclusion.
Dec. 6 was the first day CBI agents heard a report of blood inside of Berreth’s apartment, and that it came from her parents, who went inside after reporting her missing.
The cross-examination went on to detail the surveillance photos that captured Frazee entering and exiting Berreth’s apartment. Adams said Frazee was not seen leaving with a black tote, and that he did not appear to have blood stains on his clothing.
During the cross-examination, Frazee, whose hands were released from his shackles so he could take notes, largely stared straight ahead.
Adams said Frazee attended Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 22, and brought his child with him.
The cross-examination of Adams ended with questions about a surveillance camera owned by Berreth’s neighbor, which showed Frazee at her apartment the day she was last seen. Adams said it did not show Lee (Krystal Kenney) inside of Berreth’s apartment, and that after she disappeared, no one came to the door except someone who works for a utility company and a friend of Frazee’s who was picking up a package.
During redirect examination, Adams said the surveillance camera in question was grainy, and only stored a week's worth of surveillance footage at a time. The photos shown during Adams’ testimony were taken after it was triggered by movement.
Prosecutors later asked Adams about the state of Berreth’s apartment after she was reported missing. He said she had flowers on her kitchen table, and that her purse and house keys were missing. Her car keys were still inside the home, and there was no indication she had packed any luggage or taken any clothes, Adams said.
A cadaver dog used to search her home picked up a scent near Berreth’s car, which was parked in front of her condo, Adams said.
Adams said he gained access to Berreth’s Facebook account and Gmail, and found no evidence she was planning to leave.
He ended his testimony by saying that Nov. 22 is the last day Berreth was confirmed to have been seen alive.
At the conclusion of this line of questioning, the judge called a 15-minute break, and the large crowd of journalists and bystanders inside of the old wooden courtroom in Cripple Creek briefly dispersed. The court will be called back into session at around 10:45 a.m.
After the morning break, the prosecution called Agent Gregg Slater with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to the stand. Slater was called to assist Woodland Park police on Dec. 4 -- two days after Berreth was reported missing.
Slater said a cadaver dog picked up a scent near Berreth’s green Toyota Corolla, which was parked outside of her apartment.
The questioning then shifted to his conversation with Berreth’s parents. Slater testified that Berreth spoke to her mother, Cheryl, at around 9 a.m. on Nov. 22. During the five minute discussion, Slater testified Berreth told her mother she didn’t get home until 4 a.m. that morning because she and her daughter Kaylee had been visiting Frazee.
According to Slater, Berreth told her mother that the evening before Thanksgiving, she and her daughter went with Frazee to check on his cattle, and she went and picked up medication for him at Walmart for his stomach illness.
At no point, Slater said, did Cheryl Berreth say her daughter mentioned coming to visit her in Idaho or her grandmother in Washington.
Late Thanksgiving night, Cheryl Berreth said she received a text message from her daughter saying that Frazee had returned her gun and she had gone shooting that night.
Cheryl Berreth told Slater that her daughter Kelsey told her that Frazee took her gun away on New Year’s Eve 2017 because she alluded to taking her own life when the couple got into a fight and hadn’t returned it to her until Nov. 22, 2018.
Slater went on to say that Cheryl Berreth told him that she accidentally called her daughter on Nov. 24, and then received a text from Kelsey Berreth’s phone saying something along the lines of “I’ll call you tomorrow.”
She never received that phone call, or heard from her daughter again, Slater said.
Kelsey Berreth’s boss told CBI that he received a text the night of Nov. 25 saying that she would not be at work and had gone out of town to visit her grandmother, according to Slater’s testimony.
This prompted CBI agents to look for evidence indicating Berreth was, in fact, planning a trip. Slater said Cheryl Berreth told investigators that she didn’t hear anything about her daughter planning to visit her grandmother, and it was uncharacteristic of her to not mention those plans.
Slater said Berreth’s mother said it was uncharacteristic of their daughter to leave for a trip without luggage, clothing or hair and makeup products. All of those items remained in her apartment, along with her pickup truck.
Prosecutors went on to ask Slater about a conversation Frazee had with one of Berreth’s coworkers. In the conversation, the coworker told Slater that Frazee told her Berreth suffered from alcohol addiction and drug use. That coworker went on to say that Frazee told her that Berreth said she didn’t want anything to do with him.
The coworker thought these assertions seemed out-of-character for Berreth.
Slater’s investigation revealed that Berreth went to a clinic aimed at treating mental illness in August 2018. The clinic said she was not there in November 2018 after Berreth’s mother contacted them and asked if she had checked herself in.
On Dec. 6, Slater said he texted a text message from Berreth’s parents that said they found what they believed to be blood in the bathroom of their daughter’s home -- and it appeared that someone had cleaned multiple surfaces there. He characterized this as a turning point in the focus of the investigation.
Cheryl Berreth also told investigators that a bathmat was missing from their daughter’s home.
Prosecutors admitted photos from inside of Berreth’s home as evidence. That included photos of white marks on the refrigerator and doorknob.
Slater said another search of Berreth’s apartment revealed what was believed to be blood on the toilet. An ensuing test by a CBI analyst confirmed this was in fact blood, and chemical tests also revealed blood on the exterior part of the bathtub near the toilet, on the bottom of a trash can, near the shower, on a wall and the sink.
Slater said a CBI analyst conducted a DNA test of the blood found in the bathroom and compared it to Kelsey Berreth’s. The profiles were a match, according to Slater.
The prosecution went on to ask Slater about their ensuing conversations with Frazee. They tried to arrange a conversation with Frazee in part to confirm that his and Berreth’s 1-year-old daughter was accounted for.
Slater said agents were able to find Frazee at a Five Guys Burgers and take his phone to execute a warrant. Frazee said he wouldn’t speak to investigators further without a warrant, according to Slater.
Slater said agents used Frazee’s phone to read text conversations between him and Berreth. They narrowed in on the date of Nov. 22.
On that date, Slater testified that Frazee’s phone records revealed on that afternoon, he called his mother as well as someone with an Idaho area code. During those calls, Frazee’s phone pinged from a tower that serves Berreth’s home, according to Slater.
He received a phone call from the Idaho phone number that same afternoon, Slater said. His phone pinged on a tower that indicated he was traveling west from Berreth’s home in Woodland Park.
During an ensuing search of Berreth’s phone, Slater testified that investigators used tower information to deduce her phone was in proximity to Frazee’s even as it moved west from Woodland Park.
Slater’s testimony went on to discuss how investigators determined that the Idaho phone number Frazee called the afternoon of Nov. 22 belonged to Krystal Lee Kenney.
This prompted investigators to reach out to her.
She was first contacted by law enforcement in December, according to Slater. Lee was in Las Vegas at the time, Slater said. During that first phone call, he alleged that Lee claimed she didn’t know Frazee well and that their relationship was mainly about owning cattle together.
Slater said Lee eventually told investigators she came to Colorado to discuss a horse with Frazee but said she didn’t know Berreth at all.
That wasn’t the end of the conversation with Lee. Slater and another agent went to Idaho, and after Lee invited them inside, she told them she wouldn’t cooperate until she spoke with an attorney.
Lee would later provide a phone to investigators, Slater said. After meeting with an attorney, she agreed to an interview with Slater.
During that conversation, Lee said she and Frazee reconnected by phone in fall 2017. In March 2018, Slater said Lee told him she came to Colorado and began a romantic relationship with Frazee. At the time, she claimed she didn’t know about Berreth or the child she shared with Frazee.
Lee said she didn’t learn about his family until July 2018, when she came to Colorado to visit Frazee and went to lunch with a former boss of hers. During the lunch, Lee said she was “shocked” to learn Frazee had a daughter with another woman, but she didn’t talk to him about it until a visit in August.
“Krystal said she had come out here and she had brought a T-shirt and some little toys for Kaylee,” Slater said, adding that Lee told him Frazee told her he didn’t want to talk about anything.
Lee said she didn’t hear the name Kelsey Berreth until after the August trip when she learned who was the mother of Frazee’s child.
Lee said once Frazee knew she knew about his daughter, he would talk about her -- and ask her questions about childcare since she was a registered nurse.
During those conversations, Lee said Frazee called Berreth a “terrible mother” and alleged she had a drug and alcohol problems, and was “physically abusive” to their daughter, according to Slater.
Slater said investigators have not found any police reports or medical records indicating that Frazee and Berreth’s daughter had ever been physically abused and that by all accounts she was a happy, healthy girl.
His testimony went on to discuss Lee’s September visit to Colorado. During that visit, Lee said Frazee told her he was worried Berreth was going to harm their daughter while he was away, and that he “wanted Krystal to get rid of Kelsey,” Slater testified.
Slater said Lee told him she took what Frazee was saying as that he wanted her to kill Berreth.
Lee claimed Frazee told her she should poison Berreth’s favorite coffee drink -- a caramel macchiato -- and even went as far as to list the narcotics that could be used.
This is when Lee said Frazee showed her a picture of Berreth and gave her the 29-year-old’s address. Lee said she went to a Starbucks, bought a caramel macchiato and brought it to Berreth’s apartment. Slater said Lee denied poisoning the drink at the time.
Lee said Berreth opened the door to her apartment. At the time, Lee was operating under the ruse she was a neighbor and pretended like she was bringing coffee to thank Berreth for letting her dogs in after they escaped, according to Slater’s testimony.
Berreth accepted the coffee, Lee told Slater but didn’t drink it.
Slater then testified how Lee told him that she gave Berreth the number for a "burner phone" -- something that was Frazee's idea.
Slater testified that Lee told him she didn't want to hurt Berreth at the time and apologized to Frazee. He would tell her that she would "have another chance," according to Slater.
After this piece of testimony, the prosecution said it would be a good time to break for lunch. The court is expected to resume at 1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m -- COURT IS BACK IN SESSION AFTER LUNCH
Teller County Judge Scott Sells is upholding his decision to release Patrick Frazee’s mother from her subpoena, which means she will not have to testify against her son at his preliminary hearing.
Sells said prosecutors had wanted Sheila Frazee to testify about when her son arrived at Thanksgiving dinner the day Berreth disappeared, the wellbeing of his child, and a steel rod that may have been recovered.
She was also expected to testify about what was referred to as a “burning incident” at Frazee’s home, according to Sells.
Sells said a preliminary hearing is not a time for this testimony, and that other witnesses can provide further similar information.
Slater returned to the witness stand and discussed how, after Lee backed out of giving Berreth poisoned coffee, Lee said Frazee was angry but said she had other chances to kill Berreth.
According to Slater’s testimony, Lee said she and Frazee discussed ways to kill Berreth, and he gave her a two-foot metal pipe. Later, Lee told Slater Frazee told him to beat Berreth outside of her condo and that killing her is “not that hard, you’re smart, figure it out.”
Lee said she had a hard time going through with it, telling Slater “that’s not who she is, but she loves Patrick and wanted to please him.”
Nevertheless, Slater said Lee told him she wanted to kill Berreth because of allegations Frazee made and her belief that he could be watching her.
On multiple occasions, Slater said Lee told him she waited outside of Berreth’s apartment, but couldn’t go through with beating her to death.
At one point, Slater said Lee alleged Frazee told her if she couldn’t go through with killing Berreth, he’d have to do it himself.
In October, Lee said she returned to Idaho and largely lost contact with Frazee. He contacted her on Nov. 22 and said she needed to call him and that she had a “mess to clean up,” according to Frazee.
On Nov. 24, Slater testified that Lee said she returned to Colorado with rubber gloves, a white suit used for deep cleaning and bleach.
On her drive to Colorado, Slater said Lee spoke to Frazee multiple times. Once she arrived at Frazee’s Florissant home, she picked up a pair of keys that he had left out front. Slater testified that upon reaching Woodland Park, Lee said she parked at the recreation center and then walked to Berreth’s home.
“Her words were when she opened the door, it was horrific,” Slater said. “She said she realized that ‘this had actually happened.’”
Slater said Lee described seeing blood on all of the walls and all over the floors of the home.
Lee said she noticed a window over Berreth’s sink that didn’t have any curtains, so she put towels over it, according to Slater. Lee told him she then started to clean up items.
Slater said Lee told him Frazee gave her instructions about cleaning Berreth’s apartment. She claimed he told her there was a sweater she needed to get rid of.
According to Slater, Lee collected a stuffed animal, plastic bags from Hobby Lobby, tinfoil on top of some cinnamon rolls, blood-covered children’s toys and cookie cutters in the kitchen Frazee explicitly told her to remove.
Lee said she also took a Bible that had blood on it and pillows on the couch, Slater said.
Slater said Lee also used some of Berreth’s own trash bags and filled them with items she wanted to remove from the house. According to the testimony, Lee said she also used some of Berreth’s cleaning supplies for the cleanup and wiped blood off of the windows and television.
“She said there were bloody footprints all over the floors of the house, in the bathroom, kitchen, living room and Kelsey’s bedroom,” Slater said.
Slater said Lee told him it took approximately three or four hours to clean up Berreth’s apartment. During this process, Lee also told Slater she “purposely” left blood spatter in certain places of the house, including the fireplace in the living room and the baby gate that was leaning against the wall upstairs.
“She was hoping that law enforcement would find them sooner, and she would be contacted sooner,” Slater said.
After cleaning up, Lee said she put the trash bags near where Berreth’s Corolla was parked, loaded them into her car, and went to Sonic.
From there, she returned to Frazee’s property.
According to Slater, Lee told him she spoke to Frazee about what happened. She claims he told her that he put a sweater over her eyes under the guise she was guessing scented candles. Slater said Lee told her Frazee said he beat his fiancee to death.
Lee said she found a sweater in the living that had blood on it and was tied in a knot like Frazee had alluded to, according to Slater’s testimony.
“He asked her ‘did you clean up well?’ and she said ‘to the best I could’ and he said ‘you better hope so,’” Slater said of what Lee claims Frazee told her after she returned to her house.
According to Slater, Lee said Frazee loaded Berreth’s remains into a black tote and went to Thanksgiving with his family. The tote was loaded into a barn, Lee told Slater.
Lee claimed that Berreth and Frazee’s young daughter was inside her home during the crime, according to Slater’s testimony.
Slater said Lee told her Frazee gave her Berreth’s cellphone. Lee said she also took a purse from Berreth’s condo and brought it with her to Frazee’s home.
Lee said Frazee wanted her to transport Berreth’s remains, and that he asked her to text Berreth’s mom “I’ll call you tomorrow” from Berreth’s phone, Slater testified. That was Nov. 24 -- the last day Berreth’s phone was active.
According to Slater’s testimony, Lee said she and Frazee went to the barn where he had stored Berreth’s body. Once they got there, Lee told Slater she helped to steady a ladder for Frazee, who moved the tote she said contained Berreth’s body to a haystack. Slater testified Lee told him Frazee then loaded the body into a truck and went back to his property.
After that, Slater said Lee told him they went past the main house and to a pasture and put Berreth’s body into a trough. Slater said Lee told him Frazee used gasoline to light a fire to burn the tote, which was inside the trough.
“[Lee] did stay there for several hours while the fire burned,” Slater said.
Slater said Lee told him she never saw Berreth’s body inside of the tote, but Frazee told her it was there in addition to the baseball bat she claims he used to kill her.
At one point, Slater said Lee told him the flames were so high that Frazee’s mom noticed and checked from the front porch. Slater also said Lee told him she put the trash bags full of items she took from Berreth’s apartment and threw them into the fire, as well as the contents of Berreth’s purse.
After the fire, Slater said Lee told him Frazee told her to take a nap. She told Slater he brought her two slices of pizza and an Ibuprofen because she had a headache.
Lee said on her way home, she threw Berreth’s keys into a gorge near Gooding, Idaho. Slater testified Lee told him she disposed of her burner phone in Breckenridge, and burned Berreth’s phone in her yard.
Along the way, Slater said Lee claimed she left her and Berreth phones on along the way back to Idaho in hopes that law enforcement would be able to track her down.
Slater testified that Lee claims Frazee told her to text him “do you even love me anymore?” from Berreth’s phone, as well as text her supervisor to say she wouldn’t be at work that week.
“Patrick wanted to make it look like Kelsey went off on her own and … to use the words Krystal used, to ‘off herself,’” Slater said.
Slater said Lee also indicated that Frazee asked her to take Berreth’s gun in an effort to give this theory more credence.
Lee had a second interview with investigators on Dec. 21, 2018. Slater said it was much shorter than the first one and after they had returned to locations she claimed was involved in the crime.
In a series of photographs, Slater said Lee identified Frazee as well as his truck and a tote box similar to the one where she alleges he hid Berreth’s body.
Slater’s testimony went on to detail how investigators corroborated Lee’s claims. One of the items was the fact that Lee knew her phone pinged in Grand Junction and Salt Lake City -- something that was not public knowledge at the time. Police had said her phone had pinged in Gooding, Idaho early on.
Berreth’s gun was also recovered from the location where Lee said it was, according to Slater.
During her Dec. 21 interview, Lee took investigators to the barn where she claims Frazee stored Berreth’s body, as well as her condo and Frazee’s property.
Slater said Lee took investigators to the barn where she claims Frazee hid Berreth’s body. It was a 30-minute drive, Slater said. Once there, Slater said they found a discolored bale of hay and the tractor that she had described.
Slater said Lee told her the hay was discolored because it’s where she said she saw the tote box where Berreth’s body was stored, as well as the plastic bag that contained her gun.
Before this, Slater said Lee took investigators to Frazee’s property, where she showed investigators where she believes the “burn area” was.
“I was in Afghanistan for a little while, and part of the training that was provided was I identified particular areas where IEDs are,” Slater said, adding he learned how to tell what a burn area looks like. “I noticed as we walked up, I noticed a distinct discoloration on an area where Krystal originally pointed out to was where the burn area is.”
Slater said a red gas can was found near the burn area as well as some totes that looked similar to the one Lee said Berreth’s body was stored in.
According to his court testimony, Slater said Lee told him Frazee said he was either going to put Berreth’s remains in a dump or in the river.
An arson investigator for the Colorado Department of Public Safety later responded to Frazee’s property, Slater said.
Slater said that investigator determined there was charred ground there and burned, black plastic. They also found evidence that someone had used an accelerant in that burn area, according to Slater.
From here, the prosecution asked Slater to testify about a cadaver dog that was brought to the ranch where Lee claims Berreth’s body was stored. He said the dog was “alerted” at the discolored bale of hay where Lee told investigators the tote bag containing Berreth’s body was stored.
Slater was then asked to testify about documents found inside of Frazee’s home that contained paperwork about custody of his young daughter. He said this paperwork was dated in August 2018, but had never been filed.
The questioning again shifted gears, with prosecutors asking Slater about when investigators returned to Berreth’s home on Dec. 21 with Lee in tow.
CBI had obtained another warrant to look for more blood evidence in light of her assertion that she had left blood evidence behind in hopes investigators would find it.
The hardwood floor of Berreth’s home had been torn up in the interim, Slater said.
Slater said during the Dec. 21 trip to Berreth’s apartment, he saw a film on appliances that indicated they had recently been cleaned. He said there was a distinctive white residue on the couch.
There were also areas inside the home where agents were able to find blood. Slater said Lee was able to point them out to investigators.
Prosecutors asked Slater to detail where Lee helped investigators find blood inside of Berreth’s home. At the time, this blood had not been positively identified using DNA evidence.
Slater said investigators also found blood that had seeped through Berreth’s floorboards.
With this, the prosecution concluded its line of questioning and the judge called a recess.
Court will be back in session in 15 minutes.
The defense has begun cross-examining Slater, who has been on the witness stand since before lunch.
The questioning focused on how long Berreth's parents were staying inside her home from when they reported her missing to when they claim they found blood inside of her apartment.
Slater also said there was DNA inside of the apartment that didn't belong to Frazee or Berreth.
The defense went on to press Slater about what he says Lee told him about her and Frazee's alleged plot to kill Berreth.
According to Slater, Lee did not have exact details about the commission of the crime, and she also never called police, even though she found herself in the midst of a horrific crime scene.
The defense pressed Slater about the specifics Lee told him about her cleanup process. Included in that is the fact she never called police, and used a towel to cover up the kitchen window as she said she scrubbed away blood.
Slater was also asked about the black tote where Lee claimed Frazee stored Berreth’s body. He said there’s no surveillance video that shows Frazee carrying the tote out of his fiancee’s home, and that Lee never said she smelled an odor inside of the home.
The defense also asked Slater about Lee’s knowledge that law enforcement would contact her based off of the pings that were coming from the two phones.
Slater also clarified that Lee gave Berreth’s gun to a friend of hers, not to sell but just to have. Slater had earlier said that the gun was recovered where Lee said it was.
The conversation then shifted to the relationship between Lee and Frazee. Slater said she told him Frazee was her first love, and she didn’t want to let it go. Some of her friends and family knew about Frazee, Slater said, and some didn’t.
Slater said nothing that belonged to Berreth was found in Frazee’s home, nor have any of her items been found in his trash at this point.
The defense ended its cross-examination.
During redirect, the prosecution asked Slater about how Lee knew multiple details from Berreth’s apartment during their December search, including the location of the fireplace and where a piece of baby equipment was.
Slater also said during redirect examination that there were no signs of a struggle inside of Berreth’s home.
When asked by the prosecution, Slater said Lee told him she did smell gasoline as she said Frazee burned Berreth’s body.
Slater was also asked to detail a conversation in which Lee spoke to a friend and said she was done with him and believed Berreth was abusing her young child.
The prosecution then asked Slater to describe assertions from Lee that Frazee made calls and sent texts from Berreth's phone. At the time, Slater said Lee claimed Frazee said the fact his phone was near Berreth was a concern since he had “stalked her before” and probably was stalking her now.
During his redirect examination, Slater clarified that Berreth’s family quit staying at her condo once they found blood in the bathroom.
And it wasn’t until Lee spoke to investigators that they knew what happened to Berreth, Slater said.
With this, the prosecution rested its case.
Despite objections from the defense that the prosecution did not offer direct evidence that Frazee was present for Berreth's murder, the judge ruled there is enough evidence for him to stand trial.
He is slated to appear in court for an arraignment in April.
Following this decision, the judge heard a request from the media to unseal documents related to the case. The prosecution was open to doing so, but the defense had objections.
The judge has also ruled that he will unseal the arrest warrant in the case, saying that most of the details have come out during the preliminary hearing.
He said he will not yet unseal the search warrants related to the case.