TELLER COUNTY, Colo. — The woman who took a plea deal in exchange for providing information about the 2018 murder of Colorado mother Kelsey Berreth is slated to be resentenced, according to a decision from the Colorado Court of Appeals.
Krystal Lee Kenney, 34, pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence for disposing of Berreth's cellphone. In exchange, she testified against Patrick Frazee, who is now serving a life sentence for the murder of the mother of his child.
Kenney has been serving a three-year sentence in the Colorado Department of Corrections since January 2020. In her appeal, Kenney argued that this sentence was unconstitutional because it exceeded the maximum for the charge she pleaded guilty to under the deal, which did not mention aggravating factors and was therefore only 18 months.
The appeals court agreed, writing in an opinion "we vacate Kenney's sentence and remand the case to the district court for resentencing in the presumptive range."
The Fourth Judicial District Attorney's Office, which prosecuted the case and made the plea agreement with Kenney, said it is reviewing the order from the appeals court.
Last year, Kenney's request to move to a halfway house in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic was denied.
> The video above is from a 2020 9NEWS story about Lee's sentence.
In 2019, then-District Attorney Dan May called the agreement with Kenney "a deal with the devil."
It was the culmination of a years-long on-again, off-again relationship between Kenney and Frazee.
Berreth, who was 29 at the time of her death, was last seen on Thanksgiving Day 2018. Kenney testified that Frazee beat Berreth to death with a baseball bat while their young child was in the other room, and then put her body in a tote that was stored at a ranch in rural Teller County before it was burned on Frazee's property near Florissant.
Kenney said Frazee had asked her to kill Berreth on multiple occasions, but she couldn't go through with it. However, when Frazee told her she "had a mess to clean up" after Berreth's murder, Kenney said she drove to Colorado from Idaho to clean up the crime scene.
Kenney said she also saw Frazee burn Berreth's body, and that she brought the young mother's cellphone with her back to Idaho and later disposed of it in an effort to fool law enforcement into believing Berreth had disappeared.
Frazee's November 2019 trial brought media from across the U.S. to the Teller County courthouse in Cripple Creek. He was ultimately convicted of a litany of charges -- including first-degree murder -- for Berreth's death.
Prosecutors were able to link Kenney and Frazee using phone records.
According to Colorado DOC records, Frazee is currently serving his sentence at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Prowers County. His and Berreth's now-3-year-old daughter is in the custody of the Berreth family.
Prosecutors asked that Kenney receive the maximum sentence possible for her role in the crime, and during her January 2020 sentencing, the judge agreed.
“To consider probation would minimize the depravity of your actions,” Judge Scott Sells said during Lee’s sentencing. “Simply saying ‘I’m sorry’ is not enough. Your actions deserve the maximize sentence permitted by law.”
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