TELLER COUNTY, Colo. —
The man set to stand trial for the death and disappearance of his fiancee late last year appeared in Teller County court Friday for a motions hearing.
Patrick Frazee, 33, faces a litany of charges including first-degree murder for the presumed death of 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth. The two share a young daughter who is currently in the custody of Berreth’s family.
9NEWS partner KRDO had a reporter in the courtroom during the hearing, where attorneys debated whether or not the jury during October’s trial should hear from a Department of Human Services (DHS) worker who visited with Frazee shortly after his arrest.
That worker, Mary Longmire, testified on Friday. She said she spoke with numerous members of the Frazee and Berreth family while the DHS determined who would have custody of Frazee’s daughter while he was going through the legal process.
During her testimony, KRDO reports Longmire said she and Frazee discussed his daughter’s daily life and social background, as well as his custody agreement with Berreth. Longmire said Frazee appeared to be a “caring father,” according to KRDO’s reporting.
The judge said he would make a ruling about whether or not to allow the prosecution to use this conversation as evidence on Friday.
The District Attorney's Office also want to know if Frazee's defense team plans to present an alternate suspect in this case.
9NEWS Legal Analyst Scott Robinson says it's a standard request, filed often before a trial.
"What these pretrial motions are about is making sure you're not taken by surprise at trial with evidence or a witness you did not anticipate beforehand," Robinson said.
Frazee pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, which in addition to first-degree murder including solicitation to commit first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased human body and crime of violence, which is a sentence enhancer.
Berreth was last seen alive on Thanksgiving Day -- Nov. 22. Her mother reported her missing 10 days later. Her body has not yet been found, even after a weeks-long search of the Midway Landfill in Fountain for evidence related to the case.
During a preliminary hearing earlier this year, much of the evidence presented by prosecutors hinged on statements from Frazee’s ex-girlfriend, Krystal Lee Kenney.
Kenney pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence earlier this year. As part of an agreement, she's expected to testify at the trial.
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.
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.
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.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Local stories from 9NEWS