TELLER COUNTY, Colo. — A three-judge panel in Denver will decide whether to vacate the felony murder conviction of Patrick Frazee after hearing testimony in court Wednesday morning.
Frazee was convicted in Teller County District Court in 2019 and sentenced to life without parole for the killing of Kelsey Berreth, his onetime fiancee and mother of his daughter.
In their appeal brief, attorneys for Frazee argued that three jurors discussed the case during his trial and formed opinions prior to deliberations. They also argued that when the court became aware, not enough was done to address the potential issues.
The defense also took issue with some of the evidence presented at trial, including the failure of the court to suppress statements Frazee made to a Department of Human Services worker while he was being held at the Teller County Jail.
His team alleged that prosecutors were repeatedly allowed to present "irrelevant, unfairly prejudicial bad character evidence."
Berreth was last seen on security video inside a Woodland Park Safeway on Thanksgiving Day in 2018. She was reported missing by her mother in early December of that year.
Her body has never been found, and the prosecution of Frazee relied heavily on the testimony of Krystal Lee, a woman with whom Frazee had an on and off again relationship.
She told the jury that Frazee had asked her to kill Berreth multiple times but ultimately it was Frazee who beat Berreth to death inside her condo with a baseball bat.
Lee said she cleaned up the crime scene at the direction of Frazee and later watched Frazee burn Berreth's body at his family's ranch in Florissant before she drove to Idaho with the victim's cell phone. She said she used the phone to send texts aimed at deterring law enforcement.
Prosecutors offered Lee a plea deal in exchange for her testimony. She pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with physical evidence and is now free on parole.
It could be a few weeks before the appeals panel makes its decision, according to 9NEWS' partners at KRDO.
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