CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. — Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May acknowledged the risk the prosecution took to secure a conviction against the man who killed Kelsey Berreth.
“We did a deal with the devil, and I’m not proud of that,” May said during a news conference outside the Teller County Courthouse Monday evening. “But, there’s no question Kelsey wouldn’t have had justice today without making that deal with the devil.”
May was talking about Krystal Lee, a nurse from Idaho who admitted she knew about Patrick Frazee’s plan to kill his one-time fiancee and the mother of his child, but didn’t do anything about it.
In fact, Lee said she drove from Idaho to Colorado after Frazee called her and said she had a “mess to clean up.” Lee admitted to cleaning up a grisly scene inside of Berreth’s apartment, and said she watched Frazee burn the 29-year-old’s remains in a trough on his property in Florissant.
Berreth was killed on Nov. 22, 2018. Lee admitted to disposing of her cellphone in Idaho three days later, on Nov. 25, 2018 — and didn’t tell her story to investigators until Dec. 20, 2018, when she had already signed a plea deal.
Lee has pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence for disposing of the phone and testified against Frazee, who was convicted of first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree murder, and tampering with a deceased human body on Monday after a jury deliberated for fewer than four hours.
“We didn’t pick [Lee], the defendant did,” May said. “So in the end we concentrated on who killed Kelsey.”
Lee could avoid prison time altogether. She is slated to appear in court on Dec. 2, but may not be sentenced until later. Her maximum sentence for tampering with evidence is up to three years in prison.
Frazee has been sentenced to life without parole plus 156 years.
In a letter read at his sentencing, Cheryl Berreth asked that Lee receive the maximum sentence, saying that even though she didn’t wield the murder weapon, she was complicit in an unthinkable crime.
“Her so-called relationship with Patrick was so valuable to her that she chose to aid in the murder,” Cheryl Berreth wrote. “We have yet to see any remorse for anything other than getting caught. She shouldn’t have received the plea deal that she did. She was an active participant in the murder.
“All she didn’t do was swing the bat.”
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