A Colorado man accused of killing his fiancée will be tried for murder and other charges – notably for alteration of a dead body – later this year, a county judge ruled as a result from a preliminary hearing on Tuesday.
Patrick Frazee, 32, is expected to be brought to justice on Saturday, April 8, following the death of Kelsey Berreth, 29. He has been in prison since his arrest at the end of December. Berreth, who had a 1 year old daughter with Frazee, was last seen alive on Thanksgiving Day and her body has not been found yet.
During the hearing that lasted all day, the testimonies focused on what Krystal Jean Lee Kenney, 32, who had great value for Frazee, told investigators during the investigation into the disappearance of Frazee. Constable Gregg Slater of the Colorado Investigation Office testified that Kenney told the police that Berreth was an alcoholic physically assaulting the couple's daughter, Kaylee. Slater said that there was no evidence that this was the case.
Slater testified that Frazee had begun trying to convince Kenney to kill Berreth in September of last year. Kenney told the police that Frazee had suggested various methods to kill Berreth, including poisoning her coffee and beating her with a metal pipe or a baseball bat. According to Slater, Kenney stated that she had not followed Frazee's instructions, thus leading her to say at the end of October: "I guess if you can not not do it, I'll have to do it. "
Slater also said that Kenney had told the police that Frazee had called him at his home in Idaho on Thanksgiving Day to tell him, "You have to get back here right now, you have a mess at clean." When Kenney arrived at Berreth's townhouse in Woodland Park, Colorado, two days later, she discovered a "horrible" scene with blood splattered on the walls and floors of Berreth's townhouse. said Slater.
Kenney told the police that Frazee had convinced Berreth to pull a sweater around her head and guess the smell of different candles, then beat her to death with a baseball bat and tidy her body up on a ranch . After cleaning the house, Kenney announced that she had gone to get Berreth's body with Frazee and that she had been seen by Frazee burning him with the baseball bat on his property, Slater said.
She said that Frazee later told him that he was planning to throw the remains in a dump or river.
Kenney brought Berreth's phone to Idaho, where she texted Frazee and Berreth's employer pretending to have the dead woman burn the phone, Slater said.
Kenney told the police that she wanted to please Frazee and feared that it would hurt her family if she did not cooperate, Slater said. Since then, she has pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and is required to testify against Frazee as part of her plea agreement with prosecutors.
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The testimony did not reveal the prosecutors' theory as the reason for which Frazee allegedly killed Berreth. Her parents argue in a lawsuit for wrongful death that they think Frazee wanted full custody of the couple's one-year-old daughter. The child stayed with them during the course of the criminal case.
Investigators first reported that Berreth was last seen on a surveillance video with the couple's daughter in a grocery store near her home. However, the police eventually found images of a neighbor's surveillance camera showing Berreth, Frazee and their daughter at the entrance to Berreth Town House later in the aftermath. -midday.
Kelly Burke of Fox News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.