EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — Krystal Lee Kenney, who was sentenced to three years in prison in January in connection to the murder of a Woodland Park mother in 2018, has requested to move from the Department of Corrections to a halfway house.
According to Lee Richards, public information officer with El Paso County, the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office learned Friday morning that Kenney is being referred for consideration to be placed in a halfway house. Kenney made the request.
Kenney had an intimate relationship with Patrick Frazee, the man who was found guilty in November 2019 of murdering his fiancé, 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth, on Thanksgiving Day 2018. As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Kenney pleaded guilty to tampering with physical evidence and agreed to testify at Frazee's murder trial. In November 2019, Frazee was found guilty of all counts against him and was sentenced to life without parole plus 156 years.
Richards clarified that the process for Kenney to be referred for consideration to live in a halfway house is separate from the parole and parole hearing process.
A person placed in a halfway house — also known as a community corrections program — has the chance to progress to an Intensive Supervision Program. In this program, they are monitored electronically and are allowed to live outside the halfway house.
District Attorney Dan May and Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Viehman released a joint statement Friday morning after learning about this request from Kenney. They, along with Berreth’s family and friends and the community, “vigorously oppose” moving Kenney to a community-based alternative, the statement reads.
The district attorney’s office filed an opposition to this move shortly after hearing about it. As of Friday, Kenney has served less than two months behind bars, but was sentenced to three years.
The opposition letter reviewed facts from the case: How Frazee had asked Kenney to kill Berreth multiple times; how Kenney had almost followed through with those plans; how she drove from her home in Idaho to the small town of Woodland Park in Colorado shortly after Thanksgiving Day 2018 after Frazee ordered her to clean up what prosecutors called a brutal murder scene at Berreth’s home. Throughout the multiple murder plans, actual murder, clean up and disposal of the body afterward, Kenney never alerted Berreth’s family or authorities.
“Ms. Kenney deserves to spend every day of her three-year sentence in the Department of Corrections, but we are cognizant of the fact she will not serve that entire sentence, day for day, in the Denver Woman’s Correctional Facility,” the district attorney's office's objection letter read. “She should, however, serve more than two months. She should serve her full sentence in DOC until she paroles from DOC. Serving two months out of a three-year sentence for what she did is simply unconsciousable.”
May and Viehman’s joint statement read that the fact this is even being considered demonstrates that the state’s system for sentencing is distorted and needs to be reformed.
After Frazee's sentencing in November, May called the plea deal the district attorney's office made with Kenney "a deal with the devil." Following Kenney's sentencing in January, he said he still believed three years was inadequate for her involvement in Berreth’s death. At the same time, he believed the deal was worth it in order to solve the murder case, he said.
4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May said the Berreth family will be opposing Kenney’s release and called for changes to Colorado statute regarding sentencing laws to keep such things from happening.
The Department of Corrections said that Kenney was time-eligible for consideration for community corrections according to statute.
“Her plan is currently under review by the referral unit, and upon completion she will be eligible for review by the appropriate board/center. The Department of Corrections does not determine if someone is accepted into community corrections, that determination is made by the local board,” DOC spokesperson Annie Skinner said in a statement.