NewsKelsey Berreth Case


Defense attorney breaks down key evidence in Patrick Frazee's murder trial

Trial resumes Tuesday morning in Teller County
Patrick Frazee formal charges hearing
Posted at 7:28 PM, Nov 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-12 07:29:33-05

DENVER -- Six days into Patrick Frazee's murder trial in Teller County, witnesses on the stand for the prosecution have described horrific and dramatic details.

Frazee, 33, of Florissant, is accused of murdering Kelsey Berreth, his 29-year-old fiancée, on Thanksgiving Day 2018 in Woodland Park. He is also accused of soliciting Krystal Lee Kenney, an Idaho resident whom he had dated, to help him carry out the murder.

He faces eight charges, including first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased body and solicitation. While he pleaded not guilty to the charges, Kenney took a plea deal, pleading guilty to a tampering charge and agreeing to testify at Frazee's trial.

Prosecutors decided in July to not file a motion in pursuit of capital punishment, meaning Frazee will not face the death penalty in this case if he is found guilty.

Here is Denver7's coverage from previous days of the trial:
Day 1: Prosecutor calls Patrick Frazee 'calculated manipulator,' but defense says 'facts don't make sense'
Day 2: Patrick Frazee murder trial: Family, police describe suspicions after Kelsey Berreth’s disappearance
Day 3: Patrick Frazee trial: Defense questions timeline, lack of black tote in surveillance photos
Day 4: Patrick Frazee murder trial: Krystal Kenney recounts cleanup of Kelsey Berreth murder scene
Day 5: Patrick Frazee murder trial: Defense questions why Kenney never alerted anyone to murder plot
Day 6: Patrick Frazee murder trial: ‘I figured out a way to kill her,' friend testifies Frazee told him

Court will resume on Tuesday and as the state begins wrapping up its case, a Denver defense attorney, watching the case closely, broke down the evidence he believes the entire case hinges on.

"The case is moving pretty quickly," said attorney and legal expert David Beller.

Beller said the evidence is mounting against Frazee.

"They've uncovered a lot of really damning corroborating information, damning for Mr. Frazee," he said.

Beller said a new witness who took the stand Friday hasn't helped Frazee's defense.

Long-time friend and fellow rancher Joseph Moore told jurors Frazee told him, "I figured out a way to kill her."

READ MORE: Timeline of events leading up to, after Kelsey Berreth's death

"A jury is really going to look at all of Frazee's conduct," Beller said. "Certainly, the statements that he made to his friend. At least as the government has painted it, is cold-hearted and not consistent with somebody who's innocent."

Despite the new bombshell in court Friday, Beller said he still believes a guilty verdict hinges solely on Kenney, his former lover and Idaho rodeo queen.

"Mr. Frazee's murder trial really turns on the testimony of Mrs. Kenney," he said.

Kenney only agreed to testify after cutting a deal a plea deal, a fact Beller said will make any jury suspicious of her as a cooperating witness.

"The question here is, they might not like her but is she believable -- her story is to be believed," Beller said.

READ MORE: Affidavit details what happened in days leading up to, after Kelsey Berreth’s death

Beller said the state has been doing a good job corroborating Kenney's story with circumstantial evidence like cell phone records and surveillance video.

"Those cell phone records don't turn on her testimony, the movement of the totes don't turn on her testimony," he explained.

Beller said what will be even more telling is when the defense begins laying out its case and whether they have their own theory about what happened to Berreth.

"There's nothing that requires the defense to present their own theory, but certainly a jury in order to find him not guilty is going to be looking for one," Beller said.

So far, the defense has tried to punch holes in Kenney's story, discredit her as a witness, and questioned why she didn't go to police sooner or the first time she said Frazee asked her to kill Berreth.

Frazee's attorneys will get their opportunity to question his friend and fellow rancher first thing Tuesday.

READ MORE: All Denver7 coverage on the killing of Kelsey Berreth, trial of Patrick Frazee

The state is expected to rest its case sometime this week, with the defense up next to lay out its arguments for why Frazee is innocent.

Beller said the defense's case will likely take less time than the prosecutions and they could chose not to call a single witness. It is on the state to prove its case without a reasonable doubt.