CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. — Testimony continues Tuesday in the murder trial of Patrick Frazee at the Teller County Courthouse in Cripple Creek.
Frazee is accused of killing his fiance, Kelsey Berreth, last Thanksgiving. He’s also accused of asking Krystal Kenney, a nurse from Idaho, to help him kill Berreth.
On Friday, a jury was seated, opening statements were heard, and the first witness, Kelsey’s mother, took the stand.
Monday, nine other witnesses testified, including Kelsey’s older brother, her next-door neighbor, a Safeway employee, Kelsey’s manager, three Woodland Park police officers, an Ent Credit Union employee, and an El Paso County sheriff’s deputy.
The jury saw pictures of Frazee at Kelsey’s doorway multiple times the day she disappeared. The photos were obtained by an investigator for the District Attorney’s office.
Investigator Chad Mininger said on November 22, the day Kelsey went missing, her next-door neighbor received a total of 22 notifications from her security camera, which faced Berreth’s front door. Of those 22 notifications, Frazee was captured on camera 11 times.
Frazee’s defense put pressure on the investigator, noting that Frazee isn’t seen holding a black box in any of the 11 images. Prosecutors believe Frazee killed Kelsey and then put her body inside a black box, which he later put in the back of his truck.
The 11 images were also shown to jurors during opening statements. Frazee’s defense told jurors that his clothing didn’t have any signs of blood in any of the images.
Woodland Park Police Department Corporal Beth Huber was next to take the stand on Tuesday. She described speaking with Corp. Currin, who had met with Frazee and reported she felt “weird” about the situation.
Huber says she called Frazee and asked him when he’d last spoken with Kelsey. She says he told her he’d last talked with his fiance on Thanksgiving Day, and indicated he’d given Kelsey her things back at her request.
Corp. Currin told Huber the items Frazee had reported returning were a revolver and ammunition. However, after a search warrant was executed at Berreth’s home, that firearm was not located.
Frazee also told Huber he’d gone to Kelsey’s townhome to retrieve their daughter, but did not accurately describe the number of times he went there that day — as evidenced by footage captured by a surveillance camera next door.
Huber called Berreth’s cell phone and, after that call went unanswered, says she called Verizon. She says Verizon was able to verify the last activity logged on Berreth’s phone had happened in Gooding, Idaho around 5 p.m.
Tuesday marked the first time the court heard from a member of the Frazee family, Colorado Springs Police Officer Sean Frazee, Patrick’s older brother.
When asked if he and his brother were on good terms, Officer Frazee noted they were not close, saying Patrick has “had some struggles with his life”.
He described Thanksgiving of last year at his mother’s house, saying Patrick arrived with his daughter, but were late – and didn’t show up until 5 p.m. After eating, Sean says Patrick went outside to finish up his regular chores. Sean said he didn’t notice a black box in the back of Patrick’s truck, but that it wouldn’t be unusual for one to be there — he couldn’t say how many such boxes his brother owned.
Sean also mentioned some family tension revolving around their late father’s unsettled estate, worth around $400,000.
Several days after Thanksgiving, Sean says Patrick called to let him know Kelsey was missing. Patrick told him a few thing: that Kelsey’s mother was coming into town, that Kelsey may be visiting a sick grandmother, and that Kelsey was struggling with alcohol issues for which she was receiving treatment.
Later, Sean was with Patrick at a Five Guys Restaurant in Colorado Springs when a WWPD officer confiscated Patrick’s phone.
Jen Newvilee, an ENT Credit Union Manager, took the stand for a brief testimony. She confirmed that both Berreth and Frazee had accounts with ENT Credit Union.
Jason, who works at a furniture store in Woodland Park, was next to testify. He told the court police asked him for surveillance videos captured on November 22, 2018.
He also said footage from those camera show Frazee and Berreth heading in the direction of her Woodland Park home.
Andrew Graen, a Walmart Manager for Protection Asset from July 2017 until May of this year, was called up to the stand next. He was only asked to give a copy of his surveillance video to officers.
On the stand, Stephanie Courtney, an Investigator with the 4th Judicial District, was able to provide a more comprehensive idea of Frazee’s activity on Thanksgiving Day of last year.
Courtney testified that she studied all known surveillance video, and that Frazee was seen at the ATM, then at Walmart, and then in his truck, heading in the direction of Berreth’s home. He was then seen at Berreth’s door, multiple times throughout the day on November 22, 2018.
Debate followed, regarding the black box seen in the back of Frazee’s truck, and whether or not it changed positions throughout the day, and it particular, after he arrived at Frazee’s condo.
Charles DeFrance, a special agent with CBI, was next to testify. DeFrance participated in the search of the Frazee ranch on December 14 and 15. He also spent two days processsing Frazee’s truck and Berreth’s home.
During DeFrance’s testimony, jurors saw photos of items found in Frazee’s mother’s living room, which included handwritten notes, a November 22, 2018 receipt from the Woodland Park Walmart, a Waste Management receipt, pictures of Frazee at an ATM, and a to-do list.
Special Agent Stephanie Benitez has been with Denver FBI for 18 years. She testified on her involvement in the search of Frazee’s home and vehicle. She also told the court about finding court documents in Frazee’s mother’s home, which included custody documents regarding the daughter Frazee shared with Berreth.
Chris Adams was with Woodland Park Police when the search for Berreth began and is now with CBI.
Adams told the court about what he found in Kelsey’s phone records, including 26 messages between her phone and Frazee’s phone on November 22, 2018.
Later, he accessed Kelsey’s google search history, email, and social media accounts. He found no information about a booked flight, but multiple searches involving ulcers.
Cell phone records were also the documents that informed investigators about Krsytal Kenney, the Idaho nurse with home Frazee had a relationship.
Also notable from Adams’ testimony, a record of him cutting his finger at the crime scene. He told the defense team Tuesday that he had to make a note of that, because it could corrupt the crime scene.
Greg Slater, a CBI Agent, testified Tuesday that he requested a cadaver dog, which was able to detect a presence of human decompostion on one of Berreth’s cars.
He also noted the investigation changed once Clint Berreth reported finding blood in his sister’s bathroom.
Slater said that discovery prompted agencies to conduct a chemical test, they blocked the Berreths from the home, and obtained Frazee’s phone records.
He also testified about a phone call he discovered on November 22, 2018, made to an Idaho number at 4:43 p.m. Slater described the call as “significant” because it was made right after Frazee had called his mother, and he called the Idaho number several times.
Slater said they discovered the Idaho number belonged to Krystal Kenney and noted that discovery prompted them to look into Frazee.
Court dismissed for the day after Slater took the stand.
The trial is expected to last three weeks.
The judge is not allowing any cameras in the courtroom or live reporting during the day.
Resources for victims of domestic violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call the hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit thehotline.org for free help 24 hours a day.
Violence Free Colorado: Visit violencefreecolorado.org to find resources by county in Colorado. The website also has other resources, including information on how to help a loved one who is being abused.
TESSA of Colorado Springs: Call the 24-Hour Safe Line at 719-633-3819, or visit tessacs.org.
YWCA of Pueblo: Call the 24-hour crisis hotline at 719-545-8195, or visit ywcapueblo.com