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Justice for murdered Colorado mom Kelsey Berreth

02.08.20, 12:11

Produced by Marcelena Spencer and Susan Mallie    

[This story previously aired on November 23, 2019. It was updated on August 1, 2020.]

Girlfriend of convicted killer walks cops thr... 00:45

They had pulled up the floor boards where they found Kelsey's blood.

They showed video of a hay barn where Lee says Frazee hid Kelsey's body in that tote. A cadaver dog alerted to the area.

On November 24, 2018, Patrick Frazee is captured on a Conoco gas station surveillance camera filling up a gas can. Prosecutors say he later used this gas to burn Kelsey Berreth's body at his ranch. Teller County DA's Office

A surveillance image shows Frazee at a gas station. Lee says he was buying gas to start a fire:

KRYSTAL LEE: We brought the tote here.

AGENT: OK.

KRYSTAL LEE: We unloaded the tote.

AGENT: OK.

Kelsey's body was moved to Frazee's ranch:

AGENT: Were your present when he started the fire?

KRYSTAL LEE: Yes, I was.

AGENT: OK.

Video shows how Lee says she helped Frazee burn Kelsey's body in that black tote:

AGENT: What about the accelerant?

KRYSTAL LEE: Gas.

AGENT: OK.

And burned evidence, including Kaylee's toys and Kelsey's blood-stained Bible:

AGENT: Do you remember what the books were -- 

KRYSTAL LEE: One of them was her, I would imagine it was her Bible.

Experts say a human female tooth fragment was recovered from Frazee's ranch near the burn site, but there wasn't enough DNA to determine a profile.

At the end of her testimony, Lee told the jury Kelsey's chilling last words: "Please stop." But he didn't.

  • What Kelsey Berreth's last words have to say about her character

DA Dan May: He keeps, beating her, and beating her, and beating her. … The jury needed to hear that, they needed to hear how brutal this was, how uncaring he was. How senseless this was.

Why would Lee help Frazee? She claimed she feared for herself and her children.

Prosecutor Jennifer Viehman: She was in love with Patrick Frazee and has been for a long time … as the trial went on and we saw some of that dark side of Patrick Frazee, that Krystal saw, that Kelsey saw, I think you can understand some of that fear. I don't know we'll ever understand entirely why she did what she did. It's fairly inexplicable.

Perhaps the most shocking testimony came from a surprise prosecution witness.

Nikki Battiste: Your last witness, I think jaws dropped when he started testifying. Tell me about him.

Prosecutor Beth Reed: We didn't know about him.

Prosecutor Beth Reed says the surprise witness was an inmate at the same jail where Patrick Frazee was being held.

Prosecutor Beth Reed: He actually had started calling our office … while we were in the middle of trial.

The former inmate had watched a "48 Hours" episode on Kelsey Berreth's murder. Turns out, he says, Frazee gave him a hit list -- some of the names handwritten on paper towels he was instructed to flush.

Nikki Battiste: Describe to me what was in the 16 notes passed between Patrick and the former inmate.

Prosecutor Beth Reed: Well, they were requests that a certain number of witnesses needed to disappear, but it was very specific as to Krystal Lee, graphic descriptions of what needed to happen to Krystal Lee … he described putting a bullet in her head.

Also on Frazee's hit list: Krystal Lee's best friend, Michelle Stein, and Kelsey's mother Cheryl Berreth.

Nikki Battiste: What does that say about Patrick Frazee?

Beth Reed: It says that Patrick will do whatever he wants to get whatever he wants.

The defense called no witnesses. Frazee chose not to testify. The case went to the jury.

After three-and-a-half hours of deliberations, there was a verdict. Frazee was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison plus 156 years.

Patrick Frazee, seen in court before his trial for the murder of Kelsey Berreth, was sentenced to life in prison plus 156 years. KKTV

Nikki Battiste: Do you think if Patrick hadn't involved Krystal, he would've gotten away with Kelsey's murder?

Prosecutor Jennifer Viehman: Yeah, I do. I think it's very possible he would have gotten away with that. Involving Krystal was -- it was a stupid plan. The whole plan was stupid. … but he wanted Krystal Lee to pin it on.

As for Krystal Lee, she's facing a maximum of up to three years in prison.

Nikki Battiste: I think a lot of our viewers are probably thinking, "Krystal Lee, given what she's admitted to, got a really good deal."

DA Dan May: She did. And it's just not right. And I'm not going to try to justify it in any way. … It's unfortunately a part of my profession that sometimes in order to solve a case … we have to give a deal to the devil. That's exactly what we did here.

Nikki Battiste: If you could sentence Krystal Lee, what would it be?

DA Dan May: A heck of a lot more time than three years. … She could have saved Kelsey so many times over so many months, and it's totally inexcusable.

Nikki Battiste: Is there justice for Kelsey and Kaylee? Can there ever be justice?

DA Dan May: Justice in this case? Kelsey would be sitting here talking to you, not us. I – excuse me [in tears]. We certainly see a certain amount of justice but not the justice this case deserves.

After Kelsey Berreth's death, her parents took over the care of her toddler, Kaylee.

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