CORRECTION: The original article in the Gazette incorrectly reported that a judge had denied the gag order motion, and has since been corrected to state that a ruling is not expected until Monday. CrimeOnline‘s original story was based on the earlier Gazette report.
According to the updated Gazette report, Patrick Frazee’s defense team has requested that a judge put limits on pretrial statements, and the prosecution in the case has argued that media coverage of the investigation has not tainted Frazee’s right to a fair trial.
Below is an edited story reflecting the changes in the Gazette report:
A Colorado judge is expected to rule on a defense team’s request for a gag order in murder investigation of pilot Kelsey Berreth.
The Gazette reports that Fourth Judicial District Judge Lin Billing Vela will issue a ruling on Monday in response to a gag order motion filed by the defense attorneys for Patrick Frazee, who was arrested earlier this month on first-degree murder charges in the case of the missing mother, whose body had not been found. Berreth and Frazee, the father of her 1-year-old daughter, were engaged but did not live together, and Frazee did not report Berreth missing after she vanished on Thanksgiving Day.
Frazee’s attorneys reportedly filed a motion to limit pretrial publicity following Frazee’s arrest on Friday, asking the judge to put strict limits on pre-trial statements. In opposing the motion, prosecutors have pledged to follow Colorado ethics laws and to release only details that are “necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose,” according to the Gazette report.
In a press conference announcing Frazee’s arrest last Friday, law enforcement officials said they believed that Berreth, 29, was no longer alive and that a crime took place at her home in Woodland Park. Frazee is also facing a solicitation for first-degree murder charge, and Woodland Park police said at the news conference that further arrests are “an absolute possibility.”
Over the weekend, authorities in Twin Falls, Idaho, announced that evidence connected to the case had been found there, but did not specify what the evidence was. Berreth’s cell phone “pinged” near the area of Gooding, Idaho — about 40 miles from Twin Falls — on November 25, three days after Berreth went missing. On the same day, texts from her phone were received by Frazee and her employer. The message to her employer reportedly said that she would be taking the upcoming week off from work, and authorities did not reveal the contents of the message sent to Frazee.