The man accused of killing Colorado mother Kelsey Berreth is due back in court on Friday, the third time this week he has been in the Teller County District Court related to the disappearance and presumed murder of the mother of his 1-year-old daughter.
9 News reports that Patrick Frazee will appear in court on Friday afternoon for a hearing related to the formal charges that were filed on Monday. Frazee is facing five felony counts, including two counts of first-degree murder, and three counts of solicitation of first-degree murder. In a news conference announcing his arrest on December 21, authorities said additional arrests were a strong possibility, though no additional suspects have been named.
This week, ABC News reported that sources said investigators are focusing on a woman in Idaho who may have disposed of Berreth’s cell phone, which pinged outside of Gooding, Idaho on November 25, three days after she was last seen. The woman had not been identified but she is believed to be a nurse.
Authorities have been tight-lipped about the investigation, and reportedly ordered Berreth’s family to avoid discussing the case publicly at a hearing on Thursday that extended temporary custody of Berreth’s daughter to her maternal grandparents.
According to the Denver Post, prosecutors have requested that the arrest affidavit be withheld from Frazee and his defense attorneys, and it appears that the suspect is not aware at this time of what evidence prosecutors have against him.
Dan Recht, former president of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, told the Denver Post that he believes withholding the arrest affidavit may be a violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights.
“To deny the whole (arrest) affidavit is highly unusual,” Recht said “It puts the defendant at a substantial disadvantage. There are constitutional issues to consider.”
Denver criminal defense attorney Faisal Salahuddin also said that Frazee’s constitutional rights are in question.
“How can I begin to defend myself if I don’t know the nature of the case?” Salahuddin said in an interview with the Denver Post. “Now the government is going to get this huge head start. It’s Kafkaesque to charge (Frazee) with murder and not tell him what he’s accused of.”
It is not known at this time if the arrest affidavit will be a topic at Friday’s hearing, which is expected to begin at 1:30 Mountain Standard time.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates on Friday following the hearing.