A high-profile murder trial is scheduled to start next week in a tiny Colorado town for a man accused of brutally killing his fiancée, KRDO-TV reports.
News outlets from around the country have descended on Cripple Creek, Colorado, where the trial of Patrick Frazee begins Monday.
Prosecutors allege Frazee violently murdered his fiancée, 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth, who went missing on Thanksgiving Day 2018. Berreth and Frazee had an infant daughter at the time.
Investigators believe Frazee blindfolded Berreth, had her smell candles and then viciously beat her with a baseball bat.
Krystal (Kenney) Lee, Frazee’s alleged mistress, told investigators that she knows what Frazee did to Berreth and why. Frazee had crafted three different plots to kill his fiancée when he asked Lee to carry out the killing, according to Lee.
Lee told police she helped clean the crime scene inside Berreth’s residence and then took the woman’s phone to Idaho, which Lee said Frazee told her to do. She further alleges that she texted Frazee from Berreth’s phone.
Berreth’s remains have not been found. Authorities have attempted to find Berreth’s body, most recently searching a landfill for a month, according to the television station. Lee says she saw Frazee burn Berreth’s remains.
Frazee has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of first-degree solicitation to commit murder, two counts of a crime of violence and one count of tampering with a body.
Frazee has made dozens of court appearances since he was arrested, at times wearing bulletproof vests or entering the courthouse through tents.
Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty, a decision that was made after consulting with the state attorney general’s office.
“We are not seeking the death penalty in this case, but we did consult with the attorney general’s office. It was their legal opinion that we had no aggravators,” Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May told the television station.
The trial is scheduled to last three weeks.
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[Feature Photo: Kelsey Berreth, Patrick Frazee/Police Handout]