The man on trial for the murder of Kelsey Berreth allegedly asked a fellow jail inmate to kill several people expected to testify for the prosecution at his murder trial, including his former girlfriend Krystal Lee.
The Denver Post reports that Jacob Bentley testified at Patrick Frazee’s trial on Friday that he and Frazee got to know each other when they were both incarcerated in the Teller County Jail, where they had neighboring cells until October of this year.
According to the report, Bentley testified that he told Frazee he was a member of a prison gang, and that Frazee offered to help bail him out if he eliminated several figures in his upcoming trial, including the prosecution’s star witness Krystal Lee, some of her relatives, Frazee’s own friend, and the lead Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) agent on the case. Bentley also reportedly gave investigators handwritten notes supporting the murder-for-hire allegations, which prosecutors shared with the court.
Some of the notes were reportedly written on paper towels, and directed Bentley to where to find Lee and other witnesses. They appeared to be in Frazee’s handwriting, and included a directive to destroy the notes.
“They all need to disappear unseen until after Nov. 22 after the trial,” one note read, according to the report. “My life and my little girl’s life depends on you!”
Frazee and Berreth share a toddler daughter, and were engaged at one time, though the status of their relationship at the time of Berreth’s disappearance on Thanksgiving 2018 is unclear.
Gregg Slater, the CBI agent targeted by the alleged plot, reportedly said in court that some of the people named in the notes had not been previously identified in news reports about Berreth’s case.
The notes, assuming they were written by Frazee, also appeared to show that the defendant was maintaining his innocence in the presumed murder of Berreth, whose body has not been found.
“I’m not the monster they say I am,” one note read. “I don’t know what happened or where she went. Honestly my wheels are spinning out of control the closer it gets to trial.”
Lee pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and testified earlier in the trial that she cleaned up the murder scene at Berreth’s Woodland Park townhouse after Frazee allegedly admitted to bludgeoning Berreth to death.
Frazee’s defense attorney, Adam Steigerwald, reportedly challenged Bentley’s credibility, and Bentley admitted that he did initially come forward because he was hoping to get some help with his own case, but ultimately decided that it was the right thing to do, though he was fearful of testifying.
Later Friday, a KOAA reporter noted on Twitter that both the prosecution and the defense had rested their cases, though closing arguments would take place another day.
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