The former lover of Patrick Frazee, the man who was convicted of murdering his fiancée Kelsey Berreth, is requesting to be released from prison and placed in a local halfway house — but thousands online are petitioning for the woman to stay behind bars.
After the Canon City Daily Record reported on 33-year-old Krystal Lee Kenney's request last week, a Change.org petition arguing that she should be kept in prison began circulating and has gained more than 7,000 signatures.
In 2019, Kenney pleaded guilty to tampering with crime scene evidence in the Berreth case. As part of her plea, she testified against Frazee, who was ultimately found guilty of beating Berreth to death. Frazee was sentenced to life without parole with an extra 156 years, according to NBC News. Kenney testified that she brought cleaning supplies and protective equipment to assist Frazee in cleaning Berreth's home after he beat her to death with a baseball bat.
In January, Kenney was sentenced to three years in prison for her role in Berreth's death, along with one year of mandatory parole. However, after serving two months of her sentence, the Community Corrections Board is considering her request to be placed in a local halfway house for the remainder of her sentence, according to KXRM.
Kelli Shofstall created the online petition that as of the morning of April 3 has reached more than 7,000 signatures, nearly meeting its 7,500 signature goal.
Shofstall decided to start the petition after hearing about Kenney's halfway house request. "I'm part of a couple of high profile Facebook groups that follow cases like Kelsey's," she told Oxygen.com. A true crime fan and concerned citizen, she was particularly drawn to the case, as she herself grew up in Colorado.
"I read that article where she's trying to get out after 60 days, an I was like 'Oh hell no, this can't happen,'" she explained.
Shofstall wrote in the petition: "She (Kenney) has now been imprisoned for 60 days. The State of Colorado is now referring her to a halfway house! How does that even happen? And more importantly, how can we stop it?"
District Attorney Daniel May referred to Kenney's plea arrangement as a "deal with the devil" that was needed to convict Frazee, according to a statement obtained by Denver CBS at the time. May sent a letter to the corrections board last month vehemently opposing her early release.
“Ms. Kenney deserves to spend every day of her three-year sentence in the Department of Corrections, but we are cognizant of the fact she will not serve that entire sentence, day for day, in the Denver Woman’s Correctional Facility,” the DA’s office wrote in the letter obtained by KXRM. “She should, however, serve more than two months. She should serve her full sentence in the DOC until she paroles from DOC. Serving two months out of a three-year sentence for what she did is simply unconscionable.”
Shofstall said Berreth's mom has reached out in appreciation for the petition.
"She thanked me, she's really happy about it," Shofstall told Oxygen.com.
Shofstall emphasized the importance of community activism, like collecting signatures on the petition, in situations like this.
"We just have to keep doing what we're doing and not stop until it's over," she told Oxygen.com.
Frazee himself is also trying to get out from behind bars. In late January, he filed an appeal of his 2019 murder conviction.
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