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Patrick Frazee’s mistress, who provided critical testimony against him as he stands trial for brutally beating his fiancée Kelsey Berreth to death with a baseball bat, stood her ground Thursday against an aggressive cross-examination.
Defense attorney Adam Stiegerwald hammered a series of yes or no questions at Krystal Lee Kenney—an Idaho nurse who has admitted to helping clean up the bloody crime scene—for more than an hour, insinuating that the mother of two’s motive for cooperating with the prosecution had been to get a plea deal that would allow her to avoid a lengthy prison sentence, according to The Denver Post.
“That’s the story that you had to tell those agents to get your plea deal, is that right?” Stiegerwald, Frazee’s public defender, asked, according to The Colorado Springs Gazette.
“I had to tell them the truth,” Kenney replied.
The intense cross examination came after Kenney had provided hours of testimony alleging that Frazee—a man with whom she'd maintained an on-and-off affair for more than a decade—had tried to convince her to kill Berreth in a series of plots, including offering the 29-year-old flight instructor a Starbucks drink with a lethal drug cocktail, beating her with a metal pipe or attacking her with a baseball bat. Kenney testified that she had never been able to carry out the act; instead, she said, Frazee beat Berreth to death himself on Thanksgiving Day 2018 and then asked her to come clean up the bloody crime scene.
Stiegerwald questioned that story in court Thursday and asked why she repeatedly made the 12-hour trip from her home in Idaho to supposedly carry out the attacks on Berreth.
“You drove 750 miles with a baseball bat. The purpose of that baseball bat was to kill Kelsey Berreth?” Steigerwald asked, according to The Gazette.
“It was at Patrick’s request,” she said.
“No baseball bats in Teller County?” Steigerwald retorted.
Stiegerwald also questioned Kenney about what she said had been Frazee’s first plan for her to kill Berreth through her favorite coffee drink. As part of the alleged plot, Kenney was supposed to use her skills as a nurse to create a fatal drug cocktail and offer Berreth the drink as a thank you for Berreth’s supposed—and nonexistent—efforts to help find a lost dog.
Kenney testified that she did bring the drink to Berreth, but never laced it with any drugs. She said she didn’t want to harm Berreth, but wanted to get a read on her because Frazee had claimed she was abusing the couple’s young daughter.
“You didn’t tell her the plan to poison her?” Steigerwald asked, according to KCNC-TV.
Kenney said that she didn't. She also never went to police until Berreth had already disappeared.
“Do you wish you had called the police?” he asked, to which a distraught Kenney sobbed “yes.”
Instead, Kenney told jurors, she drove to Colorado a few days after the alleged murder to clean up the bloody crime scene, bringing bleach, foot covers, a body suit and hair net along with her on the long trek.
“Just in case it’s not, you brought a hairnet? You brought a box of rubber gloves? You brought shoe covers? You brought a full body suit? You brought bleach?” Steigerwald asked, according to The Gazette. “But you were hoping this was a trick?”
Kenney replied that she was and claimed that initially she didn’t believe Frazee would actually carry out the attack and then became too afraid of him.
She also denied killing Berreth herself.
The defense has argued that Kenney is not a reliable witness and could have faced life behind bars if she was charged with every crime she committed.
Under her agreement with prosecutors, Kenney agreed to plead guilty to tampering with evidence in the case in exchange for her testimony. She’s now facing a maximum of three years in prison and could avoid jail time altogether in favor of probation, the Post reports.
She is scheduled to be sentenced after Frazee's trial concludes.
But Kenney said she agreed to cooperate with prosecutors because of the guilt she felt about Berreth’s death.
“I couldn’t have lived with what I knew, and Kelsey’s family deserves to know what happened,” she testified.
She also said that she had purposely left behind blood in Berreth’s townhome for investigators to find. Although Berreth’s body has never been found, Kenney testified that she watched Frazee burn a large tote in a metal trough on his property that he said contained the missing mom.
Two teenagers later testified that they helped dispose of the trough—without realizing it had potentially played a role in a crime—and helped load a trash can of ashes from the blaze, according to The Gazette.
The trial is expected to continue Friday.
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