A Colorado man accused of bludgeoning his fiancée to death on Thanksgiving Day while their baby daughter was in a nearby room has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Patrick Frazee entered the not guilty plea in a Teller County court Friday wearing a bullet proof vest and green striped jail uniform, according to The Colorado Springs Gazette.
Frazee, 33, has been accused of beating Kelsey Berreth to death with a baseball bat in her Colorado townhome on Thanksgiving Day 2018, then burning her body in a cattle water trough at his Florissant ranch two days later.
A Teller County judge has set Frazee’s murder trial to begin Oct. 28. The trial is expected to last about three weeks, local station KOAA reports.
Frazee has consistently denied the allegations against him, however, Frazee’s girlfriend Krystal Lee—also referred to in reports as Krystal Kenney—told authorities she drove from her Idaho home to help clean blood from Berreth’s home in the days after the alleged murder.
At an earlier hearing in the case, Lee described bleaching the walls of the home and searching for one of Berreth’s teeth that had allegedly been knocked out during the violent attack.
She also told authorities she had watched Frazee burn Berreth’s body at his home and claimed Frazee had asked her to take Berreth’s phone to Idaho to make it appear like the flight instructor had gone out of town, The Denver Post reports.
She said Frazee had wanted his fiancée dead because he claimed she was abusive to the couple’s young daughter, 1-year-old Kaylee.
Prosecutors are expected to rely on Lee’s testimony, along with cell phone records, testimony from local, state and federal law enforcement officers and other forensic evidence during the upcoming trial.
Frazee is facing a total of eight charges including two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder, one count of tampering with a deceased human body and two counts of a crime of violence.
District Attorney Dan May has not announced whether his office plans to seek the death penalty, however, he said his office now has nine weeks to decide, KOAA reports.
The judge in the case also issued an order Wednesday that bars the media from taking video or photographic images of the court proceeding in an attempt to preserve Frazee’s right to a fair trial.
Berreth’s remains have not been recovered.
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