A Colorado man police say blindfolded his fiancée and beat her to death with a baseball bat may point authorities toward a new suspect, in an attempt to clear himself, at his murder trial this fall.
Patrick Frazee, who was charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the 2018 slaying of Kelsey Berreth, filed a Proposed Order to Endorse Alternate Suspect form, which could indicate his defense team intends to implicate a new suspect in his 29-year-old fiancee’s killing, according to court documents obtained by Oxygen.com.
Prosecutors, in response, have asked a judge to order Frazee to “endorse alternate suspect defense if he intends to present such evidence at trial” — that is, officially indicate that he will be pointing to another suspect at trial — the court documents stated. The motion was filed on July 25. The documents don't list a potential new suspect and it's unclear to whom Frazee's defense team might be referring.
Ashley Porter, Frazee's public defender, didn’t respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.
Berreth, whose body was never recovered, was last seen alive at a Safeway grocery store on Thanksgiving. The couple had a 1-year-old daughter, who is currently being cared for by the dead woman’s family, Inside Edition reported. Frazee has maintained that Berreth was an abusive parent.
“I bought some sweet potatoes in case you wanted sweet potato casserole,” Berreth allegedly texted Frazee, Inside Edition also reported. It was the last message the young mother would ever send.
Police suspect Frazee, 32, burned Berreth’s body at his ranch, after he allegedly bludgeoned her to death with an aluminum bat.
“Frazee had tied something around Berreth’s eyes, and was having her guess the scents of different candles,” an arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com stated. “While she was blindfolded and distracted, he hit her with the bat, causing her death.”
For days after her disappearance, Frazee sent text messages from her phone to her family in an effort to throw police off his trail and make it look like his fiancee killed herself, authorities say. But FBI investigators, who analyzed data from cellular towers, revealed that Frazee and Berreth’s phones seemed to be in identical locations while she was still considered missing.
Authorities also allege that Frazee enlisted the assistance of acquaintance, Krystal Lee, who supposedly watched Berreth’s body burn, bleached the crime scene, and also sent texts from the dead woman’s phone, later disposing of the mobile device in Idaho. Lee, who is expected to be a primary witness, told investigators of a horrific murder scene at Frazee’s ranch.
“Blood was on the curtains, pillows, books, baby toys, stuffed animals, oven mitts, Berreth’s purse, and other items,” the affidavit described.
Frazee’s trial is slated to begin on Oct. 28. He plead not guilty earlier this spring. In July, prosecutors declined to seek the death penalty against him. The Denver Post reported that a hearing regarding Frazee’s P-15 motion is scheduled for Friday.
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