CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. (KRDO) - In more than a day of testimony this week, Krystal Lee told jurors and prosecutors an account of helping Patrick Frazee clean a bloody crime scene and then watching as he burned his fiancee's corpse at his ranch in Florissant.
Friday, prosecutors began asking other people to corroborate details of her account.
Frazee is on trial for first-degree murder and solicitation to commit murder after the disappearance of his fiancee, Kelsey Berreth, last Thanksgiving.
Lee has pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence for allegedly helping clean the crime scene. She says Frazee tried to get her to kill Berreth on several occasions before committing the murder, himself, with a baseball bat.
The first witness to testify Friday was the owner of Nash Ranch, where Berreth's body was allegedly burned inside a tote. She said she leased a couple of buildings to Frazee and said he had the keys to the barn where Lee said Berreth's body was stored before being burned.
Next, an officer specially certified with K-9 investigative dogs testified to the effectiveness of cadaver dogs. He then said that his dog, Radar, was taken into the barn and signaled for human decomposition present. Video showed the dog visibly respond to possible human decomposition near hay bales in the barn.
Another K-9 expert, Brian Eberle, was called to testify, and he said he brought an investigative dog to the condo where Berreth was allegedly beaten to death with a baseball bat. Eberle testified that the dog detected human decomposition scent around a Toyota Corolla outside. He testified that if someone put bags with bloody material near the corner, the dog would pick up on that. The dog didn't detect anything or signal for anything inside the condo.
Before the morning break, Krystal Lee's father took the stand and was visibly shaking with nerves.
Lee's father, Sydney Dustin Kenney, gave basic details about his relationship with his daughter, saying "she likes to please" and "she's always good at what she tried to do." He said he had been invited to Thanksgiving with Lee and her husband, Chad.
Kenney said he didn't know Frazee and had never met him. He said he was aware of him about 10 years ago, when Lee spoke of him. He testified that he didn't like what she was telling him about Frazee, but he didn't give specific details.
Kenney said he was only aware of Lee getting back in touch with Frazee in about 2017 or 2018 for a horse deal, but he didn't remember details of the deal. Frazee's defense asked if he knew Lee was going into business with Frazee, and Kenney said he did.
In the afternoon, FBI agents testified about what they found at the burn spot on Frazee's property in Florissant. In previous searches in mid-December, they said they didn't find any biological or decomposition evidence in their excavations.
When Lee pointed out the burn spot, investigators found an inch of topsoil and gravel that had been poured recently. The investigators said it was hard to notice unless you were looking right at it.
When they removed the top layer, they found a crust of plastic coating underneath, according to testimony. Next to the crust was a soiled spot that was wet with oil and other debris.
According to testimony, it was on the last shovel of dirt that an agent found what she believed to be a tooth. It turned out to be a partial tooth.
The agents also testified that they found wooden baseball bats and a wooden club on Frazee's property.
Thursday, Krystal Lee testified that she watched Frazee burn a tote with Berreth's body inside of it. She also pointed to spots inside Berreth's apartment that she cleaned up, and prosecutors played a video of the ranch property where Berreth's body was said to be burned. Lee helped narrate that video for jurors.
She told the defense that she was scared for her own life and for her family's lives, and she said she never thought Frazee would follow through with his threats to hurt anyone. She testified that in the two months that she traveled back and forth between Colorado and Idaho, she was coerced by Frazee on multiple occasions to kill Berreth. She said she went to Berreth's apartment on two occasions with a metal pipe and a baseball bat, but ultimately didn't do anything with them. Frazee's defense said that was enough to prove attempted murder by Lee.
Frazee's defense also questioned Lee's motives for providing testimony to prosecutors. Lee took a plea deal in exchange for cooperation, and the defense pointed out that she could be eligible for no jail time after allegedly helping clean a crime scene.
Lee's sentencing won't take place until after Frazee's trial.
During Lee’s daylong testimony Wednesday, she described the chemistry that existed between her and Frazee from when they started dating when she was twenty after meeting at the Teller County Fair in 2006. She described seeing him that first time, “He was tall and handsome and we danced and he seemed, from the conversation we had, he was pretty admirable and had his act together, and seemed like a pretty good dude.”
A decade later, their on-and-off affair had become sordid, with Lee meeting up with Frazee while she was married to another man. In March 2016, she became pregnant by Frazee, according to her testimony. She said she, “Thought he would be happy and excited and that we'd make it work.
“He was not. He said the baby was going to be a bastard. And he said it wasn't going to look good that a married woman didn't take care of things, and now everyone was going to know,” Lee said on the stand.
She said aborted the baby but told Frazee she’d miscarried.
By this time, Frazee and Berreth had been online dating for several months, and by April, she told her family she was moving to Colorado from her home in Washington to be with him. According to Lee’s testimony, she was oblivious to Frazee’s other relationship.
While Lee was on the witness stand, prosecutors didn’t press her on her reaction to finding out Frazee had a family with another woman. She said Frazee began complaining that Berreth had been frequently abusing baby Kayley. She testified that Frazee would tell her Kayley would be injured, on purpose, by Kelsey trying to get back at Frazee.
She explained that’s how Frazee first brought up the idea of killing Berreth, although he described it as “getting rid of her.”
On three different occasions, Lee described traveling from Idaho to Colorado with the express purpose of harming Berreth, to acquiesce to Frazee’s demands. Lee said Frazee “Asked if I would do anything to protect someone who’s innocent, who couldn't defend themselves? I said, ‘Well I guess it would depend on the situation.”
On November 22nd, 2018, Lee described receiving a call from Frazee while she was entertaining a roomful of Thanksgiving guests. She said he told her she had a big mess to clean up, and to travel from Idaho to Colorado as soon as possible to do it. Lee described being unsure as to whether he’d really killed Berreth.
She started the 11-hour drive the following night, arriving at Berreth’s Woodland Park condominium around 7 a.m. on November 24, discovering a bloody scene, she testified. She cleaned for four hours with supplies she’d brought from her home as well as some of Berreth’s own rags and bags. She testified that she threw out pillows, stuffed animals and other items too blood-spattered to clean.
As to what the two had discussed, regarding the actual alleged murder, Lee had the following conversation with the prosecutor:
“Did you talk to him about what you saw, and what you thought about what you saw?”
“ I remember telling him that it was a lot.”
“Did he provide any details to you?”
“He said there's a tote in the back of the truck, that he keeps horse supplies in, that he brought that in, and put her in there, and put the bat in there, and took it out to his truck.”
Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May announced to the courtroom that a brief recess would push back the start of the trial Thursday until 10:30 am.