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Patrick Frazee’s defense makes case for appeal of his guilty conviction for the murder of his fiancée

DENVER, Colo. (KRDO) -- Lawyers for Patrick Frazee, the Teller County man found guilty of killing his fiancée on Thanksgiving Day in 2018, were back in court Tuesday to appeal his conviction.

Kelsey Berreth, the mother of Frazee's daughter and fiancée, was last seen on Thanksgiving Day 2018. Her disappearance prompted a statewide search before Frazee was arrested and charged with murder. A large part of the state's case against Frazee came from testimony by his former secret girlfriend, Krystal Lee. Lee said Frazee tried to get her to murder Berreth multiple times before Frazee beat Berreth with a baseball bat.

Frazee was also found guilty of three counts of solicitation of murder and one count of tampering with a deceased body.

The sentencing followed immediately after the verdict was announced. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 156 years for the other charges.

Lee pleaded guilty to tampering with a deceased human body in exchange for testifying against Frazee. 

In their brief of appeal filed in March of 2021, Frazee's defense team brings up several issues with their client's murder trial and the prosecution's case. These issues include testimony from key law enforcement witnesses, the impartiality of three jurors, and evidence introduced during the middle of the trial.

Frazee's appellate defense team now requests that the judgment of conviction be reversed and the felony murder conviction is vacated.

In the Colorado Attorney General's response to Frazee's appeal, they request that the appellate courts affirm the convictions.

During Tuesday's Oral Arguments Hearing in the Colorado Court of Appeals in Denver, Frazee's defense and the Colorado AG's office had 15 minutes to present their cases.

Judges on the Court of Appeals division hearing the case are Stephanie Dunn, Matthew D. Grove, and Timothy J. Schutz. The three judges will not provide an opinion on the case immediately following Tuesday's hearing.

According to a spokesperson with the Colorado Judicial Department, it can take weeks or maybe months before an opinion on the appeal is rendered.

Watch what happened in court Tuesday below:

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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

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