Patrick Frazee, the Florissant man charged in the murder of his fiancé Kelsey Berreth, will not be subject to the death penalty.
Prosecutors had until Friday, nine weeks following Frazee's not guilty plea, to file a motion in pursuit of capital punishment. Lee Richards, a spokesperson for the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office, confirmed to News 5 that prosecutors did not file the motion.
Had they filed the motion, Frazee's case first would've gone to trial. Following (& depending on) that verdict, the same jury would've decided on the death penalty. It's hardly been used in CO, but is often utilized as a bargaining chip. @KOAA #KelseyBerreth #PatrickFrazee
— Sam Kraemer (@SamKraemerTV) July 26, 2019
Colorado law requires prosecutors establish proof of at least one 'aggravating factor' to seek the death penalty. Those factors include: committing the crime for financial gain; an especially heinous, cruel or depraved conduct; or extreme indifference to human life.
While seldom used in Colorado, the death penalty is often used as a bargaining chip for a plea deal. The last time Colorado executed an inmate was 1997.
Frazee, 32, faces eight total counts, including two counts of first-degree murder, for the murder of Berreth, 29, who's been missing since Thanksgiving. She was last seen shopping at a grocery store in Woodland Park.
Through interrogation of a second suspect — Krystal Kenney, an Idaho nurse who admitted to dating Frazee — prosecutors allege Frazee used a baseball bat to beat Berreth to death inside her Woodland Park townhome. Kenney told police Frazee had her drive down, clean up the scene and assist in destorying evidence. She admitted to taking Berreth's cell phone to deliver a ping off a tower in Idaho in an attempt to deceive police.
Police never named Frazee a suspect, despite serving a search warrant on the Florissant property he lives at with his mother on Dec. 14. He was arrested Dec. 21.
Frazee is due in court for an all-day motions hearing on Aug. 23. His trial, which is expected to take three weeks, begins on Oct. 28.