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Colorado court orders shorter sentence for Magic Valley woman
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Colorado court orders shorter sentence for Magic Valley woman

From the February crime report: A tempted murder, police shootings, child sex charges and more series
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A court has ordered a shorter sentence for a former Magic Valley nurse who admitted to helping a Colorado rancher cover up the killing of his fiancee.

The Colorado Court of Appeals overturned the three-year prison sentence for Krystal Lee Thursday after finding that her punishment should not have fallen within the aggravated range for evidence tampering. The court told District Judge Scott Sells to resentence her within the normal range of 1 to 1 1½ years.

Lee, who previously went by her maiden name Kenney, lived near Kimberly and worked at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center before her arrest.

She was the main witness to testify against Patrick Frazee, with whom she had an on again and off again relationship and who was convicted of killing Kelsey Berreth. Berreth was last seen in 2018.

The appeals court found that Lee did not admit to aggravating factors in her plea deal and did not consent to Sells being able to conduct “judicial factfinding” to be able to impose an aggravated sentence, The Gazette reported.

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Lee’s attorney, Dru Nielsen, said she has been an “exemplary inmate” and the ruling will likely set up her to be released on parole.

“She’s been in for 13 months. So, yes, with her good and earned time … she should be eligible for release immediately,” he said.

Frazee was sentenced to life in prison without parole Nov. 18 after a jury convicted him of Bereth’s death. He was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges after the jury deliberated four hours.

Less than an hour later, a judge sentenced him to the life term, plus 156 years, the mandatory sentence after prosecutors previously decided not to seek the death penalty.

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