CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. (AP) — Prosecutors declined to seek the death penalty for a Colorado rancher charged with killing his fiancee and burning her body.
District Attorney Dan May had until Friday to formally declare that he would pursue the death penalty for Patrick Frazee, 33. May’s spokeswoman, Lee Richards, told the Colorado Springs Gazette that prosecutors would not file the required documents. She declined to comment further.
Frazee, of Florissant, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth. His trial is scheduled to start Oct. 28.
Berreth, a flight instructor, was last seen on Thanksgiving Day near her home in Woodland Park, about two hours south of Denver. Her body hasn’t been found, despite searches at Frazee’s ranch, Berreth’s townhome and a landfill.
Although Berreth and Frazee were engaged, they lived in separate homes. They had a daughter who was 1 year old at the time Berreth disappeared. The child is living with Berreth’s parents.
Berreth’s mother reported her daughter missing on Dec. 2.
Investigators have testified that another woman told them that she and Frazee had been dating, and that Frazee told her he beat Berreth to death with a baseball bat and burned her body.
The woman, Krystal Jean Lee Kenney, a former Idaho nurse, pleaded guilty to evidence tampering for moving Berreth’s cellphone after she disappeared.
She faces up to three years in prison but is cooperating with prosecutors as part of a plea agreement and has not been sentenced.
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