TELLER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The trial is over. The defendant, Patrick Frazee, was sentenced to life in prison plus 156 years, but there is an important matter still unresolved in the murder of Kelsey Berreth; the custody of their little girl.
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Kaylee is just two-years-old. Her mother is gone, the victim of murder by her father. Kaylee, in effect, lost both her parents in a horrible crime. The incident happened in Woodland Park on Thanksgiving day 2018.
Custody hearings for Kaylee were halted for the criminal trial because Frazee could have retained custody of his daughter if he was acquitted. Before the criminal trial, a judge placed Kaylee in temporary custody of Kelsey Berreth’s parents in Idaho. Patrick Frazee’s mother
has also sought custody of the little girl.
In the sentencing hearing for the convicted killer, the court listened to a statement written by Cheryl Berreth, Kelsey’s mother. It said during Kelsey’s disappearance her family wondered if Frazee would kill Kaylee.
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Cheryl Berreth asked how would Patrick Frazee like to find out that his daughter’s life had ended the way as her daughter. Testimony indicated that Kelsey was hit by a baseball bat up to 10-15 times in the head.
Kaylee was in another room in the home at the time. Kelsey’s body has never been found, but testimony indicated it was burned.
Krystal Lee, the key prosecution witness, testified that Frazee told her that Kelsey had been an abusive mother to Kaylee and that’s why he wanted her killed. Cheryl Berreth wrote that such false statements damaged Kelsey’s reputation even after her death.
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During the trial when Kaylee’s picture was projected on a screen for the jurors, members of the Berreth family seated in the front two rooms would sob. The little girl was only 14-months-old at the time of the crime, probably too young to understand what had happened, but one day she will.