CRIPPLE CREEK, Colorado — For the first time in Patrick Frazee's murder trial, Krystal Lee Kenney of Twin Falls, who he allegedly asked for helping killing his fiancee, took to the witness stand in Teller County court for her testimony.
Earlier in the day, a specialist with the FBI's cellular analysis team explained his analysis of the cell records for the phone's belonging to Frazee, Kenney and Kelsey Berreth.
Frazee, 33, of Florissant, is accused of murdering Kelsey Berreth, his 29-year-old fiancée, on Thanksgiving Day 2018 in Woodland Park. He is also accused of soliciting Kenney, an Idaho resident whom he had dated, to help him carry out the murder.
He faces eight charges, including first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased body and solicitation. While he pleaded not guilty to the charges, Kenney took a plea deal, pleading guilty to a tampering charge and agreeing to testify at Frazee's trial.
The prosecution will continue to bring their remaining witnesses forward Wednesday, and the defense will cross-examine them if they wish.
Here is coverage from previous days of the trial:
- Day 1: Prosecutor calls Patrick Frazee 'calculated manipulator,' but defense says 'facts don't make sense'
- Day 2: Patrick Frazee murder trial: Family, police describe suspicions after Kelsey Berreth’s disappearance
- Day 3: Patrick Frazee trial: Defense questions timeline, lack of black tote in surveillance photos
Cell records analyzed by specialist for FBI cellular analysis team
The state called Kevin Hoyland, a FBI special agent who’s worked at the bureau for 7.5 years, as their first witness of Wednesday morning.
He works for the cellular analysis team, which was created in 2010. The role includes collecting cell data and records and making sense of them in relation to a case. He’s had about 400 hours of classroom instruction from the FBI and private companies — including phone companies like Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and others — on this kind of analysis. He said he's certified and renews his certification every year.
Hoyland said he’s called upon to analyze call detail records, also called CDRs, almost every single day. He’s working on about 500 cases that involved CDR analysis, he said. A Supreme Court ruling in 2018 ruled that CDRs are so accurate, they’re essentially a tracking device and thus require a search warrant, Hoyland said.
The state entered multiple Verizon records as evidence. They are the records for the three phones he analyzed, which belonged to Berreth, Frazee and Kenney.
He developed a PowerPoint for his analysis and presented it to the court on Wednesday.
When we call somebody or send a text, our cell phones look for the tower that can offer the cleanest and clearest signal, he said. It’s not always the closest one, which comes into play in Colorado with the mountains and signals, which can throw “the cell network out of whack,” he said.
With that information, he could “confidently map” when a phone was in a tower’s coverage area. Verizon only catches CDR data for calls, not texts. He also noted that the towers have three sides, frequently called sectors, and he can use those to find data to learn what direction the phone is in relation to the tower.
Range-to-tower data, also called RTT data, is another type of CDR that can explain how far a phone is from the tower when it connects, he explained. He will keep successful RTT connections for eight days and unsuccessful RTT connections, like a dropped call or a text that can’t send, for 30 days. He said the RTT data is often used in rural areas, where cell service can be spotty.
Hoyland said Teller County doesn’t “have a ton” of towers and his analysis focused on four or five of them. Rural areas typically have fewer and they’re spread apart.
The phone user must do something with the device — send email, make a call, send a text and more — for him to pinpoint where it was. Hoyland said he can’t tell who is in possession of the phone.
He pulled up a slide of an analysis of an unidentified Verizon CDR. It showed the phone number, the second phone number, which phone called which, the call direction, duration, date and time, and the towers and sectors of those towers that were used. Hoyland said he didn’t use a change in cell tower data for this analysis.
While looking at the CDRs from Berreth’s phone, he learned her phone was on Frazee’s account and the records spanned from Nov. 21 to Nov. 25. The records for his phone were in the same date range.
He also gathered the main analysis of Kenney’s phone from Nov. 23 to Nov. 25.
When he started to map out Berreth’s records, he noticed her phone travel across Teller County. Then, it traveled out of Colorado. Ping data, which is different from CDRs, showed the phone in Gooding, Idaho, Hoyland said. Pings are only used to find the location of a phone, he explained.
Hoyland brought up a slide on the PowerPoint showing a map and the travel directions of Berreth’s phone and Frazee’s phone, starting on the evening of Nov. 21, 2018.
There is one Verizon tower in Woodland Park, one in Divide and one in Florissant, he said. The latter isn’t far from the Frazee’s ranch.
The records showed they were both in Florissant around 9 p.m. Nov. 21.
In the next slide, Hoyland pulled up another map. This one showed the phones traveling south from Florissant, using a Cripple Creek tower. It shows the RTT data. Verizon drew an arc to show how far away the phone is on that arc, though they couldn’t pinpoint where on the arc it was. All of the arcs were unsuccessful RTT connections, Hoyland said, though he used successful RTT data from other towers and was able to use multiple arcs for an “X marks the spot” type of finding, he said.
The next slide showed the phones moving away from the Cripple Creek tower and toward Nash Ranch, which is about 14.6 miles away and a 1,908 drop in elevation. Hoyland said he guessed that the radio frequency likely goes over the head of anybody who tries to use a phone a Nash Ranch.
Hoyland worked to establish facts through evidence included in previously-released documents that Frazee may have had Berreth’s phone after her disappearance, or that someone had both of their phones.
He said early on the morning of Nov. 22, the photos traveled away from Nash Ranch together, then east and then north toward Florissant and away from Cripple Creek.
He said the phone records showed that Frazee’s and Berreth’s phones interacted with one another several times between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. in various places, including a tower near Florissant, a tower in Divide and a Woodland Park tower. He said that led him to conclude that Berreth traveled alone from Florissant to Woodland Park, then back to Florissant, keeping in line with the story that she got Frazee medicine from the Walmart.
The two spoke via phone and text later that morning, in the 9 a.m. hour, Hoyland said. The next phone usage for both happened around 12:30 p.m. Hoyland said the last outgoing from Berreth that day happened at 12:33 p.m. and the next call made by her phone happened the morning of Nov. 24.
Hoyland said there was no activity with either phone between 12:33 p.m. and 4:20 p.m. on Nov. 22 but that Frazee’s phone utilized the Woodland Park tower at 4:34 and 4:37 p.m. – in a call to Kenney – then went up Highway 24 and connected in Divide at 4:43 p.m. His phone tried to connect to another tower near Florissant around 4:50 p.m., and 40 seconds later, Berreth’s did as well.
Hoyland said that the data was consistent in showing that the two phones were traveling together.
He said Kenney and Frazee’s phones connected later that evening and that the Frazee Ranch landline called Kenney’s phone in a conversation that lasted 47 minutes. Hoyland said that in the 10 p.m. hour, Berreth’s and Frazee’s phones again appeared to be on the move together.
Hoyland said the next morning, Nov. 23, there were calls from Frazee’s phone to Berreth’s in the Frazee Ranch sector and that he believes the phones were still together. Around 2 p.m., both phones utilized a tower in Westcliffe, and just after 3 p.m., both phones connected to a tower in Cripple Creek, and afterward continued traveling toward the Frazee Ranch.
The phones continued to interact with one another for the next few hours before Berreth’s phone stopped having connection around 5:30 p.m., Hoyland testified.
Hoyland then showed Kenney’s phone connecting to various towers between Idaho around 6:30 p.m. Nov. 23 all the way down through Salt Lake City and Grand Junction and into Florissant by 6:30 a.m. Nov. 24. He also showed connections showing her phone leaving the area around 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 and arriving back in Idaho around 10:30 a.m. Nov. 25.
As the court headed into morning recess, Judge Sells said he is expecting up to 80 other witnesses to testify. He also tells the court that he closed the courtroom Tuesday afternoon for motions, legal arguments and discussion of upcoming witnesses. He said investigators and the Berreth family were allowed to stay and the court did not hear any testimony.
Sells said that he plans to do so with future motions because of privacy concerns and the publicity the case has received in order to protect the integrity of the jury.
Court then took a recess.
State’s key witness, Kenney, takes to the stand
Krystal Lee Kenney, the woman who told authorities that Frazee asked her multiple times to kill Berreth and then demanded she clean up the mess and help him dispose of the body, was brought to the witness stand at 11 a.m. Wednesday. She was identified previously as the state's key witness .
She appeared tense. She wore a sweater with a collared shirt and had her hair in a braid.
When Lead Prosecutor Jennifer Viehman asked, Kenney said she has lived in Hansen, Idaho for 10 months. She grew up in Idaho, she said.
She met Frazee when she attended the Teller County Fair while working at a guest ranch in Lake George in 2006, she said. She was 20 at the time. She described him as tall, handsome and a “pretty good dude.”
She said she visited him in Colorado 10 times that year and they talked on the phone almost every day. They took weekend trips since she was in nursing school and working three to four part-time jobs. Kenney said she would drive to see him often, but there were times when he wouldn’t call for days at a time.
The last time she came to visit was August 2007.
That month, he asked her to go pick up some “things" for him on his property and while she did so, she said it was “not pleasant.” This was not expanded upon.
Between that day and a few months later, Frazee would call her and she wouldn’t answer, she said. At one point, she caved and talked with him, and while they remained friends, they didn’t talk often.
In September 2007, Kenney started dating another man, named Chad Lee. Kenney said Frazee knew about Lee because he had the password to her voicemail and had listened to one of Lee’s messages for her. She said she couldn’t remember why she gave Frazee her voicemail password — if it was because he asked for it or if she wanted him to see her as loyal.
In December of 2008, Frazee said he wanted to buy her a border collie. He said he had bought a dog in Texas that came with a puppy that he didn’t want, so he offered it to Kenney, she said. Kenney said she knew he raised them, along with other ranch animals. When she went to Colorado to pick up the dog, Frazee told her she had to make a choice between him and her Lee. At the time, Kenney said she knew he was dating another woman.
She said he told her, “You can’t ride two horses at the same time, so you need to make a choice.” When Viehman asked why Frazee would believe he was one of those “horses,” Kenney said he could probably tell that she still had feelings for him. She said, through tears on the witness stand, that she’d never felt that kind of chemistry before. He never talked about his feelings for her, she said.
Frazee told her to make a decision by March 2009, he said. But Kenney stayed with Lee. He knew about her relationship with Frazee when they started dating, Kenney said.
In April of that year, Frazee called asking for payment for the puppy he’d given her the previous December. He said the mother dog was going back to its owner in Texas. When Kenney didn’t send a check, he called again in May and said that he told her if she didn’t send the money, he’d come and kill the dog. She said she started crying on the phone because his comments upset her.
They didn’t have much contact after that conversation, she said.
In July 2010, she became engaged to Lee. Around that time, she talked with Frazee on the phone, where she apologized for not sending the check, but explained that she was mad at him for not keeping promises, she said. She said Lee told her they’d “be done” if she sent the money to Frazee.
She didn’t hear from Frazee again until Oct. 1, 2010, the day before her wedding to Lee, when he left a voicemail telling her not to get married and that he should have come to “rescue her,” she said.
Kenney explained that while she didn’t call him back, she felt conflicted. Lee felt like the right choice, but she felt in her heart that she was in love with Frazee, she said.
She started to cry on the witness stand. Frazee looked straight down.
She went forward with marrying Lee.
Kenney said she didn’t hear from Frazee again until 2013 or 2014 in the form of texts.
Around that time, she sent him a message asking how he was doing. By this time, she’d had a son in 2012 and a daughter in 2014. When the daughter’s name was mentioned in court, Frazee looked up at Kenney.
Kenney said the next time she and Frazee spoke to one another was when she visited the National Western Stock Show in January 2013, but she said the messages were brief and she said they did not talk for a while afterward.
Kenney said she had not seen Frazee in person since 2008. She told Viehman that she and Frazee did not speak over the phone until 2015, when she and her husband were having difficulties with their relationship. She texted Frazee while she was at a nursing conference in Texas and Frazee told her she could call him anytime and that he’d love to hear from her.
Afterward, Kenney said, they began to talk more frequently. She planned a trip to Colorado to see family and friends, and she called Frazee in 2015. He asked her to come look at some heifers and they met up at a gas station in Florissant to do so.
“It was like nothing had changed – still the same giddy feeling,” she told the court, acknowledging she still had feelings for Frazee at the time. She said Frazee told her he felt the same way and that they had both grown up since they were last together.
Kenney told the court that the two had an affair on that visit, which happened around October 2015. They continued to talk over the phone, she said, nearly every day. She said she continued to see him into 2016 and visited him in person as he encouraged her to get a divorce.
In February 2016, she asked an attorney to draw up divorce papers and told Frazee about it. She said he discussed wanting to have a family together and talked about her being the one who got away. But she said she had some reservations because of her relationship with her husband and that she was not convinced he wouldn’t cheat on her.
But she did not file the papers at the time despite Frazee’s encouragement. That March, she learned she was pregnant, and that Frazee was the child’s father, she testified Wednesday. She said she thought it would make her happy, but it didn’t and that she worried about having a child out of wedlock. She said she asked Frazee what to do, and said he responded, “I guess you’re a baby killer or you’re not,” hinting at an abortion.
She said that she cried at Frazee’s reaction but went through with an abortion, but she told Frazee she had a miscarriage. She also told him she’d file the divorce papers but worried about her other children.
She eventually filed in May 2016 after speaking more with Frazee but testified Wednesday that he had no reaction and that they didn’t talk again until October 2017.
In late October 2017, Frazee texted her asking if she still liked her kids, she said. He then called her and they spoke for about two hours, but she said he mentioned nothing about having a child of his own or about Berreth. But she said she felt happy to reconnect with Frazee and they began to talk again.
In March 2018, she testified, she came to Colorado and met up with Frazee to shoe horses and look at land. They went to dinner afterward, Kenney said, and at no point did Frazee mention Berreth or their daughter.
She returned to Colorado again at the end of June 2018 to meet with former coworkers and eventually Frazee. But he blew her off at first before answering a call to his landline, at which time they agreed to meet up so she could help him fix a fence.
While they were doing so, she testified, he mentioned how nice it would be to have a son to help, and at one point handed her a baby wipe with which to blow her nose, though she thought little of it.
She went and had a meal with one of her former bosses, who asked her what she thought about the fact that Frazee had a daughter, she said. She testified that her jaw hit the floor as he described how great of a dad Frazee was and about how Frazee “didn’t have help.” But Kenney said she didn’t verbalize the surprise she felt as no one was aware she and Frazee were talking again.
After meal with her boss, she left Frazee a message saying the meeting had gone well. He called her back and they talked about ranches and children, though he again did not say anything about his daughter, Kenney testified.
The court then went on a lunch break. Kenney’s testimony is expected to continue Wednesday afternoon.
Prosecutors decided in July to not file a motion in pursuit of capital punishment, meaning Frazee will not face the death penalty in this case if he is found guilty.
Live tweeting and live reporting is not allowed in the courtroom, per a court decorum. The trial is expected to last three weeks.