The missing person’s case of Kelsey Berreth has now turned into a murder case, even though her body has not yet been found. Patrick Frazee, her former boyfriend and father to their daughter, was charged with her murder. We discuss the latest developments of this case on HLN.
#PatrickFrazee charge in murder of #KelseyBerreth – Part 2
January 6th, 2019
Mike Galanos: Well, Patrick Frazee, the Colorado man accused of killing his fiancé Kelsey Berreth, is expected back in a Colorado courtroom today. Where he’ll find out if he’ll be able to see some of the evidence that’s being mounted against him. Prosecutors are arguing that if Frazee sees the arrest affidavit and the evidence that could jeopardize their investigation. Meanwhile, yesterday we learned that an Idaho woman is being looked at for the suspected disposal of Kelsey Berreth’s cell phone, all this while the judge ruled that Frazee’s daughter would remain in the custody of Kelsey’s mom Cheryl. Let’s bring in Bob Bianchi on this, former Prosecutor who has been following this very closely, let’s talk about whether not Frazee should see the arrest affidavit. Argue both sides, why do the Prosecutors want to keep it sealed from him?
Robert Bianchi: Well, typically, these affidavits would be given as soon as is practical under the law. What the Prosecutors arguing is that the release of this information at this stage would compromise the investigation, potentially lead to the body, which has not yet been recovered, to be removed and placed somewhere else, and could put potential witnesses in danger, Mike. So, they’re asking the court for a relatively unusual process where they’re saying we want this sealed, not indefinitely but for the period of time that those factors can be eliminated. The alternative to that argument is that the defense is entitled to the information as quickly as possible so they can start preparing for their case, and a judge is going to balance the arguments here and make a decision of whether the Prosecutor’s request to seal the information is appropriate.
Mike Galanos: What do you think? What argument do you think is going to win out here?
Robert Bianchi: Well, if in fact they’re going to say that it compromises an investigation, if I put myself in the place of a judge, and as a Prosecutor who has actually done this I have never had a court that went against my position when I argued that it would potentially endanger witnesses at this particular time, or compromise an investigation, the potential destruction of evidence. I think if they make that argument the judge believes it the judge is going to give them a window of time to do what you need to do but they get it over to the defense as quickly as possible so that the defendant’s due process rights are protected.
Mike Galanos: Yup, reportedly the time line, it could be a week and then on January twenty ninth we believe there’s going to be a preliminary hearing for more evidence is going to be unveiled. Do you like that time line? Is that fair to all parties?
Robert Bianchi: It’s really hard to tell you, having investigate a lot of murder cases a lot of times you’re following up on a lot of loose ends. I think it’s fair if the Prosecutor indicates that that time period is sufficient to ameliorate or lessen the concerns that they currently have right now. But the judge is probably going to keep a short leash on Prosecutors because again, they want to make sure that the defendant has a right to a fair trial. But this does not necessarily at this stage compromise that right now eventually they’re going to get the information and the data and be able to properly prepare a defense.
Mike Galanos: Got it. Well, we’ll see what the judge decides on that. Let’s hit it on the Idaho woman who is being investigated for getting rid of Kelsey Berreth’s phone, how does that impact the Frazee investigation?
Robert Bianchi: It’s a huge development in the case, if the Prosecutors can tie a woman who knows this defendant apparently for many, many, years to the cell phone, well the first question would be was she actually involved in the murder itself? Or, two, was she involved in the cover up by taking that phone, placing it in Idaho, remember Mike, there were text messages that were pinging off towers in Idaho where she was, well the phone was contacting the employer saying, I’m not going to be there for a couple of weeks. So, she was involved in that the cops now have, the Prosecutors now have a direct link to the defendant, to Frazee, and certainly they’re going to try to flip that witness. But moreover, it clearly shows her phone, dead person, goes to Idaho, how she knows him, major development for the Prosecution.
Mike Galanos: You know, one other thing, looking at the, from what we know of the charging documents, that Frazee tried to find someone, this is there believe anyway, to kill Kelsey three times between September and November. And I’m sure we’ll find out more as time goes on. But what are you seeing here? Are you seeing him approach the same person three times? Three different people? Or too early to tell?
Robert Bianchi: It’s hard it’s hard to say whether or not it’s one person three times or three separate people, but what is really relevant about that fact is it shows extraordinary premeditation. This is something that we did not know when they initially gave that conference, so when defense lawyers try to make an argument that may have been in heat of passion which lessens the charge of manslaughter or something that just developed at the last minute, this shows really purposeful intentional conduct of the defendant could have walked away from for over a month or two months but didn’t do it. It shows extraordinary planning and it really puts him in serious jeopardy.
Mike Galanos: Yeah, the time line according to these charging documents, that happened between September and November, and the believe that Kelsey was killed potentially Thanksgiving Day. All right Bob, always appreciate your expertise thanks.
Robert Bianchi: You got it Mike. Thank you.