The trial of Patrick Frazee, who is charged with murder in the disappearance of his fiancée, Kelsey Berreth, is expected to go to the jury today following evidence that one observer called a "bombshell."
Testimony wrapped up on Friday in the rural Colorado town of Cripple Creek, with claims that Frazee tried to have the star witness - his former lover - killed.
Reporter Ashley Franco, of CBS' Colorado Spring affiliate KKTV, has listened to every detail in Frazee's murder trial. "I think the evidence they've presented and some of the testimony we've heard has been almost a bombshell," she said, as the prosecution presented a case depicting Frazee as a cold, calculated, manipulative murderer.
A fellow prisoner became a surprise witness when he testified that he received 16 notes from Frazee with instructions to use his prison gang connections to have several of the witnesses testifying against him killed, including Berreth's mother, reports correspondent Nikki Batiste.
"People who testified against Patrick Frazee in the trial, a lot of them were on that hit list," said Franco.
The list also included the prosecution's star witness and Frazee's secret girlfriend, Idaho nurse Krystal Lee.
Lee testified that Frazee told her he beat his fiancée to death with a baseball bat on Thanksgiving Day. After the murder, Lee says Frazee called her and said she had "a mess to clean up."
Lee claims she drove from Idaho to Colorado, and cleaned up the crime scene.
"She said that she did what she did for Patrick Frazee because she loved him," Franco said.
Berreth's remains have never been found; neither has a murder weapon. Investigators say Frazee's motive was custody of the couple's now 2-year-old daughter.
In exchange for her testimony, Krystal Lee agreed to plead guilty to evidence tampering. She will be sentenced after Frazee's case wraps up; she faces a maximum of three years in prison.
The prosecution presented more than 60 witnesses; the defense called none, and Frazee declined to testify.
Closing arguments are set to begin today. The jury of seven women and five men is expected to begin deliberations soon after. Franco said a verdict is expected in a day or two.
Frazee faces life in prison if convicted.
Frazee and Berreth's daughter is now with Berreth's parents.
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