A Teller County prosecutor agreed Friday to hand over an arrest warrant affidavit to Patrick Frazee, who has been charged with five counts of murder in connection with missing Woodlands Park mother Kelsey Berreth.
During a motions hearing, Teller County Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Viehma said the prosecution completed an unspecified portion of the investigation and no longer needed to withhold the affidavit. The affidavit, which outlines the facts that were the basis for Frazee’s arrest, remains sealed to the general public.
Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May had withheld the affidavit from Frazee and his public defender, based on concerns that doing so could jeopardize witness safety. Other legal experts warned that May could be violating Frazee’s constitutional right to due process.
“We have no concern about releasing the affidavit,” Viehma told District Judge Scott Sells during the hearing.
Frazee attended the hearing in green jail clothes and shuffled into court wearing hand cuffs and ankle shackles. He was stoic throughout the hearing and did not utter a word.
Defense experts had said that it was highly unusual for prosecutors to withhold the affidavit from the defendant. A defendant in a crime has a right to see the evidence against him, they said.
Frazee is charged with two first-degree murder counts and three murder solicitation counts in Berreth’s death. She was last seen alive on Thanksgiving Day and court records indicate authorities believe that is the day she died. Her body has not been recovered but she is presumed dead. Law enforcement has said enough evidence has been recovered from Berreth’s home to indicate she died there.
Although the solicitation charges indicate Frazee asked someone to help in the killing, no one else has been charged in connection with Berreth’s disappearance.
Frazee is scheduled for a Feb. 19 preliminary hearing. His attorney, Adam Steigerwald, requested more time because of the size and complexity of the case.
In another matter, attorneys settled concerns over a piece of evidence that they feared would be destroyed in scientific testing. Prosecutors determined there is enough to give a portion to the defense team for separate analysis.
On Thursday, another Teller County judge decided to allow Berreth and Frazee’s 1-year-old daughter to continue living with Berreth’s parents. The Colorado Department of Human Services has temporary legal custody of the child while the maternal grandparents have temporary physical custody.
The judge and lawyers representing various family members want to review discovery in the criminal case before proceeding further in the custody case.
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