The woman who allegedly helped Kelsey Berreth’s killer clean the crime scene and dispose of the body has had her prison sentence overturned.
Krystal Lee Kenney.
Krystal Lee Kenney had made a plea deal under which she admitted to tampering with evidence in exchange for what she expected would be an 18-month prison sentence. The judge instead sentenced her to three years, calling her behavior “cold, calculated, cruel.”
A Colorado appeals court on Thursday said the judge was outside legal bounds in increasing the sentence.
The plea deal was made because Kenney’s testimony was considered crucial to the conviction of Patrick Frazee in the murder of Kelsey Berreth, 29, his fiancee and the mother of his year-old daughter.
Frazee is believed to have bludgeoned the woman to death in her condo unit in Woodland Park, Colo., on Thanksgiving 2018. Her body has never been found.
He called Kenney, an on-and-off girlfriend who was living in Idaho, to come help him clean up. At his trial, she described the blood-spattered apartment and told of driving with Frazee to a ranch where he burned a large storage box she believed contained the body.
In her plea deal, however, she admitted only to taking Berreth’s mobile phone to Idaho. “I took the victim’s cell phone with the intent to impair the phone’s availability in the investigation. I had no right or authority to move the victim’s cell phone,” she said.
In declaring “aggravating circumstances” other than what Kenney had admitted to, the sentencing judge violated a 2004 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says a trial judge cannot impose a longer sentence just because the judge thinks a harsher punishment is warranted against a defendant who pleads guilty, according to the appeals court ruling.
The appeals court ordered that Kenney be resentenced to between one year and 18 months in prison.
Kelsey Berreth; Patrick Frazee
Frazee was convicted of murder and is serving a life sentence. The death penalty was not sought.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment