UPDATED: S. Idaho woman sentenced to 3 years for role in Colorado woman's murder
An Idaho woman who helped clean up a murder scene will spend the next three years in prison.
Krystal Lee was sentenced Tuesday for her role in Kelsey Berreth’s murder. Lee was sentenced in a Teller County courtroom in Cripple Creek, Colorado.
Lee told the court Patrick Frazee asked her to come to Colorado to clean up the crime scene after he killed his fiancé Kelsey Berreth. Frazee was sentenced two months ago to life in prison for killing Berreth, the mother of his child.
Lee and Frazee were romantically involved.
Lee’s attorney asked the judge to just give Lee probation. She said her client was a victim of a master manipulator, being Frazee. The judge said Lee's actions were far from that.
The court saw a video made up of stories from Krystal Lee’s childhood. Her friends and family all said she was a kind loving human and she would never hurt Kelsey Berreth.
Friends and family on Lee’s behalf spoke to the judge before she was sentenced. All of them saying Lee would never do this and she was emotionally unstable and scared of Frazee.
The judge said Lee never called police, she consciously tampered with evidence and even took Berreth’s phone to Idaho and then destroyed it. He said those actions were not a product of emotional issues.
Before he sentenced her to three years in prison, the judge said her actions were cold, calculated, cruel and deserved the maximum sentence.
Lee spoke before she was sentenced. She turned around to Berreth’s father and said she knew sorry wasn’t good enough and she was sorry she didn’t save Kelsey.
Berreth's father said, “This was a slick production here today and while Krystal may have been all those things her actions did not show that."
District Attorney Dan May was very emotional as he was trying to get through his argument for the maximum sentence.
After the hearing, he told KMVT’s sister station KKTV this was the most difficult, emotional case he’s ever worked on.
“You know the right person serving your life sentence right now, he’s the one who actually carried out the murder,” May said. “What he did was horrific and so do I think she should’ve got a lot more time? You betcha. Do I feel bad every day that she only got three years today? You betcha. But in the end we need to solve this case. He needed to be held accountable for what he did he’s the one who brutally murdered this woman.”
May also said very few got to meet Kelsey but Krystal did. He said she handed Kelsey Berreth a cup of coffee. She held Kelsey’s daughter and she looked Kelsey in the eye knowing she was going to be killed and didn’t stop it.
“What she could face was tampering with a deceased human body. that is a class 3 felony where she could face anywhere from 16 to 32 years potentially,” May said. “She could have faced accessory to first-degree murder, which is a class four felony punishable by up to 12 years in the aggravated range. She could’ve faced tampering, which is what she plead to, which is up to three years; potentially multiple tampering.”
A letter Berreth’s mom wrote was read in court said Lee chose to cover up the murder to save herself. The only thing she didn’t do was swing the bat and they will pay for her selfishness forever.
Lee was immediately handcuffed and arrested on the spot.
She was taken to the Teller County jail where she’ll stay until she’s transferred to prison.
A southern Idaho woman has been sentenced for her part in the death of a Colorado mother.
On Tuesday, a judge sentenced Krystal Lee to a maximum of three years in prison for tampering with evidence in the murder of Kelsey Berreth. Lee also faces one year of parole following her prison sentence. Lee was sentenced in a Teller County courtroom in Cripple Creek, Colorado.
Lee told the courts she cleaned up the murder scene at Berreth's home.
In November, Patrick Frazee was convicted and sentenced to 156 years in prison. On Monday, Frazee's attorneys filed paperwork to appeal the case.
Lee was the key witness in Frazee’s trial and was Frazee's on-and-lff girlfriend. Lee took a plea bargain and was expected to get probation or serve three years in prison.
Without the deal, a judge could have to sentenced her to up to 100 years in prison.