Krystal Lee, the woman who helped a Florissant rancher cover up the murder of Woodland Park mother Kelsey Berreth, is being considered for placement in community corrections.
"We vigorously oppose moving this defendant to any community-based alternative," El Paso County District Attorney Dan May and prosecutor Jennifer Viehman said Friday in a written statement.
Lee, also known as Krystal Lee Kenney, cleaned up the blood-drenched townhouse where Berreth, 29, was fatally beaten with a bat by her fiance Patrick Frazee on Thanksgiving 2018. She also participated in a scheme to steal Berreth's cellphone and make it look like the murdered woman left Colorado of her own will.
Lee, 33, was sentenced Jan. 28 to three years in prison — 1,095 days. Thus far, she has served less than 60 days, the district attorney's statement said.
Community corrections is part of the state’s step-down process for inmates awaiting release, though not all qualify. Each county has a community corrections board that reviews applications and decides whether to grant early release to a halfway house.
Community corrections centers are supervised but aren’t locked down. Inmates may be eligible to leave to work or get treatment.
"The fact that this defendant is even being considered for 'step-down' placement demonstrates once again that Colorado's sentencing scheme is outrageously, dishearteningly distorted," said May and Viehman, who prosecuted the case with then-prosecutor Beth Reed, who has since left the office.
Lee is currently confined at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility. It's unclear when a decision will be made on her possible transfer.
Lee pleaded guilty in February 2019 to a single count of evidence tampering, in what May called a “deal with the devil” that helped bring Frazee to justice. The charge normally carries up to 18 months in prison, but 4th Judicial District Judge Scott Sells sentenced her in the aggravated range, citing the cruelty of her actions.
Prosecutors acknowledged that obtaining a conviction against Frazee would have been more difficult without cooperation by Lee, who testified about Frazee’s confession, including disclosing what he said were Berreth’s last words as he beat her to death: “Please stop.” Berreth’s remains haven’t been discovered, except for a tooth fragment found at Frazee’s ranch.
Frazee, 33, remains incarcerated at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Ordway in southern Colorado, where he is serving a life sentence without parole, plus 156 years in prison.
Lee is eligible for parole in May 2021. If granted parole, she could be allowed to live independently, albeit under monitoring by a parole officer.