Patrick Frazee arrived late and missed his family's Thanksgiving Day dinner last year — lending credence to surveillance footage that appeared to show him at his fiancee's front door 11 times the day she was allegedly beaten to death.
The details of Frazee's whereabouts highlighted testimony Tuesday morning in his first-degree murder trial, which has cast a national spotlight on tiny Teller County. Prosecutors are seeking to prove Frazee killed his fiancee, Kelsey Berreth, in her Woodland Park townhome while their toddler daughter lay in a different room.
The evidence came as prosecutors deliberately set out a timeline of events on Thanksgiving Day in 2018. Often, they focused on the testimony of Frazee's brother, Sean Frazee, a Colorado Springs police officer.
Sean Frazee said his brother, Patrick, arrived late — about 5 p.m. — to their mother's house and missed Thanksgiving dinner.
His testimony matched up with surveillance camera footage taken from outside Berreth’s townhome, which allegedly captured Patrick Frazee nearly a dozen times between 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. that day. It takes about 20 or 30 minutes to drive from Woodland Park to Frazee's mother's ranch in Florissant.
At the family home, Sean Frazee described a nice evening with his kids and his brother’s toddler, Kaylee.
“He brought Kaylee in and we played with her," Sean Frazee said.
He added that sometime before Berreth was reported missing, Patrick Frazee had said he and his fiancee were separated.
“He just said that they had not been together for a while,” Sean Frazee said.
The testimony came as Frazee's public defenders sought to punch holes in evidence from a day earlier about the surveillance camera footage, which was captured by one of Berreth's neighbors.
The footage marked the first hard evidence thus far potentially putting Frazee at Berreth’s townhouse the day she went missing.
Defense attorney Adam Steigerwald questioned if the man caught on the camera was truly Frazee. In each case, the man in the pictures had his back to the camera.
Steigerwald also pointed to changing light and shadows in attacking the timeline of the photographs, which investigators said were taken between 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Turning to two pictures from the same time — each with dramatically different lighting — Steigerwald pressed a prosecution witness.
“I know you’re a forensic cellphone reconstruction expert, but that’s not the way the sun moves, is it?” he said.
The attack forced a caveat by 4th Judicial District Attorney’s investigator Chad Mininger, who acknowledged his analysis of the timeline depended on when the neighbor, who owned the surveillance camera, looked at each image in her phone. If she looked at the pictures out of chronological sequence, the pictures would be jumbled, too, Mininger said.
The details are key, because Frazee previously told police he stopped by Berreth’s condo only once on Thanksgiving Day to get their baby, and that he left at noon.
Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May, who is part of the prosecution team, elicited testimony later Tuesday morning that even if some images were out of order, none of them would be more than about an hour off.
Another witness on Tuesday morning, District Attorney investigator Stephanie Courtney, walked the jury through surveillance videos from four locations showing Patrick Frazee together with Berreth and their baby before they arrived at Berreth’s place together at about 1:30 p.m.
A camera at Williams Log Home Furniture spotted Patrick Frazee again at 4:36 p.m., driving away from Berreth’s condo. This time, a black box in the bed of his pickup was reoriented from how it had been four hours earlier.
The back-and-forth came on the third day of testimony in the trial. Frazee faces several felony charges, including first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree murder and tampering with a deceased human body. If convicted of first-degree murder, he will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.
Check back for more information as this story develops, and after testimony concludes Tuesday afternoon.
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