Prosecutors in the Kelsey Berreth murder trial got their first big break on Friday as the mistress of accused killer Patrick Frazee made her first appearance in court.
Krystal Lee Kenney broke down in tears as she confessed to destroying Berreth’s cell phone after learning that the young mother, 29, had been murdered by her fiance.
While agreeing to testify against Frazee at his murder trial, the former nurse, 32, told the judge that she learned about the homicide of November 22.
She will be sentenced after Frazee’s trial for her own involvement after pleading guilty to one felony count of tampering with evidence.
Kenney did not provide any additional information as to how she destroyed the cell phone while in court.
Images of Kenney posted by 9 News show her conferring with her lawyer during the proceedings, which lasted less than 30 minutes.
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Moving forward: Krystal Lee Kenney (above on Friday) confessed to destroying the phone of Kelsey Berreth after the young mother was murdered by fiancee Patrick Frazee
Confession: She also said in a prepared statement that she learned Frazee had murdered Berreth on November 22, the last day that the young mother was seen alive (Kenney’s mugshot above)
In tears: ‘I moved the victim’s cell phone with the intent to impair the phone’s availability in the investigation,’ said Kenney (above talking with her lawyer on Friday)
‘I learned that Patrick Frazee has committed a homicide on approximately Nov. 22, 2018 in Teller County. I knew that law enforcement would be investigating that crime,’ said Kenney on Friday, reading from a prepared statement.
‘I moved 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. That occurred between Nov. 24 and Nov. 25, 2018. In Teller County.’
Berreth’s body has still not been found.
Frazee was in court for a custody hearing on Friday, arriving in a ballistics vest and surrounded by a small team of police and security, who hurriedly shuffled him into a courtroom after getting him out of a police cruiser.
At the same time, press was ordered out of the courtroom for the hearing, which was held in response to Frazee’s mother requesting custody of his daughter Kaylee.
The 16-month-old is temporarily in the custody of her maternal grandparents and it remained that way on Thursday ahead of Frazee’s murder trial.
There will be another status haring in the custody case in two months.
Lee and Frazee have known one another for years, and she has long been a person of interest in the case.
Friends of Lee have claimed that she was under Frazee’s spell, painting her as a helpless accomplice in interviews.
‘She had known him since she was 18 years old, right out of high school. I think he had some type of hold on her,’ said Patty Rockstahl in an interview with KMVT last month.
Rockstahl, who employs one of Lee’s best friends, also said that the pair owned horses together, and described Frazee as Lee’s ‘first love.’
‘She was in love with him from a very young age,’ claimed Patty, who has never met Lee but employed her best friend Michelle.
‘She was very vulnerable and I think she cared for him, and he took advantage of that… He was her first love, I understand, and… he had a hold on her.’
It was also the Rockstahls who informed authorities that Frazee had asked Lee to ‘kill the mother of his child’ on at least three occasions dating back to October.
No trace: Officials have still not discovered the body of missing mom Kelsey Berreth (above), who was last seen alive on November 22
Close: Kenney (left) broke down in tears at one point and agreed to testify against Frazee (right), with prosecutors agreeing to wait until after that trial to try her
In the end, the Rockstahls believe that Lee disposed of Berreth’s phone and carried out Frazee’s orders because she was afraid of the man, who allegedly went so far as to threaten her children.
‘Patrick told Krystal that little girls go missing off the playground all the time,’ said Patty.
‘Krystal was so scared, he was so angry that he said things that made Krystal think he had killed before. So of course, she’s going to be terrified,’ added her husband Joe.
Patty also said that she did not believe that Lee was a killer or capable of murder.
‘I think she maybe got in over her head, maybe used some bad judgment,’ said Patty.
‘If I were afraid for myself or for my children, I don’t know what I would do.’
The Rocktstahls also believed that this fear is why Lee disposed of Berreth’s phone after sending texts to Frazee and the missing mom’s employer which were meant to appear to be from Berreth.
‘She had the phone,’ said Patty.
‘She was probably instructed to send those texts by Patrick but that’s – there’s nobody else that could’ve sent those texts to my knowledge.’
It is unclear if Frazee was still with Berreth at the time of the murder.
A friend of Frazee whose granddaughter was a frequent playmate of the accused killer’s daughter Kaylee told CNN that Frazee and Berreth had split back on New Year’s Day in 2018, just three months after the couple welcomed daughter Kaylee.
That contradicts comments made by Berreth’s aunt suggesting that her niece had broken up with Frazee on November 22, the day she was last seen in public.
Authorities have since charged Frazee with first-degree murder despite the fact that Berreth’s body and remains have yet to be found.
Two individuals who worked with Lee – who is being investigated for disposing of Kelsey Berreth’s cell phone – said that she and Frazee had been in a romantic relationship for months.
DailyMail.com spoke with two people who know the nurse professionally, and they both said that they had been told that Frazee was having an affair with Lee.
Lee divorced her husband a few years back and has two children.
Neither of those individuals knew exactly when the relationship started, but they believed it could have been as early as 2016 – prior to the birth of Frazee’s daughter with Berreth.
That would have been the second time the pair dated after an earlier romance as teens.
One of the the people DailyMail.com spoke with also said that Lee was in Colorado around Thanksgiving.
That would explain how Frazee was able to get the cell phone to Idaho while never leaving the state.
It was reported back in December that police in Idaho had discovered information pertaining to the missing mom’s cell phone.
The Twin Falls Police Department revealed that officers from the force played a role in the investigation by obtaining search warrants and examining evidence in the case.
Berreth’s cell phone pinged off a tower in Gooding, Idaho, on November 25, three days after she went missing and around the same time her employer received a text stating that she would not be in for work that week. The location it pinged is about 800 miles from where Berreth was last seen.
The complaint that was filed in the case states that Frazee plotted the murder of Berreth with at least one other individual in the three months before she went missing.
And while authorities have yet to discover a body or any of Berreth’s remains at this time, prosecutors said the investigation has yielded enough evidence to