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The Latest: Testimony ends in Colorado fiancee murder trial

November 15, 2019

CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a Colorado man accused of killing his fiancee: (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

Testimony has wrapped up in the trial of a Colorado rancher accused of beating his fiancee to death with a baseball bat.

Patrick Frazee declined to testify Friday, and his lawyers didn’t call any witnesses of their own.

Closing arguments had been expected to follow the end of testimony, but lawyers and the judge still need work out jury instructions. The arguments are now scheduled for Monday.

A jail inmate testified earlier Friday that Frazee asked him multiple times to kill the key witness in the case, a former Idaho nurse who had an on-off relationship with Frazee for over a decade.

Without much physical evidence, prosecutors leaned on the testimony of Krystal Lee. She said she watched as Frazee burned what she believed was Kelsey Berreth’s body.

The defense has questioned her credibility.

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1:20 p.m.

A jail inmate says a Colorado rancher charged with beating his fiancee to death asked him multiple times to kill the key witness in the case.

Jacob Bentley took the stand Friday on what’s expected to be the final day of testimony in Patrick Frazee’s murder trial.

While they were housed near each other in jail, Bentley said Frazee asked him to kill Frazee’s on-again, off-again girlfriend, Krystal Lee, who testified that her lover asked her to help clean up the murder scene.

Bentley also testified that Frazee wanted him to kill lead investigator Gregg Slater, Lee’s relatives and others. Slater said notes provided by Bentley appeared to be in Frazee’s handwriting.

Frazee’s lawyer questioned Bentley’s credibility. He said Bentley was expected to testify in another case in which a defendant also asked him to kill a witness.

Prosecutors say Bentley asked for cases against him to be resolved in one county in exchange for his testimony.

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8:40 a.m.

Closing arguments are expected Friday in the trial of a Colorado rancher charged with killing his fiancee.

Patrick Frazee is accused of beating 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth to death with a baseball bat and burning her body.

Berreth was last seen nearly a year ago while shopping with the couple’s 1-year-old daughter. Her body hasn’t been found.

Prosecutors have relied heavily on the testimony of a former Idaho nurse who had an on-and-off relationship with Frazee for over a decade. Krystal Lee testified that Frazee asked her to clean up the murder scene and that she watched him burn a plastic tote she believed contained Berreth’s body.

Lee reached a plea deal with prosecutors and Frazee’s lawyers have questioned her reliability.

Berreth’s parents have custody of the couple’s daughter.