Colorado rancher Patrick Frazee was convicted of murder Monday in the killing of 29-year-old fiancee Kelsey Berreth, after prosecutors said he beat her to death with a baseball bat while their 1-year-old daughter was in a nearby room, and then burned her body.
He was found guilty on a total of six counts: two counts of first-degree murder, one count of tampering with a body, and three counts of solicitation to commit murder, as KDVR reported.
A judge later sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors didn’t seek the death penalty.
The victim’s body hasn’t been found, and Frazee was convicted with little physical evidence.
Berreth, a 29-year-old flight instructor, was last seen shopping with the couple’s daughter last Thanksgiving.
Before the punishment was formally handed down, Berreth's family and others impacted by her death told Judge Scott Sells how her death had affected them.
Joseph Moore, who said he considered Frazee to be like a stepson, testified that when he asked Frazee how Berreth was doing in April 2018, he told him that he had figured out a way to kill her and get away with it.
Moore said Frazee said, “No body, no crime.”
He said Frazee would repeat that phrase to him several times over the summer and fall in 2018.
Moore said Frazee was shocked after Berreth’s disappearance garnered attention in media around the country.
“He’s like, ‘Man, if I had known it was going to blow up this big, I never would have ...’ And he stopped. He did not finish that sentence,” Moore testified.
Frazee’s on-again-off-again girlfriend, Krystal Lee, testified that her lover asked her to help clean up the murder scene.
“He went from being someone who I loved and cared for and is one of my best friends,” she said in court in early November, as the Denver Post reported. “He said his little girl was being abused. I know it was wrong, but I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t make the right decisions.”
Frazee declined to testify, and his lawyers didn’t call any witnesses of their own.
Berreth’s parents argued in a wrongful-death lawsuit that they believed Frazee wanted full custody of the couple’s daughter. She now lives with them.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.