16 Mar Dru Nielsen Quoted in Article titled, “’A Slap in the Face:’ Accomplice in Kelsey Berreth’s Murder Has Three-Year Prison Sentence Thrown Out”
February 18, 2021
Dru Nielsen, Partner of Denver criminal defense firm Eytan Nielsen, LLC, was quoted in an article published by KOAA News Channel 5 on February 18, 2021, titled, “’A Slap in the Face:’ Accomplice in Kelsey Berreth’s Murder Has Three-Year Prison Sentence Thrown Out.”
TELLER COUNTY — The three-year prison sentence of an Idaho nurse who helped clean up the crime scene left behind after Patrick Frazee murdered his fiancé Kelsey Berreth has been vacated.
Krystal Kenney was sentenced in January 2020 to three years in prison, as part of a plea deal where she testified against Frazee and pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence. Kenney has served around 13 months of that sentence. She will now be resentenced.
Kenney, Frazee’s mistress, provided prosecutors all the essential information on how Frazee killed Berreth — beating her to death with a baseball bat while she was blindfolded with a sweater to sniff candles. She also admitted to helping Frazee clean up the crime scene, but said she intentionally left evidence for investigators to find.
News5 spoke with Kenney’s attorney, Dru Nielsen, who explained how this decision was reached by the Colorado Court of Appeals. “Prior to the sentencing, I filed an extensive briefing explaining why the range that the judge could sentence her to was one to one and a half years, which is what Krystal had agreed to and negotiated with Dan May. The judge didn’t agree with me at that time, but now the Court of Appeals has fully reviewed that decision and has agreed with Krystal,” said Nielsen on Thursday afternoon.
The maximum prison sentence in Colorado for tampering with evidence is 18 months. However, that number was doubled in Kenney’s case, because she was charged within the aggravated range of sentencing. Nielsen said that should have never happened.
The objection filed by Nielsen in December of 2019 states: “The language that the District Attorney attempted to insert into the plea paperwork – “[t]he Defendant further stipulates to the existence of extraordinary aggravating circumstances that would allow the court to sentence in the aggravated range” – was specifically and intentionally removed from the final paperwork as it was not part of the operative December 20, 2018 agreement.”
Also in that document, Nielsen writes that Kenney never waived her Blakely rights. Nielsen stated the maximum sentence the court could impose in this case was 18 months. “The Court of Appeals agreed with the argument that we made at sentencing. I think it was the right decision, and I’m very happy forKrystal that she’s going to be resentenced, because she’s currently serving an unconstitutional sentence,” said Nielsen.
Nielsen was not sure when Kenney’s resentencing could be and said that was a question for the 4th Judicial District. However, she hopes to see her client released from prison, when the time does come. “I believe that she should be getting out. That she has served her sentence, and any additional time is unconstitutional at this point, and unlawful. I believe it’s an unlawful sentence,” said Nielsen.
You may read the full article here.