A Colorado rancher who beat his fiancee to death with a baseball bat while their 1-year-old daughter was nearby was found guilty of murder Monday and will never spend another day as a free man. A judge sentenced Patrick Frazee to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 156 years shortly after a jury in Teller County found him guilty on eight charges, including first-degree murder and tampering with a body, CNN reports. The fiancee, Kelsey Berreth, was last seen on Thanksgiving Day last year. Her body was never found. "It’s a sweet day in the sense that justice is brought to Patrick Frazee for this brutal, gruesome, senseless murder,” said District Attorney Dan May, per CBS Denver.
Prosecutors said Frazee, 33, killed his 29-year-old fiancee in her home while their daughter was in a storage room. The AP reports that the prosecution's case relied heavily on testimony from Krystal Lee Kenney, who was in a relationship with Frazee. She testified that he tried to talk her into killing Berreth several times before he told her he had done it himself and needed help cleaning up the scene. Kenney, who said she had watched Frazee burn a plastic tote on his property that she believed contained Berreth's body, admitted driving to Idaho with the murdered woman's phone and disposing of it. She will get up to three years in prison under a plea deal that the DA called a "deal with the devil" that was the only way to convict Frazee. (Police found five teeth in the rancher's home.)