October 13, 2022
Video Chat Interview between Crime Curious (CC) and Dan Corsentino (DC)
Dan Corsentino served the state of Colorado as a law enforcement professional for more than two decades before starting his own company. He was Chief of Police in Fountain before he was elected Sheriff of Pueblo County, a position which he held for seventeen years.
DC: Approximately two years ago, Sheila Frazee, the mother of Patrick Frazee, came to me and asked me first of all about helping her find an attorney that could work in reviewing the conviction of her son, Patrick Frazee. In so doing we did an exploration of legal counsel, but what really came to light was that after having reviewed some of the discovery that was given by her and a couple of her friends, she asked me if I would be interested in taking upon the responsibility of reviewing the prosecution's case, law enforcement's investigation, and what conclusion I would reach, because she wanted to better understand if there were any deficiencies in law enforcement as well as the prosecution. Well, not being a lawyer, I couldn't comment much in regards to the prosecution so I didn't want to misrepresent. But being a former law enforcement officer, investigator, criminal defense investigator, I could certainly, along with my team of people, take a look at prosecution's investigation, law enforcement's investigation, both Woodland Park and Twin Falls, Idaho and what they did in the investigation along with the CBI and FBI. In so doing, she decided that she would retain myself and my team. My team is composed of former law enforcement professionals and it is composed of... these individuals collectively have about over 150 years of experience in specialized areas and so what we began to do is to analyze all of the discovery that we were given in the Patrick Frazee case in regards to the murder of Kelsey Berreth to make determinations as to whether or not there was another story to be told, and in two years that's what we've come up with. We believe there is another story to be told in this, and that's where we're at.
CC: You mentioned the discovery. The discovery in the original case was no small thing. Can you talk about what it took for your team to go through that discovery evidence and the information from those law enforcement agencies?
DC: The discovery was mammoth. We had about 25,000 pages of discovery and we took a look at it and compartmentalized it into testimony, forensic evidence, we got into blood spatter, we got into their experts' testimony, the prosecution's ideology in Krystal Lee, and her testimony. We created timetables. We reviewed cell phone records. We've taken a look at all the triangulations of the cell phones. We've taken a look at potential third-party principals in the case.
We've taken a look at every single law enforcement interview, statement, testimony, all video, all audio, and we continue to take a look at evidentiary findings which we believe have some significance in this case.
So it's been a comprehensive review, and at this point in time, it's now in the hands of legal counsel on appeal through the Colorado Court of Appeals, and that's where we stand today.
CC: I've reviewed the Brief of Appeal and the People's Answer to the Brief. In September, I believe on the 20th there was a sort of oral argument made wherein the attorneys had 15 minutes to discuss the appeal. So is it correct that now we are waiting on a written opinion from that panel of judges in Denver?
DC: Yes, that's accurate. Mr. Sean Lacefield was the attorney for Patrick Frazee in the oral arguments. He represented Mr. Frazee. Legal counsel from the Colorado Attorney General's office was present, and they represented the People. At this point in time, a panel of three judges heard the legal arguments and we believe that Mr. Frazee's attorney, Sean Lacefield, was compelling in his presentation and we believe the appeal written by Mr. Lacefield is compelling and we certainly think that the judges will make the right decision in the case based on the law.
CC: I wanted to ask about certain pieces of the appeal. I know there were a lot of issues, issues that you and I have discussed previously. We've talked about a rush to judgement, ineffective counsel, evidence that was allowed that you believe should have been suppressed. First and foremost though, I want to talk about Krystal Lee's involvement and the possibility that she may have been the primary perpetrator. What can you talk about as it relates to Krystal Lee as the primary perpetrator?
DC: The only thing that I can share with you about Krystal Lee is that she's not credible. Period. I can't get into where our investigation is with her or what our thoughts were with regard to FBI, CBI. I can tell you though that she probably was the most uncredible individual in the case, and for the prosecution to make her the cornerstone of their case, I believe, we believe, was not good judgement.
CC: A big issue that a lot of people are talking about right now, in many case, is whether or not cameras are allowed in the courtroom. And obviously in the Frazee case, it was up in Cripple Creek and there were no cameras allowed in the courtroom, no live tweeting, no live reporting, not even a sketch artist, and in fact a gentleman was removed for making sketches in the courtroom. Do you think that had an effect?
DC: That's a good question, because the human interaction, cameras in the courtroom, create outside pressure for not only attorneys, but more importantly the jurors. I'm not going to get into the judge's discretion about cameras in the courtroom, I only know that when there are cameras, there's a whole different type of heightened awareness by all of the participants that are involved in the case itself. Sometimes the cameras lead to theatrics that are not in the best interest of the defendant, sometimes they help the defendant... I think every case is different. This case has national notoriety either way, whether the appellate court remands this back to the district court for a new trial or whether or not they affirm the current conviction. At this point in time, it is a case where it's caught the attention of the national media and certainly many people of Colorado.
CC: More on the topic of jurors, I know that one of the issues for appeal was alleged juror misconduct. Can you talk about that at all?
DC: Well, I can only share with you that there is a question that exists in this case, and I don't want to get too deep into it, because obviously it's critical that we preserve the integrity of the record, but
one of the biggest concerns was the pre-deliberation of the jurors, and specific jurors speaking to other jurors when the case-in-chief is being presented, and during that point in time. Historically, the judge give admonishments to jurors when there is discussion prior to deliberation. There is no doubt in this case that there was discussion leaning toward an unfavorable outcome for Mr. Frazee in a pre-deliberation stage. And as a result of that, it became a component in the oral arguments that were presented to the three-judge panel.
CC: I remember that, at one point, the defense requested a change of venue. What if any effect do you think not getting that change of venue may have had?
DC: In this case in particular, because of the relationships, friendships, lack of population size, I think that a change of venue would have created a more even playing ground, a more fair playing ground.
(still transcribing, work in progress)