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Toni Fratto Speaks: No Remorse For Murder, Only Wanted to Help Boyfriend Patten

Posted on 17 June 2011 by Howard Copelan

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Confessed killer Toni Fratto comes off as an incredibly naive girl with little if any idea of what she was doing when she made her confession to murder of 16 year old Micaela Costanzo.

Portions of the Fratto’s confession were released Tuesday as part of motion in limine by Elko County District Attorney Marc Torvinen. In this case Torvinen’s motion is an attempt to preempt a defense move that would seek to throw out Fratto’s confession on the grounds of attorney/client privileged conversation and therefore inadmissible in court.

Patten was arrested for the March 3rd murder of Micaela Costanzo three days after she had gone missing and within a few hours after her body was discovered in a shallow grave some 5 miles west of Wendover.

Patten cracked and admitted to killing the young girl after an all night interrogation session and a phone call to his father Kip. According to police reports at no time during the intense 8 hours of so of questioning did Patten implicate his live in girlfriend Fratto in the crime and indeed may have even used her as his alibi.

For the first six weeks after his arrest, it was the position of the Elko District Attorney’s office and the Elko Sheriff’s Department that Kody Patten was the sole suspect in the case and would alone stand trial for the murder of Micaela Costanzo.

All that changed early last month when John Ohlson, Patten’s lead attorney released the bombshell confession from Toni Fratto in which she claims it was she and not her lover who killed Costanzo. Within 24 hours of Ohlson’s release of the taped confession to the court, Fratto was arrested and charged with the death penalty eligible open murder of her classmate.

Until a very partial transcript was released in Torvinen’s motion details of Fratto’s confession were not released to the press or the public. While that portion details only the first few minutes of the interview it does confirm the general belief that whether lying or not Fratto confessed not because of any overwhelming guilt to the crime but rather to “help” her boyfriend.

It is also clear that Fratto is under the impression that she, her boyfriend Patten and Patten’s attorneys are on the same team and even if they cannot officially represent her, they will take care of her.

In their response to Torvinen’s motion in limine, Fratto’s attorneys John Springgate and David Lockie allege that Fratto was lied to and manipulated by Ohlson and Jeff Kump to put herself possibly on death row while giving her vague assurances that anything she said would be more or less confidential.

Apart from revealing details about the confession itself, the motion indicates the deep rift between Fratto’s lawyers and Patten’s. Far from being on the same side the legal teams are seem to be gearing up for a legal version of “royal rumble” with every side for itself.

At least in the battle over the DA’s motion, it appears the prosecution and Patten’s lawyers have the mutual goal of seeing Fratto’s confession placed in evidence and Toni Fratto be tried for the murder of Micaela.

Time and time again Ohlson is mentioned in support of the DA’s assertion that Fratto’s confession is not protected by the attorney/client privilege. And for their part Fratto’s lawyers accused Ohlson of blatantly misleading their client and perhaps even violating the attorney rules of conduct.

Ohlson is not the only one to come harsh criticism from Springgate and Lockie. Kip Patten, Kody’s father also comes under the gun for unduly influencing Fratto. According to the response Kip Patten took the opportunity the absence of Toni Fratto’s parents Cassie and Claud, from town to drive their daughter from Wendover 110 miles to Elko for that fateful meeting in Kump’s office.

Since her arrest the imposed separation sources relate to the Advocate, Fratto insistence that she was the “real killer” has wavered and may soon recant her confession.

According to Fratto’s Elko attorney David Lockie Fratto will plead not guilty to the murder at her preliminary hearing.

Even before it leaked out that the girl might be changing her mind sources close to the investigation doubted the former Wendover Junior Miss’ tale, simply because Fratto may simply not have had enough time to do what she claimed to have done.

While the girl’s whereabouts is not known from 5 pm, she and her mother were recorded as being in attendance at a West Wendover Recreation District meeting at 6 pm and witnesses report they arrived a few minutes before the meeting was gaveled to begin.

A run through conducted by the High Desert Advocate suggested that 55 minutes was enough time but just barely. Following Fratto’s version of events in the police report the Advocate timed the drive involved. The drive from the West Wendover High School to the Nevada gravel pit, the murder scene took approximately 10 minutes. The drive back through Wendover to the Utah gravel pit took approximately 15 minutes and the drive back from the Utah gravel pit to the Fratto house another 15 minutes. With the drive times subtracted the couple if Fratto’s account is true had about 20 minutes to commit the murder, destroy the evidence across town and then return home to cleanup before Toni Fratto was seen again with her parents.

However even if Fratto’s confession is thrown out or she publicly recants and is absolved of the crime her confession and the District Attorney’s resulting charging may have severely weakened the case against Patten. A jury might be very well asked how could anyone believe the police or the prosecution when they contradict each other on a weekly basis?

Editors note: the District attorney’s motion in liminen as well as the response are available for down load in the entirety at www.coyote-tv.com.

In a related development: Kody Patten was declared competent to stand trial.Patten was evaluated for two weeks at Lakes Crossing, District Judge Andrew Puccinelli ruled last Friday that Patten was fit to stand trial. He was remanded back to Justice Court to await a date for his next hearing scheduled for July 13.

The competency hearing lasted for only 15 minutes.

click to view state’s motion: FRATTO-Mot-in-Limine

click to view response: FRATTOs-opposition-to-Motion

10 Comments For This Post

  1. Dan Says:

    “With the drive times subtracted the couple if Fratto’s account is true had about 20 minutes to commit the murder, destroy the evidence across town and then return home to cleanup before Toni Fratto was seen again with her parents.”

    Wow… lots more commas, please. This is a very confusing read.

    Also, it should be “download” not “down load.” A hyphem would have at least been more appropriate.

  2. Diane Says:

    hypheM ?? Tee Hee

    Ought not cast stones when you live in a glass house!!

  3. donna h Says:

    She showed no remorse from start to finish. Her hatred escalated. Over the yrs to Micki. Tony set it all up! Shes not innocent. Her parents took control of the situation & got her out of it. You were the abuser in the relationship Tony Fratto! You should of grown some balls & protected her if your man was going to do something! I am sure you will grows some in jail won’t you! Your parents saw what kind of boy was with her daughter. They just wanted their daughter married off to kick out the allotment of Mormon babies. So the parents stop lieing too. Your just as much to blame. Toni & the boyfriend should have gotten death!

  4. Tim Says:

    Toni is guilty as hell… She wanted her boyfriend to care for her and stay out of Micaela’s life.. But they were friends and Toni had issue with that, so the insecure girl Toni whose Parents probably didn’t teach her lifes lessons so that she had a reasonable amount of self esteem, egged her BF into bringing Micaela to the desert so that Toni could show her whose boss once and for all! Patten should also be convicted of accessory to Murder and Life, Toni needs to be Hung or Fried or whatever they do in that state.. she’s unbalanced and will more than likely live on welfare get fat and plunk out 12 kids from 11 daddies, Mexicans, puerto ricans, blacks, Anyone that shows her a bag of dope would have banged this Bitch!

  5. Joyce Says:

    Toni Fratto’s mother’s big mouth is only convincing everyone that Toni is a jealous monster. Micky’s face was slashed. That sounds like the work of a jealous girl, not a guy.

  6. Veronica Says:

    There both just as guilty as the other. They were both their. They could have stopped it, if they really wanted to. There is no one person who is guiltier than the other. They both deserve to go to jail for life. Also, if Toni’s parents knew for three years that there daughter was being abused and controlled by her Kody, they should have done something like called the police to stop it.

  7. sunkist123 Says:

    I don’t usually comment on news articles, but saw this on Dateline last night. I think they were way out of line giving that girl a plea bargain- the practice of offering plea bargains to one criminal in order to ‘nail’ the other criminal really should stop. First, like this article said, she showed no remorse; but it also seemed that she was either the instigator or at least a full participant. The way the story was presented on Dateline, it reminded me of the Chuck Riley & Marlene Olive case from a long time ago.
    Also, the way Toni’s parents were defending her was outrageous- if the boy had really been ‘abusing’ her all those years, would they have continued letting him live in their home?

  8. Lying_SOS Says:

    I agree with Tim on this one. I do not think they should have given her a plea deal and I hope you all write to the parole board and tell them to never let her out. If the court and legal systems were not over run and the prisons filled with non violent marijuana cases than maybe the prosecutors could have used their resources to pursue a conviction. Its obvious from her diary that Toni was the instigator. On the dateline episode multiple people said it was known how Toni did not like the girl. I feel like Toni was the one who started the attack. She even said in her interview how they “arrived at the designated spot.” I really hope Toni gets beat or shanked while she is in prison and that she never gets out.

  9. Jessbecause Says:

    Beauty queen????? Are you KIDDING me?!?!?!? I would say she has an unfortunate face, but you know what? People often have the face ( and nose) they deserve. Disgusting person. Such a sad story.

  10. Roxanne Says:

    Investigators originally believed Toni played a bigger part and in exchange for a factual account and testimony at Toni’s trial offered Kody a plea deal. He originally accepted and made a statement, but on the day of going to court turned it down, so they offered Toni the same deal instead and she grabbed at it. Only the first part of his statement was revealed in the doco I saw and I think it was, to a point, the closest we will ever get to a true account. Taking that part of the statement in to consideration and putting it together with some details Mickie’s sister DJ and their mother revealed, and Toni’s diary I think I know what happened.

    Mickie’s mother revealed she was aware that Kody loved Mickie and described it as a kind of puppy love, but she refused to let them date until she was at least 16. But she was of the belief that Kody thought they’d end up together at some point and she thought they might too. Toni’s parents did not have the same kind of rules as Mickie’s mother and allowed Toni and Kody to date, move in together and get engaged. So by the time Mickie turned 16 and was able to date Toni and Kody were already seriously involved and living together, and Kody had the support of her parents, pretty appealing when he probably saw Mickies mother’s rule as a kind of rejection of him. DJ stated that Mickie hated the drama that came with Kody and Toni and their relationship and tried to keep away from them. She started dating a boy her own age Javier (side note a guy that Kody tried to push suspicion on to) and was happy with him.

    DJ revealed that Toni was ALWAYS jealous of Mickie and in particular of the history and relationship Kody had with her. She frequently called Mickie sl&t, whore to her face and in the hallways, constantly spread nasty and sick rumors about Mickie too. Kody and Toni fought constantly, he wasn’t allowed to talk to Mickie or any girl and Toni wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone, they were jealous of each other. They would accuse each other of things and push each other around and then be all perfect. DJ said it was total drama all the time. Christina, their older sister wasn’t even allowed to talk to him.

    DJ also said months before her murder – around the time she started dating Javier – that Kody’s treatment of Mickie changed. He started to play pranks on her, call her names but always claim to be joking and he attempted to play one girl off against the other, kind of a juvenile way of getting Mickie’s attention. The final straw came one day in the hallway, Kody was waving a boxcutter around in front of Mickie and then made a gesture as if he was running it down her arm. Mickie told DJ she didn’t realize at first but he’d actually cut her arm with it and she was bleeding. He claimed it was an accident but Mickie had had enough, she told DJ “He’s not worth it, I’m done with him” and for her the friendship was over. DJ said Kody didn’t take it well, he couldn’t understand why she’d cut him off completely and wanted nothing to do with him anymore. He constantly confronted her about why she wasn’t his friend anymore.

    Toni’s diaries revealed an intense hatred of Mickie and a jealousy of her and Kody’s relationship. She wrote that she didn’t believe he loved her, and was going to dump her to be with Mickie because “she was so perfect and they were so perfect together”. Prior to Mickie’s murder Kody began seeing another older girl behind Toni’s back, the same girl who owned the car that Kody borrowed to abduct Mickie. DJ and her mother believe that Toni realized Kody had met someone else and that she incorrectly believed it was Mickie, Toni would never suspect any girl other than Mickie let alone an older one from town. Her verbal attacks on Mickie increased and so did the fights with Kody -witnessed by a lot of people.

    In Kody’s plea bargain statement that was never fully released he said that he and Toni had fought – he never said about what but I’m going to speculate it was about her suspicions he was cheating on her with Mickie and that the only way to solve it was for the three of them to go somewhere talk it out and if that didn’t work for her and Mickie to have a throwdown fight. Being that Toni was tiny and not at all athletic or strong like Mickie I’m going to speculate that she told him if that happened he’d have to have her back and help her beat Mickie up. Kody claimed that he went to Mickie and explained the situation and she agreed to go for a drive and talk to him and Toni about it. IN his words she said “Yeah okay I’m sick of it lets do it”. I believe that the conversation took place but not that she agreed to go. I believe Kody followed her out of the school and forced her in to the car he borrowed. They drove around for a while, I’ll speculate that because he still had feelings for her that he was attempting to calm her down and maybe re-establish their relationship/friendship which he may at some point hope to deepen. I believe she refused because as she told DJ “he wasn’t worth it”. When the conversation didn’t go the way he wanted he texted Toni that he had her. It’s also possible that Kody was in to the idea that both girls would fight for him who knows but the fact that Mickie had cut him out of her life and if I’m right refused to go with him, would have enraged him.

    I’m not sure they planned to kill her but they did plan to do her harm. I believe the slashing wounds to Mickie’s face were personal and inflicted by Toni to ruin her looks because of hatred and jealousy. I think Kody held Mickie and allowed Toni to beat her and at some point it got out of hand. I think Kody would have realized they crossed the line before Toni did but they both agreed in the end they had to kill her so she couldn’t identify them. I actually don’t think Kody would have had the guts to deliver the final blow to Mickie, but I believe Toni had enough rage and hatred to do it if he told her to. It’s sad that Toni was right about Kody cheating but not right about who she directed her age and jealousy at. I think that Kody loved and was a little bit obsessed with Mickie. I think when his father confronted him a bit of the boy that Mickie and her family used to know and love came back and his guilt and remorse is real. He knows he was responsible whether or not he struck the final blow and he has taken his own and Toni’s guilt on himself and that is why in the end he turned the plea deal down. I think Toni is full of crap, she was just as responsible but has turned complete control over to her parents. THEY want her to be a victim so they can sleep better so they concocted the battered and fearful girlfriend scenario and they coach her and watch her every step of the way to make sure she sticks to that story and she has let Kody take the blame because she knows now he was cheating, just not with Mickie.

    I wish Mickie’s mother and sisters could stand to face Kody – I understand they can’t abide to look at him he’s a loathsome creature as is Toni – but I believe IF one of them asked him for the truth and the absolute truth he would finally give it to them and them only. I’m sure no one else believes that but I firmly do.

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