Opening statements begin in trial for Colorado man accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend Kelsie Schelling
PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - After nearly eight years and four delays, the trial for the suspect in the 2013 disappearance of a Colorado woman has finally begun.
The trial against Donthe Lucas formally began Jan. 25 with day one of jury selection. After more than a week, the jury was pieced together on Tuesday.
A total of 12 jurors and four alternates were sworn in Tuesday afternoon. The court was then put in recess with jurors being told to report at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.
Lucas was the boyfriend of Kelsie Schelling in February of 2013 when she was reported missing. Schelling was pregnant at the time and was reportedly traveling from Denver to Pueblo to talk to Lucas about her pregnancy. To date, the body of Schelling has yet to be found. Lucas was arrested in December of 2017 while in jail on an unrelated robbery charge. Lucas pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the case in August 2018.
11 News has kept in touch with the mother of Schelling for years, and for years Laura Saxton has been waiting for the trial to start against the man accused of killing her child and unborn grandchild. 11 News spoke to Saxton in December when the Jan. 25 trial date was originally scheduled.
“I’ve been through so many different types of hell the last almost eight years, and I know that this is going to be just a different type on a different level. You know, it’s something that has to be done and needs to be taken care of, so no matter how hard or difficult it is we just have to push through it,” said Saxton.
According to two officers who testified in the past, Lucas is the only person to admit to seeing Schelling on Feb. 5, 2013. She was last seen by everyone else on Feb. 4, 2013. Law enforcement officers have also testified that Lucas has told different stories about what happened on Feb. 5. Messages on Schelling’s phone showed she texted him she was pregnant, and the messages indicated Lucas was unhappy. GPS on her phone showed it traveled to the same location in Pueblo as Lucas’ phone on the day she reportedly disappeared. Police added in past court appearances that Lucas took $400 out of Schelling’s account at 11:37 a.m. Feb. 5.
Days after Schelling was reported missing, police found Schelling’s car in a Walmart parking lot. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
During a pre-trial readiness conference on Jan. 22, a judge announced the trial against Lucas would not be delayed a fifth time but would proceed Monday morning.
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