Lucas murder trial day 3: Former FBI agent who analyzed Schelling/Lucas phone records takes witness stand
PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - After nearly eight years and multiple delays, the trial for the suspect in the 2013 disappearance of a pregnant Colorado woman is underway.
Donthe Lucas is accused of killing 21-year-old Kelsie Schelling. Kelsie found out Feb. 4, 2013 she was eight weeks pregnant. That was also the day she went missing. To this day, the body of Kelsie has not been recovered.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, media is in a separate room from the courtroom. Media watched the trial only from the witness stand and could not see Lucas, Kelsie’s family, jurors, defense or prosecution teams
Day 1, Feb. 3 began with opening statements on Wednesday.
The prosecution went through Kelsie and Lucas’ apparent rocky relationship, Kelsie’s pregnancy, her disappearance and the investigation that followed. Prosecutors told the court “this is not a missing person case, this is a homicide case.”
The prosecution also mentioned the video footage and bank records that appeared to show Lucas had her car and pulled out $400 from Kelsie’s account. The prosecution also stated Lucas’ DNA was found in Kelsie’s car once it was recovered, as well as a hair from his mother, Sara.
The defense came back saying there is no body, no crime scene, no weapon and no forensic evidence in this case.
Kelsie’s mother, Laura Saxton, testified shortly after as the first witness to take the stand. She described her understanding of Kelsie and Lucas’ relationship, when she found out her daughter was pregnant and the last time she saw her and heard from Kelsie. She also explained how she found out Kelsie went missing and the investigation that followed.
Another witness took the stand late Wednesday. He was a former inmate who was in jail with Lucas, and claimed the two were friends. The inmate testified paraphrasing what Lucas allegedly told him in jail, “they weren’t going to find the body” and “they weren’t going to convict him of it.”
Day 2, Feb 4 of trial was also the eight-year anniversary of Kelsie’s disappearance. Thursday was mostly testimony from Kelsie’s friends and college roommates. The five of her friends all described Kelsie before dating Lucas as bubbly and outgoing. Once Kelsie started dating Lucas, they all said her mood changed.
The friends testified saying Kelsie would show them her text messages with Lucas, claiming he called her names and sometimes he allegedly told Kelsie he did not want to keep the baby. One of the friends who lived close to Kelsie in downtown Denver before she disappeared said she saw texts from Lucas to Kelsie saying he “didn’t want the baby. If she were to have the baby, it would ruin his life.”
The friends also testified that Kelsie and Lucas appeared to fight and argue often. One roommate actually moved out of their college living space with Kelsie because she “couldn’t take their relationship anymore.”
Day 3, Feb 5 the prosecution brought in a former FBI agent who studied the phone records between Kelsie and Lucas, and their phone locations the night Kelsie disappeared.
His data showed Lucas and Kelsie’s phones apparently never left Pueblo. The phones reportedly pinged in some general areas, including the areas of Lucas’ mother’s house, Lucas’ grandmother’s house and the south side Walmart. But, the agent could not confirm with his data if the phones were ever together or not.
From the night Kelsie disappeared on Feb. 4, up until her phone shutoff three days later, the data apparently showed Kelsie and Lucas’ phones often still had messages and calls between them.
The defense did question the accuracy of his information, as he was the only person to take down this particular phone data.
The main CBI agent on Lucas’ case took the stand as well, who read through some of Kelsie and Lucas’ texts the day before Kelsie disappeared, Feb. 3. Lucas reportedly asked Kelsie to go on a road trip “south” but Kelsie said no because she had her OB appointment on Feb. 4, which is actually the day she did go missing.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS:
- Feb. 4, 2013: The last time Kelsie Schelling was seen.
- Feb. 5, 2013: Kelsie’s car was seen at several different locations. Lucas reportedly withdrew money from Kelsie’s bank account, according to investigators.
- Feb. 7, 2013: Someone is seen on surveillance video leaving Kelsie’s car in the parking lot of a hospital.
- Feb. 14, 2013: Police find Kelsie’s car
- Nov. 15, 2017: Lucas was arrested on robbery charges, not related to the Schelling case.
- April 12, 2017 Authorities start digging up the backyard of a home in connection to the Schelling case
- Dec. 1, 2017: Lucas is charged with murder
- Jan. 25, 2021: Trial for Lucas begins with jury selection
- Feb. 3, 2021: Opening statements in the trial for Lucas
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