Week three of Donthe Lucas trial underway: Kelsie Schelling’s team expected to wrap up case soon
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.
Click here for week 1 details.
Click here for week 2 details.
Day 9, March 1: In previous testimony, we learned Lucas’ phone pinged in the area of the south side landfill the night after Kelsie’s disappearance.
A landfill employee testified Monday that on that night, their lock was tampered with and had “two gouges” on it. Landfill surveillance showed headlights near the landfill, but did not show a car or people. No one was able to get through the gate by car, but it’s unsure if anyone got through by foot.
A law enforcement landfill expert testified today that there were not enough details of Kelsie’s disappearance to attempt a search of the landfill. In his 200 searches of landfills across the country, 190 of them have found evidence.
Lots of evidence was presented in court Monday, including photos of Kelsie’s car where it was abandoned at St. Mary Corwin, the items found in her car (iPhone charger and bag of tissues) and swabs of the door handles, steering wheel and gear shift. The Pueblo Police Department reported two white stains in Kelsie’s trunk as well.
CBI testified taking DNA samples from Donthe Lucas, Sara Lucas (his mother), one of his younger sisters and Laura Saxton (Kelsie’s mom). A forensic examiner explained today how mothers and their children have the same mitochondrial DNA.
4 strands of hair were reportedly found in Kelsie’s car, two in the trunk, two in front passenger floor area. Forensic examination found one strand matched that of Laura Saxton, which could also match Kelsie. Another strand matched that of Sara Lucas, which could also match Donthe.
Day 10, March 2: A girl testified Tuesday that when she was 13 years old in April 2013 (two months after Kelsie went missing), her and her family set up posters of Kelsie around her neighborhood, which was also apparently the neighborhood Sara Lucas lived in. She said they put up a poster on a tree near Sara’s house, Donthe Lucas saw and asked them to leave. The girl testified Sara came home, “threatened her family” and called the police. The signs apparently said nothing about Donthe, only Kelsie.
Many forensic examiners took the stand Tuesday, giving details of a handprint on Kelsie’s headrest, dirt found in Kelsie’s car and two white stains in her trunk.
We learned in previous testimony, Lucas bought a one-way ticket to Arizona (where his alleged girlfriend lived) about two weeks before he was ultimately charged with Kelsie’s murder. American Airlines testified that Lucas bought the ticket the day before the flight, but Lucas ended up being arrested at the airport for an unrelated robbery charge. While in jail for that charge, he was charged with murder.
Two girls took the stand today, one girl and her family lived in Lucas’ grandmother’s house in 2017 (Lucas’ family no longer lived there). They testified that in April 2017 Lucas showed up to the house, knocked on the door and said he knew someone that used to live there. At this time, officials were digging up the backyard in relation to Kelsie’s case. Both girls said the interaction was brief, but it appeared Lucas was looking into the backyard.
Day 11, March 3: Wednesday we learned a witness who was going to testify for the prosecution was shot and killed in Denver.
A woman testified that in 2016, she had a relationship with Lucas to potentially get information out of him. She said Lucas eventually proposed to her and they were romantically involved, but said she was playing a part. She said she never fell in love with Lucas and that the relationship was organized by her and her friend, who was apparently in contact with Kelsie’s mom.
This woman testified Lucas admitted to her about being on the surveillance footage of driving Kelsie’s car to Walmart and dropping it off at St. Mary Corwin, where it was ultimately discovered. She said she told CBI all of the information she had, but ultimately ended the relationship with Lucas in 2017.
Day 12, March 4: There were discussions between the judge and 4 jurors who reported they saw some sort of news coverage on Wednesday. After brief pause, trial proceeds as normal.
Played in court Thursday was the hours-long, emotional interview between police and Lucas just days before he was ultimately arrested for Kelsie’s murder in 2017.
Pueblo police tried getting anything out of him, but Lucas would not admit anything. Detectives would say things like “only you, Kelsie and God know what happened.” Lucas was very emotional saying Kelsie was his best friend and he didn’t know what happened to her. This kind of conversation went on for hours.
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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