Donthe Lucas found guilty of murdering pregnant woman Kelsie Schelling in Colorado
PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - A Colorado man was found guilty of first-degree murder eight years after his pregnant girlfriend disappeared.
The jury came to the guilty verdict on Monday for Donthe Lucas. Lucas was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. To date, the body of Schelling has not been found.
“I don’t know what my life looks like going forward,” Laura Saxton, the mother of Schelling said immediately after the sentencing. “It’s going to take me a long time to figure things out... please keep searching... if you’re out hiking, she could be found and brought home and have the proper burial for her.”
You can hear everything Saxton had to say in a video at the top of this article. Saxton starts speaking at about 5:10 into the video.
Kelsie was 21 when she found out on Feb. 4, 2013, she was eight weeks pregnant. That was also the day she went missing when she was on her way from Denver to Pueblo to discuss the pregnancy with Lucas.
The prosecution focused on surveillance footage, cell phone records, and cell phone pings for their case. The prosecution called dozens of witnesses from investigators to friends and family of Schelling. The prosecution rested its case on Friday.
“The word bubbly was used by I think every friend of hers that got on the stand,” Saxton said of her daughter Kelsie. “She was very bubbly, very spirited, very softhearted, silly, very very silly, funny, huge heart. She was just a tiny little thing. But she was just so full of life. I just miss everything about her.”
The defense team chose not to call any witnesses, pointing to the fact Schelling’s remains have never been found throughout the trial. The trial lasted about three weeks, with a two-week delay at one point during the trial due to COVID-19 concerns.
Lucas wasn’t charged with murder until December of 2017 when he was in jail on robbery charges not tied to Schelling. The trial was pushed back multiple times for a number of reasons before it started with jury selection on Jan. 25 of this year.
“There were times I thought we would never get to trial,” Saxton stated. “That’s how dire things seemed. But I just didn’t want to give up. I couldn’t give up on Kelsie,”
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
-March 8, 2021: Lucas was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
This is a developing story and this article will be updated.
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