Text exchanges shared during trial of man accused of murdering Kelsie Schelling

Local News

PUEBLO, Colo. — Donthe Lucas returned to a Pueblo County courtroom on Monday. He is charged with the 2013 murder of Kelsie Schelling. Lucas has pleaded not guilty to the crime.

Among the witnesses to take the stand last week, were Laura Saxton, Schelling’s mother, and Ryan Rivera, an inmate who was housed with Lucas for some time.

Rivera told the court that Lucas said Schelling’s body would never be found.

Saxton spoke of a tumultuous relationship between her daughter and Lucas, a point confirmed by Schelling’s friends, who also testified last week. One friend said Schelling had told her Lucas had been physically abusive. The judge initially ruled that information inadmissable, but later allowed it to be included in testimony.

On Monday, the court was able to see argumentative texts exchanged between Schelling and Lucas on the last night Schelling was seen alive. Court was also shown texts between Lucas and his mother, Sarah Lucas, that same evening.

Lucas told his mother Schelling, who’d recently discovered she was pregnant, had miscarried.

The pregnancy was, according to Saxton and Schelling’s friends, a point of contention between the two.

On Monday, additional witnesses were called to the stand.

A domestic violence expert, speaking in generalities, said pregnancies can cause further turmoil in abusive relationships because the victim’s attention moves to the baby.

Lucas told the detective that he and Kelsie went to Parkview Medical Center on Feb. 5, stating Kelsie had a miscarriage. According to Lucas, he last spoke to Kelsie over the phone, from a private number, on Feb. 9, which he left this out to Sinnema.

Kelsie’s brother Colby took the stand before the days’ end; he said about a week after Kelsie went missing, he went to Lucas’s mother’s house with Pueblo Police asking about Kelsie.

“He was very disengaged and disinterested in the matter,” Colby said of Lucas. Prosecutors asked about harassment Donthe received from the Facebook page he and his wife created in reaction to Kelsie’s disappearance. Colby said he hadn’t because he hadn’t been looking at the page.

At the outset of the trial, the judge issued a decorum which does not allow media to record audio or video, take still pictures, or live report (i.e., reporters may not tweet information from inside the courthouse).

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