Trial set to begin against man accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend Kelsie Schelling

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PUEBLO, Colo. — The Pueblo District Attorney Jeff Chostner confirms the Donthe Lucas trial will begin Monday. Jury selection begins at 9 a.m. 

Lucas is charged with first-degree murder in relation to the February 2013 disappearance of then 21-year-old Kelsie Schelling. He has pleaded not guilty to the crime.

Lucas was Schelling’s boyfriend at the time she went missing. Schelling was eight weeks pregnant and her body has never been found. 

In a hearing Friday, both the prosecution and the defendant’s lawyers agreed new information presented on Thursday in another hearing is not important enough to delay the trial any further.

Prosecutors told Pueblo District Court Judge Thomas Flesher in 2018 there are no digital footprints to indicate Schelling is alive. They also said Schelling’s pregnancy was “the gasoline to the fire” and the reason why Lucas committed the crime.

Lucas’ lawyers have argued the prosecution was only presenting a theory and there’s no evidence proving Schelling is dead. Lucas is being held without bond.

“Hopefully going through this long process, at some point is going to lead us to where she is,” Laura Saxton, Kelsie’s mom said.  “We hope we don’t come out  on the other end and still don’t have her back. We don’t feel that Donthe should get away with this, but that’s secondary to finding Kelsie.  that’s still our biggest hope and our biggest desire is that we’ll be able to bring her home.”    

In 2019, Kelsie’s mother and father doubled their standing reward for the location of their daughter’s remains from $50,000 to $100,000 in honor of the month of Kelsie’s disappearance as well as her birthday.

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