A two-day motions hearing in the Donthe Lucas case has been extended to June 13 and 14.
Lucas is charged with first-degree murder in relation to the February 2013 disappearance of 21-year-old Kelsie Schelling. He has pleaded not guilty to the crime.
On Friday, Pueblo District Court Judge Thomas Flesher was asked to determine if the identification of Lucas coming back to his grandmother’s old house can be used at trial.
Three witnesses took the stand, including lead investigator CBI Agent Kevin Torres.
He told the judge on April 7, 2017, the new owners of the south Pueblo home where Lucas used to live called police after an African-American man came to their home asking if he could look at the backyard.
Torres said two family members were shown a picture of Lucas through a photo message, where he was identified.
Days later, law enforcement showed a family friend, who was inside the home during the encounter, a photo lineup. The friend identified Lucas.
The defense argued the validity of the identification and said the family knew who Lucas was prior to the alleged encounter, due to the popularity of the case and previous searches of the home. They also questioned the way the lineup was conducted, indicating it may have been suggestive in nature.
Prosecutors told the judge the family’s prior knowledge of the case shouldn’t affect the judge’s ruling.
The house in question is located at Manor Ridge. It’s where investigators believe Lucas strangled Schelling to death.
The judge has yet to make an official ruling on the motion.
There’s no word yet on whether the new hearing date will affect the July 30 trial date.
“I just hope it happens in July,” said Laura Saxton, Kelsie’s mother. “I am tired of waiting.”
Schelling’s parents have doubled their standing reward for the location of their daughter’s remains from $50,000 to $100,000.