Crime

Donthe Lucas trial possibly delayed

PUEBLO, Colo. - On Monday, a status conference for accused killer Donthe Lucas was held in Pueblo.

Lucas is accused in the disappearance and death of 21-year-old Kelsie Schelling, who was reportedly pregnant with his child when she went missing in February 2013.

Schelling has never been found. Lucas was arrested in December 2017 for her death, and is now awaiting trial.

The trial is expected to be pushed back due to the large amount of evidence and witnesses involved.

"I don't anticipate that we'll be going to trial at that date," said Guillermo Garibay, Lucas' lead defense attorney. "We haven't filed the motion yet but we just received the additional endorsement of 125 witnesses."

Though Kelsie's mom Laura Saxton is happy to hear there are more witnesses coming forward, the possibility of another delay is torture.

"It's hard because I feel like we were already waiting a long time just to get to this April date," Saxton said. "So the prospect of having to wait, I don't know, another six months or whatever, is depressing. I'm not going to lie. It's really depressing."

Saxton explains what it's like seeing Lucas again.

"I always hope he doesn't look very good when he walks through the door," she said. "I'd like to think that he's having sleepless nights, that he is at least half as miserable than I am."

She said he didn't seem as arrogant as last time he was in court.

"Last time I thought he looked irritated, that we were wasting his time," she said. "Today he didn't seem quite as arrogant acting the way I thought he did the last time."

Saxton also said she has been following the case of Kelsey Berreth, another missing Colorado woman whose partner was also arrested. Berreth's body has not been found either. 

"I see the similarities, even them both being Kelsie," Saxton said. "I just wish both our girls could be found."

Saxton also said her heart is broken for their family, and though she hasn't reached out, she is considering it.

"They seem like they need their time, if they ever wanted to, I'd be willing to," Saxton said. "I don't want to push myself on them."

The defense filed a motion for change of venue, but the judge said Monday he's not inclined to grant that request. He said he feels like he would be able to seat an unbiased jury. 

The official ruling will be made in Lucas' next court appearance, the motions hearing set for February 7. Both parties expect it to last longer than the two scheduled days.  


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