PUEBLO, Colo. — The man accused in the 2013 murder of Kelsie Schelling returned to a Pueblo courtroom on Friday. At the outset of 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).
FOX21’s Brandon Thompson has been following the trial of Donthe Lucas this week. Lucas is charged with first degree murder in the death of Kelsie Schelling. Schelling’s mother and friends, who have taken the stand this week, have described a volatile on-again off-again relationship between Lucas and Schelling, which soured when Schelling became pregnant.
Schelling was last seen in the parking lot of a Pueblo Walmart in February of 2013. Her body was never found.
Lucas was arrested in connection with Schelling’s death in 2017, but his trial was delayed multiple times.
On Friday, Schelling’s friend from beauty school, Bobbi Larimar testified that Lucas emotionally abused Schelling.
On Thursday, despite an earlier decision by the judge to make the information inadmissible, another friend of Schelling was allowed to testify about physical abuse by Luas, which she’d only been told about – but did not witness.
The judge reminded the jury not to make decisions about Lucas in this case on the basis of allegations.
And on Friday, the court took a close look at the Schelling and Lucas’ cell phone records, beginning on the afternoon of February 4, 2013. Schelling drove down to Pueblo that evening and was not seen again.
According to pings made by Schelling’s phone, she contacted Lucas and another friend during her drive south from Aurora. Late that night, after 11 p.m., Schelling’s cell phone was in the area of the southside Walmart in Pueblo.
Records also show Lucas called his mother sometime around 11 p.m. from the area near the southside Walmart and/or his grandmother’s home on Manor Ridge.
Much later, around 4 a.m., two calls were made from Lucas’ phone to Schelling’s. An expert in court Friday said both of their phones pinged at towers off Highway 78, meaning neither phone could be in the area of the southside Walmart. It also excluded the phones from locations at or near Lucas’ mother’s house on West Mesa Avenue and his grandmother’s home – two locations Lucas frequented.
After a bit of movement over the next several days, Schelling’s phone was powered down, for good, by February 8.
There was no indication, based on his cell phone records, that Lucas left Pueblo during that period of time.
During the years following Schelling’s disappearance, the home on Manor Ridge was searched, but no break was made in the case.
Stay with FOX21 News as we continue to follow this case.