On Tuesday, a judge sentenced an ex-Virginia Tech student, convicted in September of being an accessory before the fact in the grisly murder of Nicole Lovell, to 40-years in prison.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, David Eisenhauer, a former engineering student at Virginia Tech, 18 at the time, stabbed 13-year-old Nicole, of Blacksburg, at least 14 times. Keepers, originally from Laurel, Maryland, also a former engineering student at the university, confessed that she helped Eisenhauer plan out the murder in advance for close to a month.
Eisenhauer was sentenced in June to 50 years in prison after he pleaded no contest to charges including abduction and first-degree murder.
Natalie Keepers was sentenced to serve 40 years in prison for her role in the death of 13 year-old Nicole Lovell… she will then be under supervision for 10 years. pic.twitter.com/e5NALLbYrn
— Cynthia Beasley (@CynthiaABC13) November 27, 2018
The Associated Press, citing prosecutors, reported that Eisenhauer had been in contact with Lovell online since mid-December “before meeting at least once in person.” He claimed he may have “hooked up” with her at a party. Eisenhauer said he was too drunk to remember what happened, and woke up in a ditch the following morning.
They met up for a final time on January 27, 2016, when, according to authorities, Eisenhauer lured the victim to Craigs Creek Road near Virginia Tech and murdered her. Investigators discovered her nude and lifeless body on January 30, at the North Carolina state line near Highway 89, with a slit throat and covered in stab wounds.
Keepers said Eisenhauer apparently feared he may have accidentally gotten the 7th grade student pregnant. He also thought she she would expose their relationship. Further, according to authorities, Eisenhauer claimed the teen threatened to commit suicide if he stopped talking to her.
Keeper’s testimony provided gory and detailed allegations against Eisenhauer, including the manner by which he slit the girl’s throat.
According to The Roanoke Times, the judge handed down the 40-year sentence to Keepers following a “jury’s recommendation.” The defendant declined to speak before she was sentenced.
[Feature photo: Nicole Lovell, David Eisenhauer and Natalie Keepers/Handout and Montgomery County Police Department]