After his defense rested without calling a single witness, Donthe Lucas was found guilty by a Colorado jury in the murder of his pregnant girlfriend in February 2013, the Denver Channel reports.
Kelsie Schelling, then 21, vanished on February 4, 2013, after meeting up with Lucas, the likely father of her unborn child, at a Walmart in Denver, as CrimeOnline reported.
Security footage showed the two meeting at Walmart, and days later, Schelling’s car was found abandoned at St Mary-Corwin hospital.
Lucas told investigators that he went with Schelling to the hospital for a pregnancy check-up, but there is no record of that happening. Authorities said there were numerous inconsistencies and contradictions in Lucas’s story.
Lucas also allegedly said that he met Schelling at the Walmart at 9:30 a.m., but security footage showed Schelling arriving in her car during the afternoon. Further, Lucas said Schelling got out of the car at Walmart to buy chips, but security footage showed just one person exiting the car: a male wearing a red hoodie who left the car unattended for 18 hours.
Lucas told detectives that he wasn’t in a romantic relationship with Schelling, but her best friend, Laura Saxton, took the stand and claimed the pair had a tumultuous relationship.
Saxton testified that she met up with Lucas to talk about Schelling after her disappearance. Lucas reportedly said Schelling was only a “best friend” that he did cocaine with. Lucas also allegedly admitted that he was the one who moved Schelling’s car from Walmart to the hospital.
Yet, according to Saxton, Lucas never admitted to hurting Schelling. Instead, he would break down and cry when her name was mentioned.
Another witness, Roxann Martinez, never made it to the trial. She was scheduled to testify for the prosecution and was reportedly going to testify that Lucas told her he killed Schelling. But Martinez was found dead from a gunshot wound on February 25 in Denver. Detectives are still investigating the murder.
The lead investigator from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation theorized that Lucas likely strangled Schelling, which would explain why no murder weapon was found.
Lucas’s defense had been expected to call witnesses Monday, but instead his attorney rested the case. The jury deliberated for less than three hours before delivering the verdict.
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[Feature Photo: Kelsie Schelling/Police Handout]