ABC’s ’20/20: Kelsie Schelling,’ as the title suggests, is an episode that chronicles the 2013 disappearance and murder of 21-year-old Kelsie Schelling from Denver, Colorado. The young woman had driven down to Pueblo on February 4, 2013, to meet with her boyfriend, Donthe Lucas, after sharing the news of her pregnancy, never to be seen or heard from again. And even though investigators were unable to locate her body or a crime scene, by late 2017, they had managed to gather enough evidence to charge Donthe for her murder. So, let’s find out more about where he is today, shall we?
Who is Donthe Lucas?
In 2011, when Kelsie Schelling enrolled in Northeastern Junior College, she met and began dating Donthe Isiah Lucas. As freshmen, while she was a psychology student, he was an athlete who dreamed of being a professional basketball player. Initially, their relationship seemed idyllic. But soon, Kelsie started confiding in her friends that her boyfriend was physically abusive and exhibited other toxic behavioral traits. Her mother, Laura Saxton, also knew about their tumultuous alliance. However, even when the two moved away to pursue their respective careers, they continued dating – up until the moment Kelsie disappeared.
For years, Donthe maintained that he had nothing to do with Kelsie’s disappearance and had no idea where she could be. Yet, in November 2017, he confessed to being the one who had abandoned her vehicle at the St. Mary-Corwin hospital, where it was eventually found. Apart from that, there is also CCTV footage that shows him driving Kelsie’s car and withdrawing $400 from her bank account the morning after she vanished. When all this got combined with Donthe’s former home catching fire just weeks after officers searched it for evidence, he was charged and arrested for his former girlfriend’s mysterious murder.
Where is Donthe Lucas Now?
Donthe Isiah Lucas pleaded not guilty to the charge against him in 2018. Therefore, after many delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he stood trial for the same in early 2021. During the hearings, while the defense called upon no witnesses, the prosecutors invited Kelsie’s friends, family members, investigators, along with other experts to take the stands and highlight how Donthe could have slain Kelsie. An officer stated that they believed Donthe strangled Kelsie. But their star witness, who would have allegedly testified that Donthe confessed the killing to her, couldn’t make it to court as she was shot to death just days before.
Nevertheless, after just three hours of deliberation, on March 8, 2021, a 12-member jury found him guilty of first-degree murder, and the judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. This verdict came after the prosecutors shined a light on Donthe’s relationship with Kelsie and argued that he lured her to Pueblo to kill her after learning about the pregnancy. The defense’s strategy, though, was to contend how this case was “the biggest stretch in Colorado history” as there was no body, no crime scene, and no DNA evidence against Donthe.
Ultimately, after hearing the prosecutors say that “the most intimate and personal way to extinguish a life is wrapping two hands around a person’s neck – gripping their trachea, restricting their air, restricting their oxygen,” the jury agreed with their arguments. After all, this way, there would be no physical evidence left behind. Thus, today, at the age of 28, Donthe Isiah Lucas, or inmate 190792, is incarcerated in the Centennial Correctional Facility in Canon City. According to the State Department of Corrections records, because Donthe is to spend the rest of his natural life behind bars, his estimated sentence discharge date is December 31, 9998.
Read More: Where is Kelsie Schelling’s Mother Now?