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Jury selected in Kelsie Schelling case, opening statements set for Wednesday

Donthe Lucas is charged with first-degree murder in connection to the disappearance of 21-year-old Kelsie Schelling in 2013.

PUEBLO, Colo. — Jury selection was completed Tuesday in the trial of Donthe Lucas, who was arrested more than three years ago in the murder of his pregnant girlfriend, Kelsie Schelling.

The jury selection process in the Schelling case began on Jan. 25 in Pueblo Combined Court. On Tuesday, 12 jurors and four alternates were sworn in before the court went into recess. Jurors will report at 8 a.m. Wednesday for opening statements.

The trial is scheduled to continue through March 1.

> Video above from Jan. 25: Jury selection begins for Kelsie Schelling case.

Schelling, 21, went missing on Feb. 4, 2013, a day after she sent a photograph to Lucas of her eight-week ultrasound. She then drove from Denver, where she lived, to Pueblo to meet Lucas at a Walmart.

According to Pueblo Crime Stoppers, cellphone records showed that she arrived at the Walmart. Surveillance video showed her vehicle was parked there until the morning of Feb. 6, when an unidentified male picked up the vehicle and drove away.

Schelling was never seen or heard from again.

RELATED: New searches in Kelsie Schelling disappearance prompted by 'recent leads'

Schelling was presumed to be dead. In the years after her disappearance, police conducted several searches, but her body was not found.

The case received national media attention in the midst of pleas from her family for information and her safe return.

Authorities had long classified Lucas, 28, as a potential suspect in Schelling's disappearance. A judge signed an warrant for his arrest in December 2017, when he was already in custody as a suspect in a Pueblo robbery.

Lucas pleaded not guilty to Schelling's murder in August 2018. His trial date was scheduled several times and then postponed.

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At a hearing the week before jury selection began, the trial was almost postponed again when Lucas' attorneys said they had information on the case; however, the defense team made it clear they were moving forward with the trial.

Donthe Lucas