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Former jail inmate says Donthe Lucas claimed Kelsie Schelling’s body would never be found

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- Years after Donthe Lucas' arrest following the disappearance of his pregnant girlfriend, Kelsie Schelling, jurors are hearing the case against him in court Wednesday.

Lucas is accused of killing Schelling and has been charged with first-degree murder. Schelling, 21, went missing in 2013 after driving from Denver to Pueblo to see Lucas. Schelling's body hasn't been found.

Opening statements were set to begin just after 8 a.m. Wednesday, and KRDO's Dan Beedie is in the courtroom gathering information as the trial takes place. Court rules state that no outside communication can happen inside the courtroom, but we will update this article with new details when they're available. Follow below:

4 p.m.: In a bombshell revelation, prosecutors called a former Pueblo County Jail inmate who claims that Donthe Lucas said investigators would never find Kelsie Schelling's body.

Prosecutors called Ryan Rivera, who testified that when he was in jail with Lucas, Lucas claimed that investigators would never find Schelling's body and that they would never convict him.

3 p.m.: Laura Saxton, Kelsie Schelling's mother, recalled the last time she saw her daughter, which was eight years ago as of Tuesday. She said she told her she loved her.

On Feb. 4, 2013, Saxton said she called Kelsie's phone several times but didn't get an answer. She said she received text messages, but they were curt and short, which was unlike Kelsie.

Saxton said she told Lucas that she didn't care if they were together or apart, but she told him "there is a child involved now." Lucas said that he would help support the baby, according to Saxton.

Saxton testified that she wasn't happy with the Pueblo Police Department's investigation, saying they weren't willing to coordinate with her on searches to try and find Kelsie. She reached out to a private investigator, but they were also stonewalled by PPD.

11:55 a.m.: Laura Saxton, Kelsie Schelling's mother, was the first witness called to the stand by prosecutors.

However, due to technical difficulties, nobody in the public or the reporters pool could see or hear what was said or asked. We're working on getting clarification on that issue.

10:50 a.m.: Opening statements wrapped up from prosecutors and Donthe Lucas' defense.

Prosecutors told jurors, "This is not a missing persons case ... it is a homicide case," before saying that they are certain they'll be able to prove she was killed.

However, Lucas' defense team called the trial "the biggest reach in Pueblo's history," saying that prosecutors didn't have a weapon, cause of death, location of the murder, or location of the body.

Prosecutors told jurors that Lucas was trying to get Schelling to Pueblo and sent her a text message saying he had a surprise for her. Later, when Schelling's car was recovered, Lucas' DNA and a strand of his mother's hair were discovered inside.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story said Rivera testified that Lucas specifically admitted to killing Kelsie Schelling. This article has been updated, and we apologize for the error.

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