Tech student found guilty of helping friend plot murder of secret 13-year-old girlfriend
The student, identified as Natalie Keepers, was closely involved in assisting 21-year-old David Eisenhauer, to plan the murder of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell.
A 21-year-old former Virginia Tech student has reportedly been found guilty of being an accessory to a first-degree murder after she helped her friend plot the murder of his 13-year-old secret girlfriend.
The student, identified as Natalie Keepers, was closely involved in assisting 21-year-old David Eisenhauer, to plan the murder of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell, according to prosecutors. Reports state that Keepers went with him to "buy a shovel" and helped him "pick out the location for the murder" of his secret online girlfriend, according to the Daily Mail.
The jury is deliberating on Keepers’ sentence. It can be anywhere from 20-life. pic.twitter.com/8zzhqcFv46— Cynthia Beasley (@CynthiaABC13) September 21, 2018
A series of text messages also showed that Keepers was closely discussing the methods to kill Lovell with Eisenhauer.
Keepers' lawyers, however, have argued that she never believed that Eisenhauer was actually planning to kill Lovell and that she was "just playing along with his fantasy." Keepers has pleaded not guilty to being an accessory before the fact.
Attorney Kris Olin reportedly said that his client never met the victim but "loved being part of the plan, not because it was a plan to murder but because it was a plan to be close to David." Olin, while addressing the jury, said that "playing along" was not the same thing as "shared intent," arguing that she should not be charged.
“I have no words to adequately describe my sorrow for your family,” Tim Keepers’ said to Nicole Lovells’ family. Keepers’ parents asked for mercy from the jury. They say they pray for Lovells’ entire family. pic.twitter.com/b45Kazz8m3— Cynthia Beasley (@CynthiaABC13) September 21, 2018
A jury, however, found Keepers guilty on Thursday, who reportedly spent most of the hearing with her head down.
Reports state that Keepers and Eisenhauer were both freshmen engineering students at Virginia Tech, at the time, they plotted the murder and killed the victim, while Lovell was a student at the Blacksburg middle school.
Eisenhauer has now been charged with first-degree murder after he pleaded no contest and is now serving a 50-year prison sentence, according to reports.
A Blacksburg police detective and an FBI agent were the first witnesses to testify against Keepers as they showed multiple video clips from the interviews they took of Keepers during questioning.
“I’m so sorry, I wish I could have stopped it,” Natalie Keepers said to Nicole Lovells’s family. She said she cries for them every night. “I never intended for this to happen,” she said. pic.twitter.com/zCdtJk1Rtd— Cynthia Beasley (@CynthiaABC13) September 21, 2018
Keepers, in one of the videos, can be seen giving a detailed account of how Eisenhauer stabbed Lovell to death in the woods, saying: "He wanted me there to help. He wanted me to help kill her." She, however, has denied being present at the scene during the time of the stabbing.
"He was bouncing so many ideas, off my head, I couldn't keep track of them all," she said. "He was the one who officially developed the plan."