Former college student, 20, pleads no contest to murder of 7th-grader ‘he had an improper relationship with’
David Eisenhauer, 20, pled ‘no contest’ to the 2016 murder of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell in Virginia court on Friday
Eisenhauer, then an 18-year-old student at Virginia Tech, killed Lovell because he was afraid she would expose the relationship he was having with the minor
The suspect was caught out by messages he sent someone, revealing he feared he got Lovell pregnant, and he had a romantic relationship with a 16-year-old girl,
He said he needed to hide a body, and confirmed that Lovell was dead in another post.
Lovell went missing after sneaking out of her house the night of January 27, 2016, her body was found in North Carolina three days later, with 14 stab wounds – her throat had been cut
On the fourth day of testimony in his trial, the suspect entered his plea to all three charges against him in the stabbing death of Nicole Lovell – first-degree murder, abduction and concealing a body
He faces the possibility of life in prison, plus 15 years at sentencing
His accomplice, Natalie Keepers, is being charged as an accessory, her trial is scheduled to start in Sept
David Eisenhauer, 20 [left], pled no contest to the murder of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell [right] in Virginia court on Friday. The motive was to stop the teen from exposing they were having a relationship
A former Virginia Tech student pleaded no contest Friday in the 2016 killing of a 13-year-old girl. David Eisenhauer, 20, entered his plea to all three charges against him in the stabbing death of Nicole Lovell: first-degree murder, abduction and concealing a body.
The plea came on the fourth day of testimony in his trial. Prosecutors told jurors Eisenhauer, then 18, killed Lovell, a 7th-grader from Blacksburg, because he was afraid she would expose his improper relationship with the underage girl.
David Eisenhauer escorted from court on Friday
Eisenhauer is accused of making a “secret date” with Nicole Lovell after meeting the teen through Kik, an instant messaging app. Nicole, a middle school student from Blacksburg, sneaked out of her bedroom window to meet Eisenhauer, who was then an engineering student at the nearby Virginia Tech campus.
On Jan. 27, 2016, Eisenhauer stabbed Nicole 14 times and cut her throat because he was worried his relationship with the underage girl would be exposed, prosecutors said.
A plea of no contest means a defendant acknowledges there’s enough evidence to convict him, but doesn’t admit he committed the crime. The plea has the same effect as a guilty plea. Sentencing is scheduled for May 22 and May 23.
After signing his plea agreement on Friday, prosecutors revealed what evidence they would have presented if the trial had panned out.
That included multiple conversations pulled from phones belonging to Eisenhauer and his alleged accomplice Natalie Keepers.
David Eisenhauer [photo] signing his no contest plea on Friday, in the killing of 7th grader Nicole Lovell in 2016. He now faces the possibility of life in prison, plus 15 years.
He revealed he feared that he got Lovell pregnant and that he had a romantic relationship with a 16-year-old girl.
He said in the message that he needed to hide a body, and confirmed that Lovell was dead in another post.
Prosecutors also obtained a message Lovell sent to Eisenhauer reading: ‘Dear David, you are my crush but I know you don’t think of me like that. I want to be in your life.’
The judge told Eisenhauer he faces up to life, plus 15 years.
Lovell’s anguished mother Tammy Weeks, [center], wept in court as Eisenhauer entered his no contest plea to her daughter’s murder on Friday
Keepers told police she and Eisenhauer talked about various ways to kill the girl and admitted she later helped dump her body in North Carolina after Eisenhauer stabbed her.
Keepers insists that she wasn’t present for the actual killing, but Eisenhauer’s lawyers suggested she was there and could have been the one who killed Lovell.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt told jurors that Nicole and Eisenhauer had been communicating through social media for months and had met at least once in person before Nicole climbed out her bedroom window for a ‘secret date’ with him just after midnight on January 27, 2016.
7-grader Nicole Lovell (left and right) went missing after sneaking out of her house the night of January 27, 2016 to meet the college student. Her body was found in North Carolina three days later, riddled with stab wounds
Prosecutors presented jurors with a piece of paper with the victim’s address on it, found in Eisenhauer’s dorm room.
They also presented evidence that Eisenhauer’s DNA was found under Lovell’s fingernails and her blood was found in the trunk of his car.
Eisenhauer’s alleged accomplice, Natalie Keepers [left], is being charged as an accessory and is awaiting a trial expected to start in September.
‘We all suffer with the loss of this little girl,’ Pettitt said.
‘I do hope that we have been able to do the best that the justice system can do to provide some resolution and some justice.’
Blacksburg Police Chief Anthony Wilson said Eisenhauer’s plea does not mean anyone won the case. ‘Truly, if we had won, we wouldn’t be in this room and Nicole would be at Blacksburg Middle School where she belongs,’ Wilson said.
During Eisenhauer’s trial, Weeks testified that she discovered her daughter was missing January 27, 2016, when she found a nightstand pushed up against her bedroom door and the window open. Prosecutors said Nicole climbed out her window to meet Eisenhauer. Her disappearance touched off a massive search.
Her mother testified that Nicole had a liver transplant when she was 10 months old and needed to take anti-rejection medication twice a day.
Nicole Lovell’s body was found three days later, just over the state line in North Carolina. A medical examiner testified that she had 14 stab wounds. Her throat had also been sliced.