CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) — A jury found a former Virginia Tech student guilty Thursday for her role in the death of a 13-year-old girl two years ago.
Jurors will return to court Friday to hear statements and decide on a sentence for Natalie Keepers, The Roanoke Times reported.
Keepers, from Laurel, Maryland, was charged as an accessory in the 2016 fatal stabbing of Nicole Lovell. Keepers and friend David Eisenhauer, from Columbia, Maryland, were both freshmen engineering students at the time of the killing. Lovell was a Blacksburg middle school student.
Now 21, Keepers pleaded guilty to concealing Lovell’s body but denied helping Eisenhauer plan the killing, as prosecutors allege.
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Eisenhauer is serving a 50-year sentence after pleading no contest earlier this year to first-degree murder. Prosecutors said Eisenhauer met Lovell online and talked to her for months before meeting her in person. They said he killed her because he feared she would expose their relationship.
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. She insisted 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.
A medical examiner testified that Lovell had 14 stab wounds, including a lethal wound to her neck. Her remains were left beside a highway in North Carolina near the Virginia border.
Information from: The Roanoke Times, http://www.roanoke.com