The Latest: Hundreds mourn slain 13-year-old at funeral

AP News
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Posted: Feb 04, 2016 7:44 PM
The Latest: Hundreds mourn slain 13-year-old at funeral

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — The Latest on charges against two Virginia Tech students in the death of a 13-year-old girl (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Several hundred people have paid their final respects to a 13-year-old Virginia girl fatally stabbed last month.

Mourners for Nicole Lovell's funeral Thursday afternoon filled McCoy Funeral Home's parking lot and spilled over to an office building next door. The service lasted about 30 minutes.

At least a dozen police cars parked alongside the street, eventually escorting the funeral procession and blocking traffic to allow drivers to get through an intersection.

Two Virginia Tech students have been charged in Nicole's death.

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1:45 p.m.

The parents of one of two Virginia Tech students charged in the death of a 13-year-old girl gave emotional testimony during her bail hearing.

On Thursday, Tim and Sara Keepers spoke during the hearing for 19-year-old Natalie Keepers. Tim Keepers teared up as he told the judge his daughter wanted to follow in his footsteps an aerospace engineer.

Sara Keepers, an X-ray technician, called her daughter's situation devastating. She said she knew her daughter and fellow student David Eisenhauer were friends, but nothing stood out. Eisenhauer is charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder. Keepers is charged with improper disposal of a body and accessory before and after the fact in the commission of a felony.

Keepers' parents said that if she were released on bail, their daughter would be under constant supervision. But bail was denied.

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1:20 p.m.

A prosecutor says two Virginia Tech students plotted to kill a 13-year-old girl and hide her body.

Montgomery County Commonwealth's Attorney Mary Pettitt revealed details about the accusations against 18-year-old David Eisenhauer and 19-year-old Natalie Keepers at a Thursday hearing. Until then, details about 13-year-old Nicole Lovell's death had been scarce.

Pettit says Eisenhauer and Keepers met at a fast-food restaurant to plan how they'd kill Nicole, and drove past her home. Pettit says they bought cleaning supplies at one Wal-Mart and a shovel at another.

Pettitt says Eisenhauer planned to cut Nicole's throat at a remote location. Pettit says the pair put the body in the back of a Lexus. Pettit says authorities found a weapon, but she didn't describe it.

Pettitt didn't give a possible motive or describe how the killing was carried out; instead she detailed only the pair's plans.

She says Eisenhauer first denied involvement in killing Nicole but admitted to driving to her home. Pettit says he also admitted that he saw her climb out of her window, and she says he greeted her with a side hug and then brought her to Keepers.

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12:55 p.m.

A Virginia Tech student who is charged in the death of a 13-year-old girl was a cutter as early as eighth grade, was taking medication for anxiety problems, and was seeing a counselor on campus for treatment.

Those details came to light during an hourlong bail hearing Thursday for 19-year-old Natalie Keepers. She's charged with being an accessory before and after the death of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell.

Keepers described some of her problems in her own words. Her father also was questioned, and he described her having an appendectomy sometime in the fall. He said fellow student 18-year-old David Eisenhauer took her to the hospital. He's accused of kidnapping and fatally stabbing Nicole.

Keepers also said she's not getting her full medication and is gluten intolerant and can't eat jail food.

At the hearing's end, bail was denied for Keepers.

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12:20 p.m.

A judge has denied bail for a Virginia Tech student charged with being an accessory in the death of a 13-year-old girl.

Nineteen-year-old Natalie Keepers appeared in court for an hourlong hearing Thursday. She wore an orange jumpsuit, her wrists cuffed and ankles shackled. She looked down as she entered but answered Judge Robert Viar Jr.'s questions clearly and without emotion.

Defense attorneys argued that they needed Keepers released to prepare for her case. They suggested she's under duress and being held in isolation. Prosecutors argued that the accusations over 13-year-old Nicole Lovell's death are reason enough to keep Keepers behind bars.

Keepers' parents attended and held hands at they left.

Fellow student 18-year-old David Eisenhauer also is charged in the death; he's accused of kidnapping and fatally stabbing Nicole. Keepers is charged with being an accessory before and after the crime, and she's accused of helping to hide Nicole's body.

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4:20 a.m.

Less than a year ago, David Eisenhauer smiled confidently into a television news camera, discussing his athletic and academic aspirations for a weekly feature on high school athletes in the Baltimore area.

Now the subject of sensational murder charges that have shocked those who know him, his university campus and the nation, Eisenhauer remains an enigma, the mystery compounded by his statement to police after his arrest: "I believe the truth can set me free."

According to police, Eisenhauer, an 18-year-old freshman engineering student and a distance runner on the track team at Virginia Tech, kidnapped and fatally stabbed a 13-year-old girl. Another freshman, 19-year-old Natalie Keepers, is charged with being an accessory before and after the crime, and helping to hide Nicole Lovell's body off a state highway in North Carolina, two hours south of campus.