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Recordings played during Keepers hearing in Montgomery County

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY (WSLS 10) - Police talked to Natalie Keepers for more than 24 hours over the course of two days and it's all on video or audio recordings, according to testimony at her hearing on Tuesday.

Keepers was very detailed in the chain of events she explained. She said she was trying to be very helpful to investigators in her conversations with them.

Futhermore, she maintained she was not present when Nicole Lovell was killed and she reiterated that David Eisenhauer forced her to help.

On Tuesday, it was heard how Keepers said Eisenhower stabbed Nicole Lovell.

Recordings also detailed Keepers explaining how Eisenhauer made up a code in the event she was in police custody. She said Eisenhower wanted her to give him a 24-hour head start because she knew he was planning on running and changing his identity.

If she received one phone call, Keepers told police the code would be for her to call him and talk about vomiting or the first time they met.

A lot of the evidence played out through Keepers' statements to police is what the defense is seeking to have suppressed.

On cross-examination from a defense attorney Kris Olin asked Blacksburg Detective Ryan Hite if police would have found the murder scene without Keepers' statement.

Hite responded, "they would have, but she sped up that process." He went on to explain investigators had a lot of GPS information from David Eisenhauer's vehicle.

Hite also said they also would have found out about Keepers alleged involvement at the murder scene because Eisenhauer named her, but forensically he could not answer the question because he said he was not sure what evidence has come back.

The motion hearing will resume Wednesday morning at 8:30 am.


MONTGOMERY COUNTY (WSLS 10) - Prosecutors spent much of Tuesday morning playing video and audio recordings during motions hearings for Natalie Keepers.

Many of the recordings detail how she wanted to help police in the investigation following the 2016 disappearance of Nicole Lovell.

Keepers said David Eisenhower forced her to help him and was detailed in her description of the chain of events.

Blacksburg Detective Ryan Hite testified Keepers always maintained she was not present during the killing of Lovell.

The first recordings played Tuesday were taken while police thought Keepers was an alibi witness for Eisenhauer and not "in custody," police said.

At one point, Keepers told investigators that she assumed the Lovell's family knew. She asked, "Will my name be mentioned? I don't want, like any angry parents coming out."

She went in to explain how Eisenhauer asked her to "give him 24-hour headstart" if police questioned her. "Because I know he was planning on running and changing his identity. An escape plan," she said.

He even made up a code, she said. "If I get one phone call," she was recorded saying, "talk about vomiting or the first time we met."


Update: Keeper's defense team has filed five motions.

They've asked the judge to allow keepers to wear her civilian clothing as well as allowing her to have a gluten free diet.

The defense also asked for the police department's training material.

The judge ruled Keepers can wear her civilian clothing but threw out the training material request.

The last motion filed is to move the case to a different venue. They claim the media coverage and the closeness in time to the trial of the other suspect in the case, David Eisenhauer, could create a problem.


MONTGOMERY COUNTY (WSLS 10) - It's been nearly a year since the death of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell and today's motions hearing will give us a preview of what we can expect when Natalie Keepers goes on trial in late March.

When Nicole was last seen at her home at the Lantern Ridge Apartments in Blacksburg on January 27, Virginia State Police issued an endangered child alert.

Law enforcement, the FBI, and members of the Virginia Tech Cadets looked for her on land and by air for four days.

On January 30, Blacksburg police charged 18-year-old David Eisenhauer in his dorm with the abduction and disappearance of Nicole.

Later that afternoon, police found Nicole's remains 80 miles away in Surry County, North Carolina.

They were located in a wooded area off of route 89 in Low Gap, just over the Virginia border.

Eisenhauer was then charged with first-degree murder.

On January 31, Blacksburg police made arrested 19-year-old Natalie Keepers and charged her with improper disposal of a dead body and accessory after the fact.

Both Eisenhauer and Keepers are currently being held at the Western Virginia Regional Jail.

This week's motions hearing is expected to determine what evidence can be presented to a jury, and even where a jury would be selected from and a trial takes place. Keepers' attorney argues she can't receive a fair trial in Montgomery County.

Pamela Bell, a professor of law at Liberty University, says she's not a part of this case, but provided some insight as to why a judge could agree to a change of venue.

"It's going to be hard to find someone who not only doesn't know about the case but also hasn't heard about the alleged statements the defendant has made that maybe wouldn't come into a court of law. or they've already made up their mind," said Bell.

These are all details that will be discussed and decided on in court over the next several days.