Nicole Lovell case: Murder trial date set for Eisenhauer

A judge hears more pretrial motions, arguments Monday

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – The defense for David Eisenhauer argued Monday that certain evidence shouldn't be allowed in his upcoming murder trial. The judge did not make a ruling on the pretrial motion and did not set a date for his decision. Judge Robert Turk did set a Feb. 5 start date for the trial.

Eisenhauer, a former Virginia Tech student, is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell.

Nicole Lovell
Nicole Lovell

He's accused of kidnapping her and stabbing her to death in early 2016 when he was 18 years old.

He and family members of Lovell were in court Monday as both the defense and prosecution questioned witnesses, focusing on a Blacksburg Police Department detective.

Detective Desiree Twigger testified about the events surrounding the questioning and arrest of Eisenhauer two days after Lovell's disappearance, including Eisenhauer explaining his online conversations with Lovell and how he met her in-person the night she disappeared. Audio and video recordings of many of those events were shown Monday in court.

The defense doesn't want the judge to allow a lot of that evidence, arguing that it was illegal for the investigators to go into Eisenhauer's dorm room, since they did so without a warrant, and that investigators questioned him under unfair circumstances.

The prosecution argued that the situation was a medical emergency, since Lovell required medication after a liver transplant, and that investigators followed all the necessary protocol, including informing Eisenhauer of his Miranda rights.

The defense has a request in for more access to certain cellphone records before the trial.
The defense believes accessing raw data from the phones might give them evidence from messaging applications that the commonwealth and the FBI haven't uncovered.

There was little mention Monday of former Virginia Tech student Natalie Keepers, who's also facing charges in this case. The prosecution presented evidence in May that Keepers told investigators how she and Eisenhauer planned and later tried to cover up the crime.

Investigators say text messages show the two talking about cleaning themselves after the crime and saying they thought they got away with it. The defense asked in October for this trial to be delayed.