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Natalie Keepers, a former Virginia Tech student from Laurel, is charged with being an accessory before the fact to first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell.
Natalie Keepers, a former Virginia Tech student from Laurel, is charged with being an accessory before the fact to first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell. (AP)

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a former Virginia Tech student from Maryland charged as an accessory in the 2016 killing of a 13-year-old girl.

Natalie Keepers is charged with being an accessory before the fact to first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of Nicole Lovell, a Blacksburg middle school student who had a relationship with Keepers' friend, David Eisenhauer.

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Keepers, of Laurel, and Eisenhauer, of Columbia, were both freshman engineering students at Virginia Tech when Lovell was killed.

Eisenhauer is serving a 50-year sentence after pleading no contest to first-degree murder and other charges.

Natalie Keepers, of Laurel, still faces trial on a more serious charge of being an accessory to the killing of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell.

Keepers, now 21, pleaded guilty to concealing Lovell's body, but has denied helping Eisenhauer plan the killing, as prosecutors allege.

Prosecutors have said 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.

During Eisenhauer's trial, prosecutors said Eisenhauer met Lovell online and communicated with her for months before meeting her in person. They said he subsequently killed her because he feared she would expose their relationship.

A medical examiner testified that she had 14 stab wounds, including a lethal wound to her neck.

Keepers' trial in Montgomery County Circuit Court in Virginia is expected to last about two weeks.

David Eisenhauer, a Wilde Lake High School graduate, was an 18-year-old freshman studying engineering when he developed a relationship with Nicole Lovell, a 7th-grader in Blacksburg.

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