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Lunde's mother arrives in court

Published February 22, 2007


TAMPA - David Lee Onstott's attorney spent several hours Wednesday trying to get his client's incriminating statements thrown out before his case goes to trial next month.

But the most profound moment came before proceedings got under way.

As bailiffs led Onstott into the courtroom, the man accused of abducting and killing 13-year-old Sarah Lunde in April 2005 glared at someone he had not seen since that time: Lunde's mother.

Kelly May and Onstott once were romantically involved. Now Onstott faces the death penalty.

May, 42, decided the time was right for her first appearance at one of Onstott's court hearings. She sat with her fiance.

"He's an animal that needs to be locked away," she said during a break in testimony. "My purpose in being here is to make sure Sarah gets the justice she deserves."

Onstott's statements to law enforcement officers and a fellow inmate are important for the state's case. No physical or forensic evidence ties him to the Ruskin teen's death.

Defense attorney John Skye argued that authorities illegally held Onstott on 10-year-old misdemeanor warrants out of Michigan, then interrogated him after he made multiple requests to speak with an attorney.

Authorities say he confessed to the crime shortly after one cell phone call to his attorney. "Consultation on the telephone is not good enough," Skye said.

There was no decision on Wednesday about Onstott's statements. The hearing continues today.

May, who now lives in Wimauma and works in the RV repair business, said she feels confident that prosecutors will find a way to convict Onstott.

"I'm sure they have the right guy," May said. "Without a doubt in my mind."

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at (813) 226-3337 or

[Last modified February 22, 2007, 01:39:11]

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