Lovelace Case

Lovelace defense team says prosecutors withholding evidence

Ed Parkinson, left, and Jon Loevy
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Feb. 16, 2017 10:45 am Updated: Feb. 16, 2017 7:38 pm

QUINCY -- The defense team representing Curtis Lovelace is accusing prosecutors of not producing discovery evidence for Lovelace's upcoming first-degree murder trial in connection with the death of his first wife.

Evidence that the defense says has been withheld includes references by a forensic pathologist to "severe alcoholism" in the liver of Cory Lovelace.

 

In a motion filed Wednesday, Jon Loevy, an attorney with the Exoneration Project representing Lovelace, said the Freedom of Information Act request filed by an attorney from Washington, D.C., produced "very important documents that the defense has never seen."

"The defense's concerns were confirmed on Thursday (Feb. 9) when the agreed deadline passed for both sides to exchange witness lists and documents, and discovery which the defense knows exists that is exculpatory and/or responsive was not produced," Loevy wrote.

Loevy said that with few exceptions, prosecutors, lead by Ed Parkinson, have produced no new documents.

"Facing a trial only a few days away, and knowing that the State continues to be deficient in its obligations to the defense, the defense asks this Court to order production of responsive exculpatory documents so that Curtis Lovelace can have a fair trial in this case," Loevy wrote.

Curtis Lovelace is accused of suffocating his first wife in their Quincy home on Feb. 14, 2006. His second trial starts Feb. 27 in Sangamon County. Judge Bob Hardwick declared a mistrial last February after an Adams County jury deliberated for two days without reaching a verdict.

Loevy claims that the prosecution has withheld emails from Quincy police Detective Adam Gibson summarizing investigative steps in the case. The motion says emails between Gibson and key witnesses in the case, including Dr. Scott Denton, a forensic pathologist from Bloomington, and Lovelace's second wife, Erika Gomez, also were withheld. The defense also is seeking emails concerning pathology and the state's efforts to review other cases of Dr. Jessica Bowman, who performed the original autopsy on Cory Lovelace.

In a Jan. 30, 2014, email that Denton sent to Gibson and Adams County Coroner Jim Keller, Denton said that he could show them what he was seeing in autopsy photographs and "the severe alcoholism in her liver microscopic slide."

In another email that Denton sent to Gibson on March 4, 2014, Denton said that if Bowman leaves the cause of death as undetermined "without writing something different, and sticking to it in the future, that is more than a reasonable doubt in any reasonable person's mind."

Loevy said the emails in the case never were produced in the discovery and "contradict (Denton's) written and testimonial opinions in this case."

He also claims that emails exchanged just before and after Lovelace's first trial between Gomez and Gibson never were turned over.

He asked the court to order that the material should immediately be produced by the office of the appellate prosecutor, Gibson, the Quincy Police Department and Keller, and that anyone not complying with the subpoenas be held in contempt.

The defense also filed a motion Wednesday to certify Bowman and Carolina Cassanova as material witnesses at the upcoming trial.

Cassanova is a former friend of Gomez, who reportedly has knowledge of the marriage between Gomez and Lovelace.

"She is a critical witness who is necessary to demonstrate the lack of creditability of Ms. Gomez's account," Loevy wrote.

Hardwick ruled at a Jan. 31 motion hearing that Gomez would be able to testify on claims that Lovelace abused her during their 4 1/2-year marriage.

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