Lovelace Case

Lovelace files lawsuit after acquittal

Curtis Lovelace and his wife, Christine, and sons Larson, Logan and Lincoln leave the Sangamon County courtroom where Lovelace had just been found not guilty of first-degree murder on Friday, March 10, 2017. | H-W File Photo/Phil Carlson
By Herald-Whig
Posted: May. 11, 2017 4:30 pm Updated: May. 12, 2017 8:11 am

QUINCY — Two months after being found not guilty in connection with the death of his first wife, Curtis Lovelace has filed a federal lawsuit for damages.

Curtis Lovelace, his sons Logan and Lincoln, and his wife, Christine, on behalf of minor son Larson, filed suit Friday in U.S. District Court against Quincy Detective Adam Gibson, Chief Rob Copley, Sgt. John Summers, Detective Anjanette Biswell, unknown Quincy police officers, Adams County State's Attorney Gary Farha, Adams County Coroner Jim Keller, the city of Quincy and Adams County.

The 11-count lawsuit alleges that Curtis Lovelace was deprived due process in the case and was the subject of malicious prosecution, as well as deprived of his constitutional rights. The suit claims that evidence was fabricated to implicate Curtis Lovelace in the Feb. 14, 2006, death of his first wife, Cory, and that exculpatory evidence that his attorneys said helped prove his innocence was initially withheld. This included emails not provided in discovery during the first trial

This included an email from prosecution witness Dr. Scott Denton, a forensic pathologist. In the email, Denton said that unless Dr. Jessica Bowman, who performed the autopsy on Cory Lovelace, amended her report from “undetermined,” reasonable doubt would exist in the case.

Special prosecutors handling the case said they never were given the information.

“In fact, during the course of his investigation Detective Gibson revealed numerous pieces of exculpatory information and information that confirmed that Cory Lovelace was not the victim of murder,” the lawsuit read. “Despite this, Gibson persisted in his investigation. Ultimately, in an effort to bring charges against Curtis Lovelace, the above-named individual defendants restored to fabricating evidence, coercing witnesses, presenting false information to the grand jury to obtain an indictment, withholding and concealing exculpatory evidence and other unlawful acts in an effort to frame Mr. Lovelace for a crime he did not commit.”

The suit does not list a monetary amount that the Lovelaces are seeking.

A former Adams County assistant state's attorney and former Quincy School Board president, Lovelace was found not guilty on March 10 by a Sangamon County jury on one count of first-degree murder. A jury in Adams County couldn't reach a verdict after two days of deliberations in February 2016.

“Following his acquittal, Mr. Lovelace remains fundamentally changed by his experiences,” the suit reads. “His relationship with some members of his family has been altered. He lost his law practice and spent three years unable to earn a living. His reputation in the town of Quincy, the place he was born and spent almost his (entire) life, and the place where he worked as a public servant in various capacities, was destroyed.”

In an interview last month with Champaign radio station WDWS, Curtis and Christine Lovelace said they moved to the Champaign area.

The suit also alleges that Curtis Lovelace has suffered tremendous damage, “including physical sickness and injury, and emotional damages.”

The lawsuit also argues that Logan, Lincoln and Larson Lovelace were falsely imprisoned after their father's arrest and interrogated by Gibson and Biswell and that the three children also suffered severe emotional damages as a result.

The Lovelaces are being represented by Chicago attorney Jon Loevy of the law firm Loevy & Loevy. Tara Thompson, also with the firm, is an attorney in the case, as well.

Both represented Curtis Lovelace in the retrial as part of the Exoneration Project out of the University of Chicago.

Reached Thursday afternoon, Copley and Farha said they have not yet been served with the suit and could not comment on it.

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