QUINCY -- The Curtis Lovelace trial returns to the spotlight Friday when NBC presents a two-hour "Dateline" on a case that captivated the region for more than two years.
WGEM, the NBC affiliate in Quincy, will play a major role in the prime-time broadcast set to air from 8 to 10 p.m.
"We are pleased to be involved," said Chad Mahoney, WGEM news director. "We'll be able to provide local viewers with some insight they would not otherwise have. From the beginning, NBC reached out to us."
Mahoney said WGEM will be airing an interview with Dennis Murphy, the NBC reporter who covered the Lovelace case, before the "Dateline" broadcast. The interview with Murphy will be featured at 6:45 a.m. Friday and again on WGEM's 5 p.m. newscast.
NBC and WGEM cooperated throughout the case and afterward, Mahoney said.
"NBC will be trying to give the rest of the nation an idea of what Quincy is all about," he said. "They will be using a lot of footage we have provided them. Much of what viewers will be seeing Friday night on the broadcast will have been provided by (WGEM)."
Lovelace, a former Adams County assistant state's attorney and past president of the Quincy School Board, was found not guilty in March of first-degree murder in connection with the death of his first wife, Cory, on Feb. 14, 2006.
Lovelace was acquitted by a Sangamon County jury after his second trial. An Adams County jury was unable to reach a verdict after two days of deliberations in February 2016, and a mistrial was declared.
Mahoney thinks viewers will find the interview with Murphy insightful.
"He was a reporter who followed the case and was at both trials," he said. "He wasn't just sitting at a desk in New York."
Lovelace had been arrested 30 months before his acquittal at the start of what is now a three-year odyssey that continues today.
After his verdict, Lovelace filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Quincy, multiple officers with the Quincy Police Department, Adams County and two county officials. That trial is scheduled to begin in October 2019.
He and his wife, Christine, have moved to the Champaign area.