Lovelace Case

Second wife of Curtis Lovelace speaks out

Erika Gomez speaks at a Quincy School Board meeting in this 2012 file photo. | H-W File Photo
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Feb. 25, 2016 4:05 pm

QUINCY -- Erika Gomez says she didn't need to follow Curtis Lovelace's recent first-degree murder trial.

"Because of who I am, everybody tells me about what's going on," she said.

Gomez was Lovelace's second wife. She married him just over two years after his first wife, Cory, died in February 2006, and their divorce was finalized about three months before Lovelace and his current wife, Christine, were wed in December 2013.

Lovelace was indicted on a first-degree murder charge by an Adams County grand jury in August 2014. Police contend he used a pillow to suffocate his wife.

After a 17-month wait, his two-week trial ended earlier this month with a hung jury. Judge Bob Hardwick declared a mistrial after the jury of 10 women and two men were reportedly in a 6-6 deadlock after 16 hours of deliberation. A new trial has been scheduled for May 31.

Hardwick granted a defense motion before the trial that barred Gomez from testifying on grounds that her testimony would be prejudicial. She was not upset with that ruling.

"I was grateful and thankful," she said. "I don't want to deal with any of this."

Gomez covered a range of topics during a 40-minute interview with The Herald-Whig earlier this week, the first time she has spoken publicly since Lovelace was arrested.

She said she moved to Quincy in 1996, but left soon after Lovelace was arrested. She would say only that she now lives in a western state. A 24-year Army veteran, she said she did four tours of duty overseas before retiring.

Gomez said she first met Lovelace while a student at Quincy University. To fill out her class schedule for the 2006 spring semester, she enrolled in a business law class taught by Lovelace. About a month after classes began, Cory Lovelace was found dead in the couple's home.

Gomez said she and Lovelace did not begin dating until after his wife's death.

"I didn't want to date him," Gomez said. "I just wanted to help him get back into the dating scene."

The couple eventually married on May 10, 2008, in Puerto Rico.

"At the beginning of our marriage, it was perfect," Gomez said. "He was a wonderful, amazing man."

Gomez said Lovelace's alcohol abuse, fueled by a $400 a month vodka habit, eventually led to troubles. Lovelace admitted that he was an alcoholic during an interview with Quincy police after his 2014 arrest, although he also told police in that interview -- which was played during the trial -- that he had quit drinking in 2012.

Gomez said the marriage took a turn for the worse when Lovelace and the former Christine Brewster reconnected on social media in April 2012. The two had known each other while attending Quincy High School in the mid-1980s.

Adams County court records show Curtis Lovelace filed for divorce on Dec. 19, 2012, citing "extreme and repeated mental cruelty" by Gomez. The divorce judgment was finalized in his favor on Sept. 27, 2013.

Lovelace married Christine on Dec. 26, 2013. She has stood behind her husband since his arrest, proclaiming his innocence.

Gomez said she was shocked when she heard of Lovelace's arrest. She did appear on a recent "48 Hours" episode about the Lovelace case, and the couple's marriage was briefly mentioned. But photos of Gomez had her face blocked out at her request.

Gomez said she never initiated contact with Quincy police about her ex-husband, but did say investigators contacted her. She declined to say when that contact occurred or whether Lovelace ever talked with her about the death of his first wife. She said she couldn't speak on those issues because of the possibility of being called to testify in the second trial.

Gomez stopped and cried when talking about her former stepchildren.

"My heart goes out to all of them," she said.

Curtis and Cory Lovelace had four children -- Lyndsay, 22, Logan, 18, Lincoln, 17, and Larson, 14. Christine Lovelace legally adopted the three boys in May 2014.

Curtis Lovelace remains in the Hancock County Jail on $5 million bond.

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