Search

Lovelace back with family after being released from jail

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jun. 6, 2016 10:40 pm Updated: Jun. 7, 2016 8:52 pm

Lovelace reunites with family

CARTHAGE, Ill. - Curtis Lovelace, accused of first-degree murder in the death of his first wife, Cory, was released from the Hancock County Jail on Tuesday and was reunited with his wife, Christine, and sons Larson and Lincoln. 

Curtis and Christine Lovelace hugged for the first time in 651 days.

Curtis Lovelace did not make a statement after he was released, but he did shed tears. 

Christine Lovelace said the family was planning to go home and be together and try to settle in to the day. She asked for privacy to allow her husband to "acclimate to what's happening after being here for so long."

This story will be updated.

Original story:

VIRGINIA, Ill. -- The only way things could have been better for Christine Lovelace on Monday is if she would have been able to have her husband, Curtis, hop in the car and leave the Cass County Courthouse with her and their son, Lincoln.

Curtis Lovelace will be home soon enough after another landmark day in a murder case that has drawn national headlines. Lovelace saw his bond lowered from $5 million to $3.5 million by Judge Bob Hardwick, who also granted the defense access to some records it was seeking in preparation for Lovelace's second trial. That trial date was moved from July to Oct. 24, the last thing Hardwick acted on during a 50-minute hearing that brought tears of joy from Christine and other supporters of her husband who made their way to Hardwick's courtroom in the county seat of the tiny West-Central Illinois county.

Two of those supporters, Libby and Rich Herr, posted the $350,000 -- 10 percent of the bond amount -- that Curtis Lovelace needed to be released from the Hancock County Jail.

"Curt gets to come home, and he gets to eat regular food and sleep in his bed and be with his family and go to worship with us on Sunday," Christine Lovelace said. "I can't even tell you right now what the means. We are blessed."

Curtis Lovelace was all smiles inside the courtroom as he waited for Hardwick to return with the official court orders on his bond reduction. He declined to comment as he was led out of the courtroom and again when he was led out of the courthouse.

The bond money was posted just before the Adams County Courthouse closed Monday. Lovelace will not be processed out of the Hancock County Jail until he is fitted with a GPS/SCRAM alcohol detection ankle bracelet. That process will not be completed until Tuesday at the earliest. Once he is released, he will be under home confinement with the exception of going to church on Sundays and for a weekly meeting with a representative from the monitoring company at the Adams County Courthouse.

Special prosecutor Ed Parkinson said he did not oppose a $3.5 million bond, saying it was up to the court to determine an appropriate bond amount.

Hardwick said the purpose of bond is not to punish the defendant but to assure his compliance before trial. The judge had no problem lowering the bond as long as certain stipulations were met.

The bond ruling was one of several favorable rulings for the defense, which is being handled by the University of Chicago-based Exoneration Project. Lovelace's defense team also was able to get Hardwick to agree to several modifications to subpoenas it had issued to several entities, including the Quincy Police Department and Detective Adam Gibson, who handled the investigation into Cory Lovelace's death in late 2013 after he was promoted to the detective unit.

Hardwick said Gibson's phone records between August 2013 and August 2014 will be matched with the phone number of Lovelace's second wife, Erika Gomez. Hardwick will look over records that are turned in to him and determine whether there is any pertinent information that needs to be shared as part of discovery in the case.

"There is a question as to how the prosecution began," said Tara Thompson, who is part of Lovelace's legal team. "Was there contact between Detective Gibson and a witness? We want to know what those contacts were."

Julia Wykoff, who is helping Parkinson with the prosecution in the retrial, argued that the defense's subpoena was too broad.

"Detective Gibson is not on trial in this case," Wykoff said. "He shouldn't be subjected to this type of intrusion."

Thompson admitted that the defense was only interested in any contact Gibson may have had with Gomez. Wykoff said Gibson interviewed Gomez on Jan. 30, 2014, just over a month after he launched his investigation.

In an interview with The Herald-Whig in February, two weeks after a mistrial was declared in Lovelace's first trial after a hung jury, 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.

Hardwick also will look at certain information about Cory Lovelace's health from several health providers and information about her death from the Adams County corner's office and Hansen-Spear Funeral Home before he decides whether the information is relevant.

Wykoff said the subpoenas should be quashed because the defense was going on a "fishing expedition."

Hardwick disagreed.

"It doesn't feel like a fishing expedition to me," he said.

Thompson was thankful for Hardwick's rulings.

"Our goal is to investigate this case and be prepared for the second trial," she said. "We're grateful that the court is going to allow us to get information that will allow us to defend Curtis."

A June 17 hearing in the case was canceled as a result of Monday's hearing. The sides are due back in court on Sept. 8 for a status hearing. Thompson said the defense is still investigating the possibility of filing a change of venue motion. Such a motion was denied before Lovelace's first trial.

LOVELACE BOND CONDITIONS

Here is a list of conditions for Curtis Lovelace's bond once he is released from custody in his first-degree murder case:
• Not allowed to get a firearm owners identification card or possess any firearms.
• Surrender his passport, which was done at the end of Monday's hearing.
• Have a drug and alcohol evaluation done and adhere to and successfully complete all recommendations.
• Wear and pay for a SCRAM device that detects alcohol use.
• Not leave home except to go to church on Sundays, when he is allowed to be gone from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and meet with Bill Gay of Cam Systems on a weekly basis at the Adams County Courthouse.
• Wear a GPS system, and pay fee for the same, to monitor his location.
• Pay $502.50 initial fee plus $131.25 weekly monitoring fee for SCRAM device, which will be paid for out of Lovelace's bond.
• Complete paperwork for release.
• Not contact with Erika Gomez or any member of her family.

Sign up for Email Alerts