Grand jury indictment says Quincy lawyer suffocated wife

Curtis Lovelace is escorted out of the Adams County Courthouse Thursday by Adams County Jail administrator Chad Downs, background, and Adams County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Brian Vonderhaar. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Aug. 28, 2014 2:49 pm Updated: Sep. 11, 2014 3:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Tears began to well in Curtis Lovelace's eyes as he left the courtroom Thursday afternoon.

Lovelace had just sat for 13 minutes in an upstairs courtroom inside the Adams County Courthouse. Judge Scott Butler told Lovelace, 45, that an Adams County grand jury on Wednesday had indicted him on first-degree murder charges in the Feb. 14, 2006, death of his wife, Cory D. Lovelace, 38.

According to the Bill of Indictment, Lovelace “suffocated Cory Lovelace, thereby causing the death of Cory Lovelace.”

Lovelace's arraignment was continued until Sept. 12 so he can find someone to represent him. Butler said Lovelace faces between 20 and 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections if he's convicted, along with three years of parole after any potential sentence. He could be fined up to $25,000 and could be ordered to pay restitution, Butler said.

Lovelace, wearing a black-and-white striped jumpsuit with “Hancock County Jail” written on the back, was led into court at 12:57 p.m. by an Adams County Sheriff's Department deputy. A heavy police presence was inside the courtroom. Four bailiffs, two sheriff's deputies and Adam Gibson, a detective with the Quincy Police Department, also attended the hearing.

Six supporters of Curtis Lovelace filled the front row. Each of them craned their necks to get a look at Lovelace as he sat down in the front row of seating on the opposite side of the court. The group of supporters had formed a prayer circle before entering the courtroom.

Lovelace did not look at his family, which included his third wife, Christine, whom he married Dec. 26. Christine Lovelace jotted down notes into what looked to be a journal before the hearing's start.

Lovelace, a member of the Illinois bar for nearly 20 years and a former assistant inside the Adams County State's Attorney's office, looked somber throughout the hearing. He answered all of Butler's questions in the affirmative, saying “I understand, your honor,” several times.

Lovelace said he wanted to find a lawyer to represent him.

“I'm not totally sure of the costs associated with (hiring a lawyer), but I do want to make an effort (to hire someone),” Lovelace said.

Lovelace asked Butler if his bond would be reduced. He is currently being held on $5 million bond, meaning he would have to post $500,000 to be freed from jail.

“I'm reluctant to have you say anything without the help of counsel,” Butler told Lovelace.

“I will heed the court's warning,” Lovelace replied.

When the hearing wrapped up, Lovelace finally glanced at his family and friends who had filled the front row. His eyes began to well with tears as he made his way out of the courtroom.

Members of Lovelace's family appeared upset and declined to speak to members of the media after the hearing.

Cory Lovelace was found dead inside the couple's home at 1869 Kentucky on Valentine's Day morning in 2006. A month after she died, a coroner's jury ruled the cause of death undetermined. An autopsy reached the same conclusion.

Curtis Lovelace is being held in the Hancock County Jail. Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer said there is nowhere inside the Adams County Jail for Lovelace to be separated from the rest of the jail's population.