Lovelace Case

Lovelace's third wife called to testify, denies speaking with him during previous marriage

Curtis and Christine Lovelace embrace at the end of testimony Wednesday in Curtis Lovelace's first-degree murder trial. | H-W Photo/Michael Kipley
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 8, 2017 12:50 pm Updated: Mar. 8, 2017 10:32 pm

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Christine Lovelace testified that she had no contact with her current husband while he was married to his second wife, Erika Gomez, and took offense when special prosecutor Ed Parkinson asked if she sleeps with her eyes open.

Christine Lovelace was the final witness called by the prosecution Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of her husband, Curtis Lovelace, who has been accused of suffocating his first wife more than 11 year ago. The state then rested its case after seven days of testimony in the Sangamon County Courthouse.

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Christine Lovelace testified that she knew Curtis Lovelace when they both attended Quincy High School — Curtis Lovelace graduated in 1986, then went to the University of Illinois on a football scholarship — and that the couple even went on a date. But she said her father would not allow her to have a boyfriend at the time and the relationship ended.

She said she did not resume talking to Lovelace again until May 2013, or five months after Lovelace filed for divorce against Gomez, to whom he was married for 4 1/2 years.

The divorce judgment was finalized on Sept. 27, 2013, and Curtis and Christina were married on Dec. 26, 2013.

Gomez testified Monday that Christine and Curtis rekindled their relationship in April 2012. Christine Lovelace said she even double-checked her Facebook account to determine when she became friends with her future husband after hearing claims by Gomez, and she said that corroborated her time frame.

Christine Lovelace, one of her husband's staunchest supporters since his arrest in August 2014, was indignant to Parkinson's question on whether the “ink was dry” on Curtis Lovelace's divorce from Gomez when the couple married three months later. She also was annoyed when Parkinson asked, "Do you sleep with your eyes open?"She responded that she didn't know how she slept.

In further questioning, Christine Lovelace testified that she did not talk with her husband about how his first wife died on Feb. 14, 2006, until the couple were on the path to marriage.

The prosecution contends that Curtis Lovelace suffocated Cory Lovelace hours before he reported her death, while the defense has argued that she died of liver disease brought on by alcoholism.

While on the witness stand, Christine Lovelace also admitted that the three youngest children of Curtis and Cory Lovelace — all boys — have not seen their grandmother, Marty Didriksen, Cory's mother, because of the “collateral damage” brought on by the case. That corroborated earlier testimony by Didriksen that she has not seen her grandsons.

Christine Lovelace also admitted that she adopted the three boys in May 2014, at which time two of them changed their middle names. She also testified that there are no photos of Cory Lovelace in their current home, but that the boys are allowed to have a photo of their biological mother in their rooms if they choose.

Testimony began Wednesday with Quincy police Detective Adam Gibson, who reopened the case, taking the stand for the second day. Gibson said he sought to continue reviewing the case based on differing statements from three of the Lovelace children.

He testified that one of the children claimed to see their father help their mother up the stairs the morning of her death, another said their father said he helped her up the stairs, and a third said Cory Lovelace was sitting on steps leading to her upstairs bedroom that morning

Gibson denied the claim of defense attorney Jon Loevy that he was shopping the case around to different pathologists; rather, he said, he was seeking opinions from various forensic pathologists available.

Loevy claimed Gibson wanted to find pathologists who supported “Curt's guilt” and would discredit Dr. Jessica Bowman's original autopsy report, which listed Cory Lovelace's cause of death as undetermined. Bowman's work has been discredited by several witnesses during the two trials.

“At least six times you went back to her to get (Bowman) to amend her report,” Loevy said.

Gibson said Bowman told him she could not amend the report.

Before testimony started Wednesday, the two sides agreed to stipulations that Gibson and the Quincy Police Department failed to turn over communications with some pathologists and Gomez.

The emails were obtained by the defense through a Freedom of Information Act request. Parkinson said certain emails were also never shared with him, and Gibson referred to the situation as an “oversight,” according to the stipulation agreement.

Gibson agreed he had many emails — about 60 — from Gomez, but noted that most were initiated by her.