Lovelace Case

State spells out opposition to free Lovelace trial transcripts

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Mar. 30, 2016 8:05 am

QUINCY -- Prosecutors in Curtis Lovelace's first-degree murder case have filed paperwork opposing his request to receive free transcripts from his first trial held earlier this year.

In a 13-page filing with the Adams County circuit clerk's office, Julia Wykoff, an assistant special prosecutor for the state, said there were several reasons why the state was opposed to Lovelace receiving the transcripts at no cost.

Wykoff said Lovelace has not been pronounced indigent by the court. In an affidavit of assets and liabilities filed March 8, Lovelace claimed to have assets of $179,000, including a home valued at $177,000 at 2025 Maine, and $188,200 in liabilities, most of which was a mortgage. Wykoff questioned how Lovelace could claim to be indigent but also tell the court that he would be able to post bond if it were lowered to $1 million from its current $5 million.

"(The) defendant has, for all practical purposes, represented to the Court that he has assets in the amount of $100,000, which defies the sworn affidavit of assets and liabilities, attached to the defense's motion," Wykoff wrote.

Wykoff also said that Lovelace has more than $10,000 available to him through an Internet fundraiser.

Wykoff said the state would like Judge Bob Hardwick to rule on the issue of Lovelace's indigency before he determines if Lovelace should be able to get the state to pay for trial transcripts.

Wykoff wrote that while the University of Chicago-based Exoneration Project is handling Lovelace's case for free, that didn't mean his new counsel "is without resources or funds to assist with the presentation of defenses in causes that the organizations (sic) opts to undertake."

Jon Loevy, a lawyer with the Exoneration Project, wrote that Lovelace "has no more money to spend on any aspect of his defense."

"This allegation is belied by the fact that as of the filing of this motion the Exoneration Project has at their disposal $10,350 in funds to spend on transcripts," Wykoff said.

Wykoff presents case law that rules state-provided and prepared transcripts are not required for pro bono attorneys.

"A pro bono attorney is treated akin to privately retained counsel, regardless of whether (the) defendant is indigent," Wykoff said. " ... Although counsel for the accused represented (the) defendant pro bono, he is legally treated as the equivalent of retained private counsel. He is, after all, counsel of the defendant's own choosing."

Loevy was unavailable for comment Tuesday. He entered his appearance on Lovelace's behalf along with his Exoneration Project co-worker, Tara Thompson, this month. Former Adams County Chief Public Defender Ed Downey also is helping defend Lovelace.

The defense's motion for free transcripts as well as a motion to reduce bond will be heard at a May 6 hearing before Hardwick in Adams County Circuit Court.

Lovelace, 47, is accused of suffocating his first wife, Cory D. Lovelace, with a pillow on Feb. 14, 2006. He has been jailed since an Adams County grand jury indicted him Aug. 27, 2014. Lovelace is being held in the Hancock County Jail.