For Better or For Worse: The Second Trial - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

For Better or For Worse: The Second Trial

Christine Lovelace sits down with Gene Kennedy. Christine Lovelace sits down with Gene Kennedy.
Left to right: Curtis Lovelace, defense attorneys Jay Elmore and Jeff Page and prosecutor Ed Parkinson Left to right: Curtis Lovelace, defense attorneys Jay Elmore and Jeff Page and prosecutor Ed Parkinson
Submitted photo Submitted photo

After a hung jury in the Curtis Lovelace murder trial, the families involved will have to endure another trial. With a new trial date set for May 31, Lovelace's wife, Christine, is left searching for a new defense team.

"The day Curt was arrested was shocking enough as it was," Christine Lovelace said. "The second day, when I realized I was gonna have to find defense attorneys who could handle a first-degree murder allegation is a whole other animal."

This was especially true when it involved a man who was a prominent prosecutor, local football star and Quincy School Board president. So in August 2014, Christine reached out to friends in the legal world.

"They came up with the name of Jeff Page first," she said.

Page sometimes worked with Jay Elmore. Both are in Springfield. The duo raised some reasonable doubt as to whether Curtis suffocated his first wife, Cory, in 2006. But it wasn't enough to get a not guilty verdict. Instead, it was a mistrial.

"We're still processing it," Christine said. "I'm still trying to catch my breath."

She's also trying to figure out who will defend her husband now.

"It's very important that the people who represent my husband know that he is innocent," Christine said. "That's something that Jay and Jeff were always expressing to not only me and my children, but to the people we spoke with."

Funding the defense has been an expensive endeavor.

"How much did his defense cost, ballpark?" Christine asked. "I am not willing to share that right now."

When asked if it was six figures, however, Christine opened up.

"Oh yes!" She exclaimed. 

But how much over six figures? She didn't say.

"It has devastated our finances," Christine said. "No one sets you up for that. There's no way to have those kinds of reserves sitting in a bank account ready to pay not just attorneys, but you have to pay for every travel that's made, every phone call, every expert witness, every witness."

Is she concerned about being able to pay for it all over again?

"Yes," she said.

But, she says it won't change the end goal.

"It can't change the strategy," Christine said. "The strategy still has to be that Curt comes home. The prosecution still hasn't made a case that Curt committed a crime."

But she says there may be changes in the way they fight. For instance, in the first trial, Curtis didn't testify in his defense. But in a new trial, that strategy may change.

"He may," Christine said. "It wasn't necessary for him to testify. I think people forget in the American justice system that the whole entirety of an alleged crime rests solely on the shoulders of a prosecutor. We wouldn't have had to mount any kind of defense."

But it wasn't that simple for a jury of 10 women and two men. They were split: Six believed he was guilty. But six did not. With six people believing her husband is guilty, Christine says there was a challenge.

"It's very difficult to defend an innocent man," she said. "How do you prove a negative?"

The family has been through the wringer, and Christine knows it could happen again.

"We absolutely do risk getting the same result all over again, but that again rests on the prosecutor," Christine said. "I'm sure this go around, the prosecutor will have bigger, badder, meaner, more expensive expert witnesses, but again, that still falls on them."

WGEM News reached out to Cory Lovelace's mother, but she has not spoken about the case with us.

Christine Lovelace is convinced beyond any doubt that her husband is innocent.  So what does she think happened to Cory? Find out in the next part in our series, For Better or For Worse: If Curt Didn't Do It, What Happened?

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