Lovelace retrial pushed back to July, new attorneys enter pictur - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Lovelace retrial pushed back to July, new attorneys enter picture


A new trial date is set for Curtis Lovelace after he appeared in court for a scheduled hearing Friday morning.

The trial is set to begin July 25 at 9 a.m. Judge Bob Hardwick says he expects the trial to last about two weeks.

Lovelace filed a motion asking the judge to reduce his bail so he could help with his defense. The motion stated his strong ties to the community give him every reason to stay in the county, his pretrial behavior was exemplary and his financial circumstances have changed, having no money left. The motion also states the prosecution's case is weak. The motion stated the court could set other conditions to ensure Lovelace's appearance, such as electronic monitoring, home confinement, surrender of his passport, etc.

He also filed motions for substitution of counsel and free transcripts.

Lovelace had also asked for the transcripts in a Feb. 18 letter that stated he didn't have the money to pay for them, but the prosecution had said his request should be denied because Lovelace was still technically represented by attorneys Jay Elmore and Jeff Page, and said a defendant has no right to represent themselves and have counsel, too.

The judge granted his request to substitute counsel. Other motions are scheduled to be heard May 6.

Lovelace will be represented by Ed Downey, Jon Loevy and Tara Thompson. Downey was previously the chief public defender in Adams County for 17 years.

Loevy and Thompson are with the Exoneration Project. They were not at the hearing Friday.

Investigator Bill Clutter, who's been working with Lovelace since around the time of his arrest, said in February that a defense team with the Exoneration Project, out of Chicago, would be defending Lovelace pro bono in his retrial. Clutter has raised just over $10,000 for Lovelace's defense in under a month in an online fundraising campaign.

Ed Parkinson will remain as special prosecutor in the case. He'll be assisted by special prosecutor Julie Wykoff.

During the hearing, Wykoff expressed concern regarding the fundraising effort on and Clutter's involvement.

"While the state certainly has no objection to him raising funds in that matter, it appears that this fund is being run by Bill Clutter," Wykoff said.

Wykoff said Clutter "has clearly had access to the discovery" in the case.

"For example, the page alleges that police misconduct and Brady violations have occurred, which is one, false, and second it jeopardizes the integrity of these proceedings," Wykoff said. "We have concerns about what Mr. Clutter's role is in this transaction and second that discovery has made its way to the internet."

Downey said he had contact with Clutter, but wasn't aware of the site.

Judge Hardwick asked if the state plans to file a motion regarding this concern, but Wykoff didn't clarify whether they would or not.

The jury trial for Lovelace ended in a mistrial Feb. 5.

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