Several witnesses called to the stand in second Lovelace trial - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Several witnesses called to the stand in second Lovelace trial

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Curtis Lovelace Curtis Lovelace
Adams County Coroner Jim Keller testifies. Adams County Coroner Jim Keller testifies.
Curtis Lovelace during a break. Curtis Lovelace during a break.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) -

Witnesses for the second Curtis Lovelace murder trial were brought forward Wednesday. 

The first witness was former Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard. Barnard said he remembers Curt calling him and saying Cory was dead in bed. Barnard said he called 911. 

The next witness was Quincy Police Department Deputy Chief Doug VanderMaiden. VanderMaiden told the defense he felt it was odd that Curtis did not get off the phone to speak with him when he arrived. "I just found it unusual that he wouldn't speak with me," VanderMaiden stated. "Typically a person would stop on their phone and speak with me."

He also said his first call would be to 911 if he found his wife dead. 

Following VanderMaiden on the stand was Quincy Firefighter Cole Miller. Miller said Cory was obviously dead when he arrived on scene and there was nothing EMT's could do for her. Crime scene photos were shown to the jury during this time.

Adams County Coroner James Keller was next on the stand. He said he noticed remarkable dehydration in Cory's fingers. He also noted a strong odor coming from the room when he arrived. He said it smelled like someone who had been dead for a "little bit." 

Keller said he found extensive lividity on Cory's ear, neck and back, which is the pooling of blood after someone dies.

The defense pointed out that Keller was only at the scene for about five minutes. They said it was not his job to take notes or perform the autopsy. They said Keller was called in to help remove the body. Coroner Gary Hamilton performed the autopsy. 

Dr. Jessica Bowman's original autopsy of Cory ruled "undetermined" as cause of death. 

Bill Ballard of the Adams County EMS was the next person to take the stand. Ballard said the comforter was around her waist when he arrived in the room and he remembers the smell of alcohol being present. He said he remembers moving her arms, but they stayed there. 

Ballard's report said Cory's hands and arms were up against the chest, which contradicts her arms hovered because of rigor mortis. It also indicated that Cory's torso was warm, warmer than her wrists. 

After Ballard, Lori Miles, who was a neighbor of the Lovelace family in 2006, took the stand. She indicated that she knew the Lovelace family fought often, and once had to call the police because they locked their daughter out. 

Steve Miles, Lori's husband and former Lovelace neighbor, took the stand next. He said he also remembers daily fighting at the Lovelace home. He said it was mostly Cory yelling at Curtis. 

Miles said he remembers Curtis telling him he took a shower, came back and she was dead. The defense questioned Steve's recollection of the conversation, but Steve said he cannot forget what was said. 

Steve Miles was the final witness to take the stand Wednesday.

Seven witnesses in total were called for on Wednesday. Special Prosecutor Ed Parkinson said there will be a full day of witnesses for the next two days. 

Opening statements began Wednesday morning as well.

Prosecution reminded the jury they have to prove Lovelace did the crime, however the defense does not have burden of proof. They also said the expert testimony will be the foundation, but circumstantial evidence will support that. 

The prosecution said they do not have to prove motive in the case, but they said they can demonstrate the motive. They also said the defense will try to show Curtis as a pillar of the Quincy community. Prosecutor David Robinson said, "He's on the school board for crying out loud. It's just a facade." 

Robinson said Curtis did not call 911 after finding Cory unresponsive, he called his boss instead.

Prosecution told the jury not to fall for the defense's misdirection, and to "keep your focus on Cory."

Jon Loevy and the defense began their opening statements, telling the jury that prosecution does not have a case because there is no evidence. He said Cory died of alcoholism. He said not to believe the defense, but to believe the coroner and pathologist. 

Loevy said all evidence points to no foul play. He called Cory's death unfortunate, but natural.

Loevy said Cory's alcoholism and bulimia had her "playing with fire and Cory got burned." He continued to say, "each year, thousands of people die early from alcoholism and unfortunately Cory was one of them." 

He said Cory refused to see doctors. After getting sick, she last ate on Sunday morning, and died on Tuesday. He showed a small part of an autopsy photo to the jury, saying it shows her malnutrition. 

He said the defense received recently withheld information ten days ago that showed there is no case. Loevy said a third party filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), to get the emails from Gibson. He said they only got them because IT found the deleted emails. 

"There's a drove of smoking gun communication," Loevy said. "There are e-mails that were improperly withheld from the defense."

He also said the prosecution did not talk about evidence in the opening statements because they have none. He said he was surprised the state did not lay out its time line of Cory's death. He told the jury the reason they did not is because evidence contradicts it. 

Loevy said Detective Adam Gibson would not stop searching for suffocation opinions despite seven saying there was no suffocation. He said Gibson did not tell grand jury about seven other opinions so he can get the murder charges. 

Judge Bob Hardwick said he plans to go from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day, with a morning, lunch, and afternoon break.

Judge Hardwick confirmed that one juror has been removed and two alternates remain. 

The jury now consists of six men and six women.

A jury of twelve was selected yesterday, along with three alternates.

Special Prosecutor Ed Parkinson emerged from chambers yesterday stating, "We already lost a juror." It is unclear if one of the jurors has already been dismissed. He would not give any details when questioned.  

When asked, Judge Hardwick stated, "As of right now we have twelve jurors and three alternates." Hardwick did not answer when asked directly if a juror had already been lost. 

Click here for full coverage of the Lovelace murder case.

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