Ex-wife, detective main focus of Lovelace trial today - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Ex-wife, detective main focus of Lovelace trial today

Posted:
Erika Gomez gets emotional on the witness stand. Erika Gomez gets emotional on the witness stand.
Detective Jeff Baird testifies. Detective Jeff Baird testifies.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) -

The ex-wife of Curtis Lovelace, Erika Gomez took the stand Monday afternoon. Lovelace and Gomez divorced in 2013.

Gomez was a student of Curtis in 2006 at Quincy University at the time of Cory's death. Gomez said she doesn't remember there being a note attached to the door to cancel class that day. 

Gomez said she attended a dinner party at Curtis's home at the end of October/early November and they were dating each other then. 

Gomez said in May 2012, Curtis violently attacked when he was drinking. She said he rushed her so she crouched down to protect herself. Gomez said Curtis was going after her throat, but he couldn't get to it because "I had my head tucked down." She said Curtis yanked her off the floor by her shirt, causing it to rip, and injuring her knee. 

The prosecution showed photos of her shirt after being ripped during the incident. 

Gomez said Curtis was "extremely happy" when he found Christine. She said this was his "first love." 

Defense attorney Jon Loevy said Gomez didn't make the claim about abuse until she wanted to get the house (in the divorce). 

Gomez told Loevy she didn't want Curtis to be charged, just "wanted to make sure other women were safe from him."

Loevy claims Gomez told the National Guard (which she was in) that Curtis "accidentally" hit her on the chin. Gomez began crying on the witness stand and told Loevy the statement he read is "made up. I'm 100 percent sure someone made this up for him." 

Gomez kept claiming she didn't say it. "If I had said that, my signature would be on that document. My signature is not on the document."

Judge Bob Hardwick said it can't be claimed in evidence because it is not sworn. 

Loevy issued a document showing the National Guard found Gomez not to be credible. He said they would call the major who wrote it. 

Loevy claimed that Gomez didn't want to go to Kuwait when she was in the National Guard in 2012. He claims the physical abuse was to avoid going. 

Gomez said that wasn't the reason. She said she got injured in the incident and tore her ACL. "I was willing to go." She said. 

Loevy claimed she brought up abuse as a reason to get her kicked out of the house. 

Gomez claimed the children saw the abuse. 

Loevy insinuated that Gomez claimed abuse to get Lovelace kicked out of the house. 

Gomez claimed on the stand that Curtis was poisoning her. Loevy said, "Did you know you were not supposed to bring that claim up?"

Judge Hardwick ruled in a pretrial hearing that it would not be brought up since there is no evidence of the claims. 

Loevy claimed to allow the allegation because he wanted to question her further on it. 

Gomez claimed she restricted him from the house because of the poisoning. Gomez claimed Curtis began to go through the trash after she changed the locks to make sure "I drank what he poisoned." 

Loevy asked her if she ever went to a doctor to claim she was poisoned. Gomez replied, "It wouldn't have mattered." 

Detective Gibson had her hair tested, but Gomez claimed the poison was already out of her system. 

Gomez then testified that Curtis sexually assaulted her as well. Gomez also claimed that Curtis used her social security number, stole her child support and even forged insurance documents. "He knows how to get rid of evidence," she said. "He's very good at that." 

Loevy said Gomez never told police she knew information about Cory's death. Gomez said, "He told me they would never believe me on that."

"You are persistent to hurt Curtis, aren't you?" Loevy asked. 

Gomez responded, "No I don't want to hurt him. He told me no one would believe me." 

Gomez claimed that Curtis used the kids to get rid of evidence of the murder. "I watched him." She said. "He got rid of it." 

Loevy claimed Gomez told the Quincy Police Department in January 2014 that Curt killed Cory. Loevy claimed Detective Gibson and Gomez contacted each other "over forty times." 

Gomez claimed Curtis hired a big garbage disposal company after Cory's death and destroyed a lot of items. When Loevy asked how she knew since she didn't talk to Curtis until August, she replied, "It's a small town." 

Gomez claimed that when Curtis would abuse her he'd call her Cory, saying "Cory you can't have everything you want." 

After Gomez left the stand, Dr. Jane Turner was called on by the state. She now resides in Ontario, Canada, but was a forensic pathologist in St. Louis. 

Turner estimated that she's performed over five thousand examinations. 

Turner was asked by Detective Gibson to review Cory's autopsy report, photos, police reports and microscopic slides. 

Turner said the position of the arms were particularly interesting. She said the kids' statements don't align with the body conditions. 

Turner said Baird's assessment of the rigor mortis is his opinion, "but the photos show differently." 

Turner stressed to Loevy that you can't look at each indication of the suffocation alone, which is the same thing Dr. Werner Spitz said. 

The day began with the court picking up where it left off last week with Detective Jeff Baird on the stand. 

Baird said he interviewed the kids, except for Larson, and they all said they saw Cory alive the morning of her death. He said he interviewed them each separately because he wanted to get their information independently. He said he looked for signs of coaching when talking with the kids.

Baird said all children were reasonably consistent, not exactly the same, which would have indicated signs of coaching. 

He said he interviewed Curtis four times over the investigation. He said he asked the same questions to cross check information. 

Baird reiterated that he found the ruling of undetermined death was "unexpected" because he thought Cory died of health reasons. 

Loevy asked Baird, "There's nothing about this woman's hands that indicate she was murdered right?" 

"Correct" Baird replied. 

Baird said he felt insulted when the state insinuated he was friends with Curtis. "I handled this case professionally and talked with supervisors." 

Baird also said, "Only thing I did is show him some compassion because he just lost his wife. It played no role in my decision making." 

Baird was the only person to take the stand Monday morning, but more witnesses are expected this afternoon. 

Last week, several witnesses took the stand and were questioned by the prosecution and the defense. 

At times, the atmosphere in the courtroom was rather intense with the judge yelling at the lawyers to, "be quiet, gentlemen!" 

Click here for complete coverage of the Lovelace trial. 

Powered by Frankly