Pathologist, detective testify in Lovelace trial - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Pathologist, detective testify in Lovelace trial

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Curtis Lovelace and his wife, Christine Curtis Lovelace and his wife, Christine
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) -

The Curtis Lovelace murder trial continued Tuesday with more witnesses taking the stand. 

Detective Adam Gibson, of the Quincy Police Department took the stand Tuesday afternoon. 

Gibson was a patrol officer in 2006 and was promoted to detective in 2013. He said he went through old files and came across the Lovelace file. He said the police chief told him to take a second look into it. 

Gibson said he found minor differences between the children and Curtis's statements to Baird. He testified that there were inconsistencies in the statements from Curtis and the children. 

Gibson said it is not true that he "doctor shopped" before he could get the opinion of suffocation. He said he sent emails out to other pathologists to have them look at the information. He said he wanted to get backgrounds. 

Gibson admitted his working hypothesis was a pillow was used to suffocate her, but it is not correct that he wanted to get a doctor to say that the hypothesis happened. 

Gibson said (Dr. Jessica) Bowman told him she also had suspicions it was suffocation, but had reservations. 

Loevy said that while Gibson wasn't a rookie police officer, he was a rookie detective. Gibson agreed. Loevy kept pushing that Gibson was a rookie detective. Gibson was in the second month of being promoted to detective at the time. 

Gibson said the hands in the photos caught his attention when he looked into the case.

Loevy pressed Gibson about documents that should have been turned over earlier. Gibson agreed that some of them should have been. Gibson admitted he deleted all his emails in January 2015. He said he didn't copy emails on the Lovelace case.

Gibson signed an affidavit that he didn't have any emails or texts that hadn't already been turned over.

Gibson reiterated that he didn't have the emails and he didn't think to have the server searched.  

Dr. Jane Turner took the stand first today, after being on the stand yesterday afternoon as well. Cause of death was the main point of questioning for Turner. 

Turner stressed that science disagrees with the time line of the witness statements. 

Turner agreed with Defense Attorney Jon Loevy that pathologists can find different opinions despite looking at the same items. 

"There are no obvious signs of Cory's death, right?" Asked Loevy. 

"There are findings," stated Turner. "With investigation it's clear she died of homicide."

Loevy listed possible outcomes of  Cory's death, but Turner rebutted all of them. Turner continued to stress that she is positive Cory was smothered. 

Loevy said Turner just thinks it's more likely than not Cory died of suffocation. Turner said that is the same as medical certainty. 

Loevy questioned Turner about Cory dying of a fatty liver. Turner said it's her medical opinion that Cory did not die of fatty liver. Loevy stressed that it is her "opinion." 

Loevy referenced another academic book that said it is extremely difficult to smother an adult. Turner said she disagrees and that it's just as easy to smother an adult as it is to strangle one. 

Turner said the hands were in a position that made it unlikely for Cory to breathe. She said there is no doubt Cory fought for her life. 

Loevy said the autopsy report rules against Turner's opinion and that Bowman followed where the evidence goes.

Turner said Bowman documented the injuries and that is part of how Turner came to her conclusion. 

Loevy reported that children found no struggling or arguing that night. Turner said statements were made days after her death. 

Children slept in the room next to their parents with an adjoining door. 

Loevy said, "It would have been a really dumb murder plan with the kids sleeping next door, if she could move her head and scream."

Turner agreed if someone was struggling for their life they would struggle hard, but said, "If they're able to."

Turner said the hands are unusual in a death scene. She said the hands show something was underneath them supporting them and then was removed. 

Turner said the pillow had to remain on the head for around ten to twelve hours for her arms to remain in the position. She said there isn't space between the thumb and her shirt for a pillow. She said it was removed after some rigor mortis set in. 

Turner agreed that if the children are correct with seeing their mother she would be wrong, but she said physical evidence proves otherwise. 

Turner said she believes the children are mistaken about the event, doesn't feel they are lying. 

Yesterday, the main focus was on Curtis' ex-wife, Erika Gomez. At times, Gomez got emotional and began crying. Loevy pressed hard, as he tried to paint Gomez as an unreliable testimony. 

Quincy Police Department Detective Jeff Baird also took the stand yesterday.

Click here for complete coverage of the Lovelace trial. 

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