Wife, detective among those called to the stand Wednesday - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Wife, detective among those called to the stand Wednesday

Christine Lovelace testifies. Christine Lovelace testifies.
Detective Gibson on the stand. Detective Gibson on the stand.
Curtis Lovelace in the courtroom. Curtis Lovelace in the courtroom.
Curtis and Christine Lovelace arrive at the trial. Curtis and Christine Lovelace arrive at the trial.

Court continued today in the Curtis Lovelace murder trial with witnesses on the stand. 

The wife of Curtis Lovelace, Christine took the stand Wednesday morning. This is the first time that Christine testified as she did not testify in the first trial.

Christine said she dated Curtis in high school, but did not date in 2012. She later clarified that she went on a date with Curtis in high school. "My dad wouldn't let me have a boyfriend in high school," she said. 

Ex-wife Erika Gomez testified that Christine and Curtis started contact in April 2012. Christine said that was a lie and that they started talking in May 2013. 

Christine said she witnessed the "wrath" of Gomez during the filing of divorce. 

Christine said she married Curtis on December 26, 2013. Parkinson asked, "Was the ink dry from the divorce papers?" 

Christine said she found that question very offensive. She said they got engaged in October 2013, after the divorce was finalized with Gomez. 

Christine said the talk of Cory's death didn't come up until they were headed for marriage. 

Christine said they talked with their pastor about starting the relationship with a pending divorce because they wanted to be on the same page. 

Quincy Police Detective Adam Gibson was on the stand yesterday and continued today. Defense attorney Jon Loevy pressed Gibson on why he reopened the case and how he handled the investigation. 

Gibson said you never stop looking at a case even after someone is convicted. He said if more information comes in you look at it. 

Gibson said the children's statements seemed slightly off which made him want to look into it further. He said one said Curtis helped Cory up the stairs that morning, another said Curtis told him he helped her up the stairs, and another said Cory was still on the steps. 

Loevy pressed Gibson on taking the children to the police station to question them. Loevy said Gibson didn't have lawful authority. 

Gibson said it depends on the investigation and said the children never told him they didn't want to go. 

The defense called on Carolina Casanova to take the stand, who is a former friend of Erika Gomez. 

Casanova served in the military in the Air Force and the National Guard. 

She said she met Gomez in about 2000 and they became friends almost immediately. Casanova said she is not friends with Gomez now because she ran into too many lies. She said in 2013 she started to back away from the friendship. 

She said they were best friends prior to it. "We were together always," she said. "We did everything that best friends do." 

Casanova said she wouldn't agree with Gomez saying they weren't close. "No. Not at all," she said. 

She said she would have considered Curtis a friend, but they never hung out. 

Casanova said she never saw Curtis be "a jerk" to Gomez. She said it was the other way around and Gomez had a short fuse. 

She said she never saw Curtis drunk. She called Gomez a "lightweight" and said it didn't take much to get her drunk. 

Casanova said Gomez told her she was happy in the early parts of their marriage. "Curtis was good to her," she said. "He did everything for her." 

Casanova said it became obvious when things started to not work out and Gomez was very bitter about the divorce. She said she talked with Gomez about the divorce. She told Casanova he was "messing with the wrong person." 

Casanova said Gomez texted her that Curtis abused her and sent a photo of the ripped shirt, but never said anything about neck grabbing. Casanova said it was the first time Gomez ever told her Curtis was physically abusive to her. 

She said Cory came up in conversations with Gomez, but it never came up that Gomez believed Curtis caused Cory's death. 

The defense then called on Richard Herr, who was friends with Curtis and his family and played football with him at the University of Illinois. 

Herr said he also knew Cory. He said he met her through Curtis after the two started dating. 

Herr said Curtis was very upset the night after Cory's death. "There was no laughing," he said. "It was not a joyous event."

Herr said his first impression of Gomez was that she wasn't Curt's type and that she came across as a "know-it-all." 

He said he felt that Gomez was a rebound for Curtis. 

After Herr left the stand, the court broke for lunch. After lunch, Major Lary Fuler took the stand. Fuler is in the Army and National Guard.

Fuler said Gomez brought up allegations of domestic violence against Curtis. He said the army takes domestic violence very seriously. 

Fuler said Gomez told him Curtis "accidentally" struck her on the chin. He said Gomez never told him about her shirt being ripped or tearing her ACL. 

Fuler said Gomez had the opportunity to do a written complaint. He said he heard Gomez accused that it is doctored. Fuler said they put an X on it so it couldn't be doctored. 

Fuler said he didn't doctor it as that would put his career in jeopardy for two people he didn't know. He said he takes offense to the accusations that he doctored the document. 

Fuler said he talked with Gomez's ex-husband because they have a daughter. He said the daughter told the ex-husband she never witnessed physical violence between Curtis and Gomez. 

He said he ended up finding through the investigation that Curtis was more credible. 

He said Gomez also accused Curtis of sexual assault, but he found the accusations not to be credible because of the story given by Gomez. 

Fuler said it was important that he didn't know Gomez or Curtis because the military wants an independent investigator. 

After Fuler left the stand, Dr. Shaku Teas took to the stand. 

Teas is a board certified forensic pathologist. She has performed over 6,000 autopsies. 

Teas said Gibson reached out to her to have her look over the case. Teas said she looked at the slides and other materials Gibson sent her. 

Teas said on March 17th she talked with Gibson on the phone about the findings. She said she sent an email to Gibson summarizing her opinion on what she thought the cause of Cory's death was. Tease said when she told him she didn't see suffocation, Gibson asked if she could rule out poison. Teas said she felt Gibson had a theory and was looking "so hard to substantiate that theory."

She said the face didn't look like someone who was suffocated. She said using a pillow on a 38 year old would be "extremely" difficult. 

Teas said Gibson sounded very hesitant when she told him her findings. She said Gibson asked her not to do a report about her findings. 

Teas said she couldn't rule out sepsis because of Cory being sick prior to her death. 

Teas wrote a report on her findings by the request of the current defense team. She prepared a PowerPoint of her findings to show the jury. 

Teas said it is dangerous to judge rigor mortis just by looking at photographs. She said she wouldn't call Cory's hands "defying gravity." She said the left hand wrist is resting against the pillow in the photo and the other hand has the thumb resting on her chest. She said she found nothing inconsistent with Baird's report of the mild rigor. 

Teas said the three children saw their mother alive that morning and there is nothing inconsistent with Cory dying that morning. She said the lividity is consistent with Cory dying that morning. 

Teas also said the cut inside Cory's lip doesn't show her anything about the time of death because the cut was healing and didn't occur at time of death. 

Teas said she feels with all in consideration, Cory died sometime between 8:15 to the time she was found. 

Teas rebutted any indication that Cory was smothered.

"It was not smothering," she said. 

She said if Cory was smothered she would have woke up and fought. She said she has never seen a 38 year old die of suffocation and leave no evidence. She said she would expect lots of injuries and Cory's face blue if she was smothered. 

Teas said she believes Cory died of fatty liver due to her alcoholism. She said a fatty liver can cause death without warning. She said Illinois statistics show dying of liver disease is more common than dying of homicide. Teas said Cory's liver was larger than a common liver. 

Teas also said statements from the children are important and their age makes them reliable. 

Teas said she is not charging in this case. She said she is doing this second hearing pro bono. She said money wasn't a concern to her and "why shouldn't I testify for somebody I feel shouldn't have even been charged?" 

Click here for complete coverage of the trial. 

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