Judge denies ex-prosecutor’s request for lower bond

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Curtis Lovelace, a former assistant Adams County state’s attorney and University of Illinois football captain, enters the Adams County Courthouse in Quincy on Friday. Lovelace faces a second murder trial in his wife’s 2006 Valentine’s Day death. | Steve Bohnstedt)/The Quincy Herald-Whig, distributed by the Associated Press

QUINCY — A request for a lower bond from a former Illinois prosecutor facing a second murder trial in his wife’s Valentine’s Day 2006 death was denied Friday by an Adams County judge.

Curtis Lovelace was declared indigent by Judge Bob Hardwick, who ordered the state to pay for the transcripts from his first first-degree murder trial, which ended in a mistrial.

The (Quincy) Herald-Whig reports a Champaign couple, Rich and Libby Herr, were set to post 10 percent of a $1 million bond. Lovelace’s bond will remain at $5 million.

“We felt like we made a convincing case that justice should allow Curt to come home to his family while awaiting trial,” defense attorney Jon Loevy said afterward. “The judge disagreed with us.”

Loevy told the judge that the Lovelaces “couldn’t be more broke.” The hearing began with Lovelace’s wife, Christine, taking the stand to testify about the family’s finances. She said the money raised with an online fundraiser was used to pay experts from the first trial.

“He is broke,” Loevy said. “He has served 20 months for a crime we don’t believe he committed.”

Special prosecutor Ed Parkinson said Lovelace was not being treated differently than anyone who has been charged with first-degree murder in Adams County. He noted two other first-degree murder cases in the county that had bond set at $5 million.

“He is not being singled out on bond,” Parkinson said.

Lovelace, 47, a former Adams County assistant state’s attorney, University of Illinois football captain and Quincy school board president is accused of suffocating first wife Cory Lovelace in her sleep. Lovelace was arrested in 2014 after Quincy police took a fresh look at a case in which the cause of the woman’s death was initially ruled as inconclusive.

Lovelace’s second trial is set for late July. However, Parkinson said there was no chance the trial would take place then. The judge blocked out Oct. 24 through Nov. 4 as an alternative should the two sides not be ready for the July trial date.

Lovelace’s next court hearing is set for June 17.

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