TRIED TWICE FOR ALLEGEDLY KILLING HIS WIFE, FORMER HARD-CHARGING PROSECUTOR CURTIS LOVELACE SPEAKS OUT TO “48 HOURS” ABOUT THE CASE THAT MADE NATIONAL HEADLINES
“48 HOURS” INVESTIGATES IN “DEATH ON VALENTINE’S DAY”
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A hard-charging prosecutor and a former college football star, Curtis Lovelace appeared to have it all: a great job, four wonderful kids and a beautiful wife.
But nothing would ever be the same after Curtis found his wife Cory dead in their home in Quincy, Ill., on Valentine’s Day 2006. A pathologist ruled Cory’s death as “undetermined.” And Curtis had moved on with his life – until he was arrested and charged with Cory’s murder in August of 2014.
Maureen Maher and 48 HOURS investigate the death of Cory and interview Curtis about the murder case against him in “Death on Valentine’s Day,” to be broadcast Saturday, March 18 (10:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Curtis Lovelace told police that, on the weekend leading up to Valentine’s Day 2006, Cory appeared to be sick. On that day, he dropped the three oldest kids off at school, leaving their youngest son at home with Cory. When he returned, Curtis discovered his young son at the top of the stairs and Cory dead, in her bed. Her hands and arms suspended above her chest. Their young son later told police he had unsuccessfully tried to wake his mother.
“What I saw was someone who didn’t need help,” Lovelace tells Maher, “I just saw my wife who had passed away.”
Their daughter Lyndsay says there was turmoil in their relationship. Her parents often argued and were heavy drinkers.
“We – we assumed that – that her eating disorder, that her alcoholism – somehow caused her death,” Lovelace tells Maher. “And whether it was checked undetermined – or natural death really wasn’t something we were concerned about.”
Two days after her death, Cory’s body was cremated. That didn’t stop sinister rumors from circulating throughout the Quincy community about what happened that morning inside the Lovelace home.
It wasn’t until 2014, when a new detective at the Quincy Police Department took a look the case file, that Curtis became the focus of a murder investigation. Detective Adam Gibson found a pathologist who testified she could determine a cause of death based on the position of Cory’s arms: she had been smothered with a pillow the night before police were called to the house.
Gibson tells Maher he’s “100 percent certain” Lovelace murdered his wife.
At his first trial, in January 2016, prosecutors said the way Cory’s arms were positioned proved she was dead longer than Lovelace claims. They presented evidence they said supported their finding of suffocation. Lovelace’s defense team argued Cory’s body simply gave out from struggles with bulimia and alcoholism.
A jury could not reach a verdict. Lovelace went on trial again in February of 2017 with the same evidence. But at this trial the jury heard from Lovelace’s second wife, Erica Gomez. She testified Curtis was abusive, a claim he strongly denies.
“We were prepared – in our minds, in our heart for whatever the verdict was,” Curtis Lovelace tells Maher.
48 HOURS: “Death on Valentine’s Day” is produced by Alec Sirken, Josh Gelman and Chris O’Connell. Mike Vele is the producer-editor. David Spungen, Jud Johnston, Kevin Dean and Michelle Harris are the editors. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast producer. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.
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