COMMENTARY: "A reasonably dubious rap
"Former Illini football captain Curtis Lovelace looks at prosecutors during his murder retrial March 6 at the Sangamon County Courthouse in Springfield. Lovelace, a former Adams County assistant state's attorney, was acquitted of murder last week in the 2006 death of his first wife. His first trial ended with a deadlocked jury."
GIST: "A Sangamon County jury had little trouble last week reaching a conclusion in the murder retrial of Quincy lawyer and former Illini football captain Curt Lovelace, agreeing on a not-guilty verdict in about two hours. That was no surprise. This case had reasonable doubt written all over it. Indeed, there was so much doubt as to raise serious questions about whether criminal charges should have been brought in the first place. Expert witnesses disagreed about both the time and cause of the Feb. 14, 2006, death of 38-year-old Cory Lovelace. Just as important, two of the Lovelace children told authorities then and testified at two trials that they saw their ailing mother that morning before they went to school. The children's testimony directly contradicted the prosecution theory that Curt Lovelace suffocated his wife about 12 hours before he said he found her dead in an upstairs bedroom. The defense argued that there was no crime because Mrs. Lovelace died of natural causes that morning as a result of liver problems caused by years of alcoholism.........In addition to "48 Hours," news reports have indicated that the NBC News program "Dateline" is also interested in the Lovelace case. The pathologist who conducted the initial autopsy on Cory Lovelace could not determine her cause of death. Ultimately, police found no reason to file any criminal charges. However, in 2014, a new Quincy detective, Adam Gibson, took a second look at the case, soliciting other professional cause-of-death opinions, a move defense lawyers derisively dismissed as expert shopping. Ultimately, Lovelace was arrested in August 2014 and held in jail on $500,000 bond for roughly two years. After the first trial, the defense prevailed on Hardwick to reduce the bond to one that Lovelace's friends could meet, and he was released from jail and confined to his home. Months before Lovelace's arrest, Gibson was having trouble with the initial autopsy conducted by Dr. Jessica Bowman and her finding that Mrs. Lovelace's cause of death was "undetermined." In his search for other expert witnesses who would conclude the death was a homicide, Gibson corresponded with Dr. Scott Denton. Denton warned Gibson that if Bowman refused to amend her cause of death, filing charges against Lovelace would not "succeed in court." "Since there is no body, her opinion of 'undetermined' will always trump anyone else's as reasonable doubt, at least to me," Denton said. That email was among discovery materials that were not turned over to the defense. Lovelace's lawyers eventually obtained them through a third party and confronted Gibson on the witness stand about his failure to turn over the emails. He replied that he had shown the disputed emails to prosecutor Ed Parkinson and been told to keep them himself rather than give them to Parkinson because Parkinson would be legally obligated to provide copies to the defense. Parkinson denied Gibson had ever shown him the emails in question. That conflict resulted in an unusual evidentiary stipulation in which Parkinson told jurors that his witness, Gibson, had testified falsely. The stipulation, signed by both prosecution and defense lawyers, said Parkinson "denies that Detective Gibson ever showed him copies of the Denton emails referring to 'reasonable doubt'" or told him of the "existence of the Denton emails" prior to the defense getting its own copies from a third party."
The entire commentary can be found at:
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/