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Former Adams County prosecutor charged with murder

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Photo - Curtis Lovelace is escorted out of the Adams County Courthouse in Quincy, Ill., Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, after being formally charged with first-degree murder in the February 2006 death of his wife. Lovelace, a former assistant state's attorney in western Illinois' Adams County, is accused of suffocating Cory D. Lovelace. He was arrested Wednesday near his Quincy law office. (AP Photo/The Quincy Herald-Whig, Steve Bohnstedt)
Curtis Lovelace is escorted out of the Adams County Courthouse in Quincy, Ill., Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, after being formally charged with first-degree murder in the February 2006 death of his wife. Lovelace, a former assistant state's attorney in western Illinois' Adams County, is accused of suffocating Cory D. Lovelace. He was arrested Wednesday near his Quincy law office. (AP Photo/The Quincy Herald-Whig, Steve Bohnstedt)
Crime,Illinois

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — Curtis D. Lovelace, an All-Big Ten center at Illinois who later became an Adams County assistant state's attorney, was formerly charged Thursday with first-degree murder in the death of his wife.

Lovelace, a private practice lawyer in Quincy, is accused of suffocating Cory D. Lovelace, 38, on Feb. 14, 2006. A month later, a coroner's jury ruled the cause of death undetermined. An autopsy reached the same conclusion.

During an arraignment hearing, Judge Scott Butler advised Lovelace, who is being held in lieu of $5 million bond, that he faces between 20 and 60 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 if convicted.

The arraignment was continued until Sept. 12, to allow Lovelace, 45, to obtain legal representation.

The Quincy Herald-Whig reports (http://bit.ly/1pmH3Gs) that Lovelace answered Butler's questions in the affirmative, saying "I understand, your honor," several times. He also said he wanted to find a lawyer to represent him.

"I'm not totally sure of the costs associated with (hiring a lawyer), but I do want to make an effort (to hire someone)," Lovelace said.

The judge deferred on Lovelace's request that his bond be lowered.

"I'm reluctant to have you say anything without the help of counsel," Butler answered.

Details of Cory Lovelace's death weren't revealed during Thursday's hearing. Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley said the investigation into her death was reopened in December 2013 after the department received new information. Lovelace was arrested without incident Wednesday near his Quincy law office.

The case against Lovelace is being handled by the State Appellate Prosecutor's Service in Springfield. Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard requested the special prosecutor because of Lovelace's former position in his office.

Lovelace is being held in the Hancock County Jail. Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer there is nowhere inside the Adams County Jail for Lovelace to be separated from others in the jail's population.

While playing for the Illini, between 1986 and 1990, Lovelace was chosen team captain and was the starting center on the All-Big Ten team during his junior and senior years.

A member of the Illinois bar for 20 years, Lovelace served on the Quincy school board attorney and is a captain in the Illinois National Guard Judge Advocate Corps.

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