October 09, 2014

Former Illini Lovelace Pleads Not Guilty In Murder Trial

Former prosecutor and all-star Illini athlete, Curtis Lovelace has entered a not guilty plea in connection with the 2006 death of his wife.

Cass County Circuit Judge Robert Hardwick is presiding over the case, and the trial is expected to begin on January 26, 2015 in Adams County Court.  Lovelace is being represented by Springfield attorneys James Elmore and Jeff Page.

Lovelace, 45, a former Quincy school board member was indicted last month in Adams County on a first-degree murder charge related to the Valentine's Day 2006 death of Cory Lovelace, 38, in the family's Quincy home.

Her death had remained an open case because an autopsy and coroner's jury at the time failed to pinpoint what killed of the mother of four. Special Prosecutor, Ed Parkinson has said Curtis Lovelace had told authorities after his wife's death she had been ill.

But Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley said the case took a dramatic turn late last year when a new detective dusted off the file and sought opinions from two outside pathologists, each of whom concluded that Cory Lovelace had been suffocated.

Curtis Lovelace remains jailed in lieu of $5 million bond, and is expected to appear in court again on November 26th.

July 18, 2014

Victim Fights Back In Campustown Holdup Attempt

Champaign Police are investigating an attempted robbery in the Campustown area early Friday morning, in which the victim fought back.

Police say the victim was approached at the corner of 1st and John Streets about 3 AM Friday, by a man wielding a knife, who demanded his wallet and cell phone. The victim said no, and police say the man lunged at him, cutting him with a knife. But the victim defended himself, and punched the robber, who then ran away.

Police are looking for a man who may have an injury to his nose or face. The victim described him as a black male, 30-35 years of age, 5’10”, 190 lbs., 2-3 day subble on his face, with a dark blue, black or green hooded jacket, and blue jeans.  

Anyone with information should call Champaign Police at 217-351-4545 or Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-TIPS (8477).

June 15, 2014

Mall Abduction Victim Freed With Arrest Of Suspect

A man wanted in connection with the abduction of his ex-girlfriend outside Market Place Mall in Champaign has been arrested in Houston, Texas. The abduction victim has also been freed.

Champaign Police say that 19 year old Monica Ramirez' safety was secured with the arrest early Saturday morning of 25 year old Eduardo Guerro Cortez.

Police spokesperson Rene A. Dunn said in a new release that Cortez is being being held in Texas on a Champaign County arrest warrant for aggravated battery, with a bond of one million dollars. Dunn said Ramirez was being sheltered and receiving a medical evaluation.Police also located the vehicle used in the abduction, a 2002 red Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck with stolen Missouri license plates.

Dunn says Champaign Police worked with Houston Police and FBI offices in Champaign and Houston, and benefited from leads supplied by the public in their investigation.

Authorities are still looking for a second suspect who brandished a knife in the abduction, and may still be armed with one. Police describe him as a Hispanic male with short hair, last seen wearing a red shirt with blue shorts. Anyone with information is asked to contact Champaign Police at 217-351-4545 or Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477 and www.373tips.com.

June 15, 2014

Police: 2 Dead, 1 Injured in Dwight Shooting

Police say that two people are dead and another is injured after a shooting in a home Saturday morning in Dwight, on the Livingston-Grundy County line.  

The Dwight Police Department in a news conference on Saturday said that a man who was shot called authorities who arrived at 4:30 a.m. Police arrived on the scene to find two women dead and the man lying on the floor.  

The Bloomington Pantagraph has reported that no arrests have been made. The man has undergone surgery.  

Police did not identify the three individuals and could not confirm whether all three lived at the house.  

Police Chief Tim Henson says authorities will not "let any stone go unturned'' as they investigate.  

Anyone with information has been asked to call the Dwight police department at 815-584-3132. 

June 11, 2014

Sex Crimes Increasing At US Colleges

A recent federal report shows the number of sex offenses reported at American colleges and universities has gone up over the last decade. This is despite a decrease in overall campus crime.

The report said that 3,330 forcible sex offenses were reported on campuses in 2011. This is a 51 percent increase from the decade earlier.

University of Illinois Campus Police Sergeant Joan Fiesta, said sex crimes are severely underreported. She said it takes effort from all students to combat these offenses.

“For the men it’s hey, you know what, this exist. Are we going to be the guys who stand up against it or are we going to not stand up and let this problem persist? For women, the chance of being sexually assaulted in college are higher than in later in life, I think can create an awareness of, okay, what do I do for planning,” Fiesta said.

This joint report was released by the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

According to campus police, the U of I Urbana campus and surrounding areas had 11 forcible sex offenses reported in 2011 and 12 in 2012. 

June 01, 2014

Suspect In Custody In Danville Police Shooting

A Ridge Farm man is in custody in connection with the weekend shooting of a Danville police officer.

Danville Police had been looking for 23-year-old Michael C. Rouse in connection with the Friday night shooting of a police officer. Public Safety Director Larry Thomason says officers spotted Rouse Saturday evening, and chased him into a home on Cannon Street. Police and Vermilion County Sheriff’s deputies surrounded the house, and Rouse surrendered peaceably about three hours later.

Rouse faces a charge of attempted first degree murder to a peace officer. The News-Gazette reports the shooting occurred Friday night, when an officer approached a man on Kentucky Avenue who turned and fired. The officer fired back, but the man fled on foot.  

Bond for Rouse was set at $5 million.

Thomason says the officer is doing well, after his release from the hospital Saturday. His name has not been released, But Thomason says he is a 16-year veteran of the Danville Police Division.

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