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Jury Selection Begins Today for Man Accused of Killing KATV Anchor

In ABC, Arkansas, Little Rock-Pine Bluff, Obits on February 1, 2011 at 4:01 am

Anne Pressly

The man convicted of beating, raping and murdering KATV anchorwoman Anne Pressly in 2008 will go to trial soon.

Curtis Lavelle Vance was convicted of capital murder in 2009 for raping a teacher in east Arkansas; once his DNA was in the system, investigators discovered a match in the Pressly case as well.

From the Log Cabin Democrat:

Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Vance for the Pressly killing, but jurors opted for a sentence of life in prison without parole after listening to penalty phase testimony about Vance being abused as a boy by his drug-addicted prostitute mother and about his devotion to members of his family, including his three children.

Vance, 30, was linked to Pressly’s killing by a single hair that was found in her bedding at her Little Rock home. He has appealed his conviction, arguing among other things that the evidence from the Marianna rape case should not have been allowed at trial. Vance had emerged as a suspect in the Marianna case even before DNA samples from the victim were analyzed.

The teacher’s testimony was a key part of Vance’s capital murder trial in Little Rock. The victim described how her attacker, whom she did not see, entered her home and assaulted her, threatening her if she dared to look at him. There were similarities in the way the women were brutalized, which prosecutors highlighted for jurors.

Some legal experts have speculated Vance may get the death penalty this time around.