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story.lead_photo.caption Curtis Lavelle Vance is escorted into the courthouse Friday for resumption of his murder trial.

— A jury on Wednesday found Curtis Lavelle Vance guilty on all counts in the death of anchorwoman Anne Pressly. Jurors took just two hours to decide the Marianna man's guilt.

Vance, 29, was found guilty to capital murder, rape and burglary charges in an Oct. 20, 2008, attack so brutal that Pressly’s mother didn’t recognize her when she rushed to the anchorwoman’s aid.

The panel was to reconvene later Wednesday to weigh whether Curtis Lavelle Vance should be executed or sentenced to life in prison without parole for the Oct. 20, 2008, attack on Anne Pressly at her Little Rock bungalow.

After the verdicts were read, Pressly’s mother, Patti Cannady, raised a hand and said, “Praise God. Praise God.” She burst into sobs.

Once the jurors had left, Vance gestured toward the empty jury box, pointed to his eyes and ears and shook his head.

Earlier in the day, the jury had asked for clarifications on a few instructions once in deliberations, according to reports from the courthouse.

Vance, 29, was found guilty to capital murder, rape and burglary charges in an Oct. 20, 2008, attack so brutal that Pressly's mother didn't recognize her when she rushed to the anchorwoman's aid.

Vance found guilty on all counts

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Judge Chris Piazza told the jurors that the Vance interview transcripts are not evidence, just the interviews. He also declined the jury's request for smaller versions of the diagrams showing Pressly's home and give DNA evidence notes.

In closing arguments at the trial of the man charged with killing Pressly, a prosecutor described the suspect as “someone who makes dogs bark at night.”

“He made this person look like this,” deputy prosecutor John Johnson said, holding up a KATV publicity shot and a photograph taken during Pressly’s autopsy. A medical examiner had testified Tuesday that the front of Pressly’s face was broken “like an egg.”

Defense lawyer Teri Chambers told jurors that too much was lacking from the state’s case to warrant a conviction. She said tests showing that hair found at the scene was similar to Vance’s were not precise enough to prove a connection.

Anne Pressly

“This evidence means nothing. You cannot base a conviction on it,” Chambers said. She also repeated claims that police fed Vance information about the case so he would give it back to officers in the form of a confession.

Pressly was attacked at her home Oct. 20, 2008, and died five days later. Police say DNA evidence linked Vance to the crime scene.

On a tape played for jurors Monday, Vance told a police detective that he beat Pressly with a piece of wood that he found in her backyard — but never explained why. “I lose control, she lose control,” Vance said in the February interview.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Thank you for coming to the Web site of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. We're working to keep you informed with the latest breaking news.

Information for this article was contributed by The Associated Press.

Print Headline: Sentencing phase now under way


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Archived Comments

  • GeraldWells42
    November 11, 2009 at 2:28 p.m.

    If convicted when will Vance die? A beheading would not be good enough.

  • JusticeMan
    November 11, 2009 at 8:20 p.m.

    The people of Little Rock should storm the facility and get this SOB. The family should be allowed to kill this worthless POS as they see fit. There needs to be justice.

    I don't call a needle stuck in his arm 20 years from now justice.

    This kind of crap needs to stop and it won't stop until such time as people demand justice.

  • m139139
    November 11, 2009 at 8:50 p.m.

    I hope Curtis Lavelle Vance is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

  • cheatsheetnews
    November 11, 2009 at 9:54 p.m.

    This article is linked on Cheat Sheet News

  • brienwithersgmailcom
    November 12, 2009 at 4:05 a.m.

    the man is being railroad by the city of little rock. 1st off the trail should have been moved due to the predjudice of the area. people around here want this man to go down rather he did it or not, thats obvious. in court there must be evidence to convict, in this case there was none therefore once this thing makes it to an appealate court the man will be free. what needs to happen is the cops need to find the man who did this crime because he's still out here, thats whats scary.

  • RC
    November 12, 2009 at 4:53 a.m.

    He may be guilty, but his attorney is guilty of malpractice!Man alledgedly kills a prominent member of the media and there is no change of venue?! C'mon that is basic!

  • ahbeavers
    November 12, 2009 at 7:13 a.m.

    It is unfortunate that Mr. Vance does not understand or "get it" before sentencing is passed. It could possibly save his life. I do not think anyone in his circle of family, friends and advisors have a clue to prevent the ultimate sentence. He has about eight hours left to prevent the ultimate if he continues down this course.

  • Poorboy
    November 12, 2009 at 4:10 p.m.

    Personally, I'd rather see him get life in prison and suffer a long painful death than to get the easy way out by lethal injection. His mother should be made to serve his time as well due to the way she treated him as a child.

  • 1sassygirl
    November 12, 2009 at 8:46 p.m.

    I watched the Anne Pressly special on channel 7 last night. I have to agree with what her friend, David Bazel said. Vance will answer to a higher authority for what he has done when he meets his maker.