Parents: Slain anchorwoman was sexually assaulted
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A television anchorwoman killed in her home had been sexually assaulted and beaten so badly in a suspected burglary that her jaw shattered and she broke a hand while trying to fend off her attacker’s blows, her parents said Monday.
“This monster stole my daughter’s innocence,” said Patti Cannady, the mother of Anne Pressly, on NBC’s “Today.”
“He took her life. He took her identity. He took our lives,” she said.
Police Lt. Terry Hastings did not dispute her remarks and those of her husband, Guy, but declined to offer specifics about the attack. Police and prosecutors have refused to say whether Pressly, 26, was sexually assaulted during the Oct. 20 attack in Little Rock.
“A lot of those details, we want the jury to hear those first,” Hastings said.
The 26-year-old anchorwoman for KATV died Oct. 25. An arrest warrant used to pick up Curtis Lavelle Vance, 28, was released Monday but doesn’t mention a sexual assault.
Vance has been assigned three public defenders, who began talking with him Monday afternoon. He remains in jail without bond and has yet to enter a plea in the Pressly slaying.
If prosecutors don’t seek the death penalty, Vance will face life in prison if convicted of capital murder. In addition, he faces rape and residential burglary charges in Marianna, about 90 miles east, Detective Sgt. Carl McCree said.
Police worked for weeks without a named suspect in the Pressly slaying until DNA collected at Pressly’s home matched a sample from an unsolved April rape in Marianna. Authorities there suggested officers investigate Vance, a suspect in several burglaries.
Vance denied his involvement in Pressly’s slaying and allowed a DNA sample to be tested, police said. The DNA matched evidence taken from her home, and investigators now say they’ve solved her case “with all scientific certainty.”
McCree has said Vance became a suspect in the burglaries there after his girlfriend sold allegedly stolen items to a pawn shop, though none of Pressly’s possessions turned up.
Patti Cannady said she found her daughter in bed, bloody and beaten, after she didn’t answer a wake-up call. She said every bone in her daughter’s face had been broken.
“Her jaw pulverized so badly that the bone had come out of it,” Cannady said. “I actually thought that her throat, it possibly been cut, but that was possibly the first knockout punch. Her entire skull had numerous fractures from which she suffered a massive stroke.”