A jury sentenced a man to life in prison Thursday for the beating death of a popular Arkansas television personality, sparing him the death penalty after hearing testimony about his rocky upbringing by an abusive, drug-addicted mother.
Jurors deliberated less than three hours before recommending that Curtis Lavelle Vance, 29, be sentenced to life in prison without parole for the death of Anne Pressly. They also handed down a life sentence for rape, 20 years for burglary and 10 years for theft.
Pressly, 26, was an anchor on KATV‘s “Daybreak” program and had a bit part in the President George W. Bush biopic “W.” She died Oct. 25, 2008, five days after a brutal assault that crushed her face and left her gasping for air.
Vance’s mother testified Thursday that she was abusive, and a doctor said Vance showed signs of paranoia. Pressly’s mother, Patti Cannady, told jurors Wednesday what it was like to lose an only child.
After the verdict was read, Cannady mouthed “It’s OK” to prosecutor Larry Jegley, nodded, and tucked her hands over her heart. More…