Anne Pressly

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Anne Pressly
BornAugust 28, 1982
DiedOctober 25, 2008 (aged 26)[2]
Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
EducationRhodes College- Bachelor's degree in Political Science
OccupationNews anchor, Actress
Notable credit(s)
KATV Reporter[3]
FamilyPatti Cannady (mother)
Brantley Phillips Pressly (father)

Anne Pressly (August 28, 1982 – October 25, 2008) was an American news anchor for KATV Channel 7 in Little Rock, Arkansas. She was born in Beaufort, South Carolina and grew up in Greenville. She moved to Little Rock during her high school junior year when her mother remarried. On October 20, 2008, she was brutally attacked during a robbery at her home and died five days later.


After earning her B.A. in Political Science from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, Pressly was hired at KATV in May 2004 to produce Good Morning Arkansas[4] and report for MidDay Arkansas and Saturday Daybreak. She was promoted to a full-time reporter position in November, 2004.[5]

A chance encounter with a casting director while working on a story helped her land a small role as Candice Black, a conservative commentator, in Oliver Stone's 2008 film W.[6]

Attack and death[edit]

Murder of Anne Pressly
DateOctober 20, 2008
Timebefore 4:30 a.m. CDT
LocationLittle Rock, Arkansas
SuspectsCurtis Lavelle Vance
ChargesCapital murder
Residential burglary
Theft of property
VerdictGuilty on all four counts
Sentenced to life in prison without parole on November 12, 2009

Anne Pressly was found at 4:30 a.m. on October 20, 2008, a half-hour before she was due to appear on the station's Daybreak program. Little Rock police were alerted by her mother, Patricia Cannady, when Pressly did not answer her wake-up call. Cannady found Pressly unresponsive in her bed with injuries sustained to her head and upper body consistent with a beating.[7] She had been raped, her left hand had been broken, and her face had been crushed beyond recognition. The attacker took her laptop computer, her handbag with a credit card, and little else.[8]


Little Rock Police Department spokesman Cassandra Davis said police did not believe that she was intentionally targeted, but robbery was the suspected motive after her purse was discovered missing.[7] Her credit card was used at a service station several miles away, sometime after Cannady had discovered her daughter.[9][10]

Pressly owned two cocker spaniels [3] and it was theorized the attacker gained entrance to her home via a dog door.

Hospitalization and death[edit]

Pressly was hospitalized at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center and died five days later on October 25, 2008.[11][12]

On the evening of her death, Pressly's mother and stepfather released a statement:

We are profoundly saddened to tell you that our dear Anne has lost her struggle for life. It was our hope, as was yours, that Anne would overcome the injuries inflicted upon her in the brutal attack at her home. We were with her in her last moments, and although our hearts are broken, we are at the same time comforted by our faith knowing that Anne is now with our Heavenly Father. The outpouring of compassion we have received is truly a testament to the way in which Anne has touched so many people in a positive way. Thank you for your prayers and your many acts of kindness. We are grateful for the wonderful care Anne received from her doctors, nurses and others at St. Vincent. Our lives will not be the same without her. We ask that you continue to pray for us as we struggle to move forward without our dear sweet daughter. We also ask that you give us the privacy we need at this very difficult time.

Memorial service and reward[edit]

A memorial service for Pressly was scheduled for October 30, 2008.[13] KATV set up a reward fund for information on Pressly's murder and the fund exceeded $50,000.[13] Her family requested that either contributions be made to the fund or a scholarship fund established in her name.[13]

Pressly's alma mater, Rhodes College, expressed a desire to honor her by either establishing a memorial, setting up a scholarship, or supporting her favorite charity.[14]


On November 26, 2008, police in Little Rock, Arkansas arrested Curtis Lavelle Vance, for the murder of Pressly. On November 11, 2009, Vance was convicted of capital murder, residential burglary, rape and theft of property.[15] Vance was reportedly a fan of Pressly, and was a frequent viewer of her morning news show.[15] The following day, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.[16] After Vance's sentencing, an interview was being conducted outside the courtroom with David Bazzell, a local radio personality and a friend of Anne's. Bazzell stated that he felt justice had been carried out. Vance's enraged mother was standing nearby and overheard the comment, shouting at Bazzell, "No it wasn't! No it wasn't! My son is innocent! No justice here today!" DNA evidence had proven that Vance was Pressly's rapist and attacker.[17][18]

The Arkansas Supreme Court rejected Vance's appeal on June 2, 2011.[19]

Vance was also charged with the rape of Kristen Edwards on April 21, 2008 at her home in Marianna, Arkansas.[20] Before he fled, the rapist stole her cell phone and charger, a video and $3 – all the cash she had with her at the time. Vance was subjected to a swab test for his DNA and all 16 genetic markers the test compared matched the DNA recovered from the semen in Edwards's rape. During the trial, Vance admitted under questioning that he had been inside Edwards's home on the morning of the rape, although he claimed that it was because "there were mobs roaming the streets in Little Rock" that morning and he was afraid.[20] Despite his admission of being in the victim's home, her being brutally raped that morning, and the statistically negligible chance of his DNA matching anyone else's, the jury was hung, resulting in a mistrial.[21]


  1. ^[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ KATV Channel 7 - Complete Coverage: Anne Pressly. Retrieved on October 25, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-02. Retrieved 2008-12-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Barnes, Steve (October 21, 2008). "Arkansas Anchorwoman Bludgeoned". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  5. ^ KATV's Anne Pressly Attacked in Home Archived October 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on October 26, 2008.
  6. ^ "Police: Anne Pressley, anchor of KATV in Little Rock, may have been victim of random attack". New York Daily News/Associated Press. October 22, 2008. Archived from the original on 25 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  7. ^ a b Pressly's Step-Father Believes Attacker Will be Found|Channel 7 News Archived October 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on October 26, 2008.
  8. ^ Anchorwoman's Murder Probe Cracks Cold Case ABC News, December 5, 2008.
  9. ^ Barnes, Steve (October 26, 2008). "TV Anchor in Arkansas Dies of Beating Wounds". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  10. ^ "Ark. anchorwoman dies in hospital after beating". New York Post. October 25, 2008. Archived from the original on October 26, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  11. ^ Ark. anchorwoman dies in hospital after beating Archived November 1, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on October 26, 2008.
  12. ^ "Arkansas anchorwoman dies in hospital after beating". New York Daily News. October 26, 2008. Archived from the original on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  13. ^ a b c "Memorial service for Arkansas anchorwoman set for Thursday". October 29, 2008. Archived from the original on 30 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  14. ^ "Rhodes College wants to honor slain anchorwoman". Associated Press and WREG-TV Memphis. October 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  15. ^ a b "Report: Man found guilty of killing Arkansas TV anchor". CNN. November 12, 2009. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  16. ^ Rued, Monika; Mone't, Ebone'; Ritter, Paul. "Jury Gives Curtis Vance Life Without Parole, Family Speaks". KTHV.
  17. ^ "Anchorwoman Anne Pressly Beaten to Death with Garden Tool by Curtis Lavelle Vance, Says Detective". Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  18. ^ News, A. B. C. (2009-11-16). "Anchorwoman's Murder: Life Sentence Enough?". ABC News. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  19. ^ Lyon, John (June 2, 2011). "Court affirms conviction in TV anchorwoman's murder". Arkansas News Bureau. Archived from the original on June 3, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-04. Retrieved 2013-11-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]