Pressly murder suspect trial moved to November

Pressly murder suspect trial moved to November

A delay in the trial of the man accused of killing anchorwoman Anne Pressly. After attorneys for Curtis Vance pressed the judge for more time, he agreed, moving the death penalty trial to November 2.
A delay in the trial of the man accused of killing anchorwoman Anne Pressly.  After attorneys for Curtis Vance pressed the judge for more time, he agreed, moving the trial to November 2.

Vance also decided he doesn't want to try the case himself.  At his last court appearance last Vance was ready to go it alone as his own defense.  It’s unknown what’s changed over the last three weeks, but we do know he will keep his attorneys in this death-penalty case.

There were a lot of unanswered questions for Curtis Vance on the way into court Tuesday morning.

Goins says: "Do you still plan to represent yourself Curtis?"

He didn't answer, but once in court, Circuit Judge Chris Piazza asked Vance if he wanted to discuss his handwritten motion he filed earlier this month expressing frustration with his attorneys.  Vance shook his head "no", signaling he no longer wants to represent himself.

Arguing another motion, his attorney Katherine Streett asked for a continuance, saying it would be another 6 to 8 weeks before results would come back on defense testing of DNA and hair sample evidence.

John Johnson, Pulaski County deputy prosecutor, argued the defense already had ample time for testing.

“The testing was complete in April,” Johnson told Piazza.  “Had they wanted further testing they should have asked for it sooner.”

Johnson says the state is using mitochondrial DNA and hair samples as evidence and received results for some of the tests as early as March.

Piazza responded saying it’s not unreasonable to grant a continuance but made it clear he “won’t grant another”, moving the trial from September 9 to November 2.

Leaving court Vance indicated he was ready for the capital murder trial to begin.

Goins says: "Curtis will this trial delay help you at all you think?"  Vance says: "I rather take the trial as soon as possible."

After accusing his attorneys of intentionally trying to ruin his defense last month, Vance took a different tone on the relationship with his public defense team.

"They doing the best they could," Vance says. 

With large amounts of physical evidence and three videotaped confessions, the state is counting on a murder conviction as the best it can do for Anne Pressly and her family.

Prosecutors also answered several defense motions Monday that would be brought up in a capital murder case, including one to reveal aggravating circumstances.  That's a key component in death penalty cases. 

Prosecutors list five aggravaters in the Pressly murder.  Among them, "the murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding arrest, committed for financial gain, and committed in an especially cruel or depraved manner," the motion reads.

Larry Jegley, Pulaski County prosecuting attorney, tells FOX16 News the death penalty is on the table until they take it off and nothing has happened at this point to make them do that.

“That’s why the defense filed all those motions and we responded to them,” Jegley says.

Judge piazza said the November trial will take one week.  He also moved the pre-trial hearing from August 18 to October 6.  Pressly's mother, Patti Cannady, was not in the courtroom Tuesday but her stepfather Guy Cannady did attend the hearing.
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