by Max Brantley
The defense effort to suppress statements by Curtis Vance, accused of killing KATV's Anne Pressly, continues today in Circuit Court.
His 4.5-hour videotaped statement to police two weeks after his November arrest is drawing attention this morning, particularly his alibi that accomplices were responsible. Vance's statement might help explain the past rumors implicating a local celebrity in the death. He tells detectives that an accomplice supposedly told of a connection between Pressly and a local athlete. Authorities have previously debunked that story. It's knotted up in Vance's complicated alibi to explain incriminating DNA evidence. Police say the DNA is from Vance.
Police tell Vance they believe his first confession when he was arrested, that he beat her with a tool he found at the house. They tell him they don't believe his later story, casting blame on others. They tell him that they believe he's inclined to rape and fatally beat Pressly because she saw his face, unlike the Marianna woman Vance is also charged with raping.
UPDATE FROM DAVID KOON on the jump.
Here's the Channel 4 Twitter feed.
Here's Amanda Manatt of Channel 7.
Here's David Goins of Fox 16.
Detectives hammered Vance during a Dec. 10 conversation about the finding of semen on Pressly’s body. He steadfastly insisted he didn’t rape or beat Pressly and explained semen by saying it was left on his socks – used as gloves in the Pressly home intrusion – from an encounter earlier in the day with a prostitute. Detectives told Vance no other DNA was found at the scene.
Police tried to move Vance with a description of the severity of the injuries she suffered. Said Tommy Hudson: “She was a beautiful woman and she’s not beautiful any more. They could not even have an open casket.”
Next up for court review is more than four hours of discussions between police and Vance on Feb. 24.
This is another session instigated by Vance. During the more than four hours of videotape, under persistent detective questioning and encouragement to tell the truth, Vance's story evolved from total innocence, to presence at the house to, finally, an admission that he beat Pressly.
As it began, Vance said he had come to town and was sitting in MacArthur Park when he saw a white person dump a laptop and purse in a garbage can. Vance said he fished them out and found $8,000 in the purse, which had blood on it.
Vance said he'd come to Little Rock to be a lookout on a burglary, but wasn't needed. He was broke, so stopped in the park to spend the night. He said it was a bad neighborhood and he feared being robbed or killed. So he said he drove to the Heights, where he said he'd burgled houses before, because it was safer.
Finally, he told detectives he broke into the house, after first saying Pressly had let him in when he knocked claiming his car had broken down. One change in his story had him saying he found Pressly in bed, already beaten. Finally, however, he told detectives he bludgeoned her with a stick. He continued to disclaim any sex acts.
He had committed "a sick crime,” he is heard telling detectives.