by Max Brantley
Fox 16 has done some jury research work and finds that the jury leaned in favor of the death penalty for Curtis Vance, convicted of capital murder in the beating death of Anne Pressly. But as many as three might have been reluctant, even though verdict forms indicated the jury agreed unanimously that aggravating circumstances outweighed mitigating circumstances in the sentencing decision.
Friday afternoon one of the jurors in the Curtis Vance murder trial called into Dave Elswicks radio show on our content partner KARN. The man does not want his name released but says both the prosecution and defense put on strong cases. He also says there were a few mild arguments during deliberations and that the toughest decision came at the end.
"I don't mind...telling you I wasn't for just staying in prison. I wanted the capital punishment I wanted him to face his charges," the juror said. "But there were a few that wouldn't let us do that and they stopped us and there wasn't anything we could do. We tried to talk to them, they had their reasons and we had our reasons and we just had to go on. Nothing saying bad about them at all."
This is in line with what a juror told a law enforcement source of ours -- that one, perhaps, two jurors stood firmly against the death penalty, when a unanimous verdict was required. Defense testimony in mitigation was critical -- about Vance's tough childhood, about his possible brain damage from abuse, about his children (who played outside in a court hallway while their mother pleaded that their father be spared). That verdict was not unexpected, by either Pressly's family or prosecution.