MARIANNA (AP) — The rape trial for the man convicted of killing a Little Rock TV anchorwoman was delayed Friday for the fifth time.
Curtis Vance, who’s serving a life sentence without parole for the October 2008 beating death of Anne Pressly, still awaits trial on an unrelated rape charge in Lee County. He’s accused of raping a schoolteacher in her Marianna home in April 2008.
The trial is now set for Feb. 1. Judge Olly Neal granted the continuance because Vance’s attorney had a scheduling conflict, the Lee County clerk’s office said.
Vance, 29, had been originally set to go on trial Nov. 1.
The judge also rejected a defense motion seeking to have DNA evidence from the rape kept out of the trial.
The rape was what led police to arrest Vance for Pressly’s death. Police said DNA from the rape scene in Marianna matched DNA found at Pressly’s Little Rock home after she was beaten.
Both crimes were linked to Vance after he voluntarily gave a DNA sample, police said.
Prosecutor Fletcher Long didn’t immediately return a call to The Associated Press for comment Friday. Katherine Streett of the Arkansas Public Defender Commission, which represents Vance, has declined to discuss the case with reporters.
Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Vance in the killing of Pressly, 26, who was an anchor on KATV’s “Daybreak” program and appeared briefly in Oliver Stone’s film “W.”
Pressly never regained consciousness after the Oct. 20, 2008, beating. She died five days after the attack.
Crime scene investigators found a single hair in Pressly’s bedroom, and DNA testing matched the hair to Vance. At the Pressly murder trial, the Marianna schoolteacher testified in detail about how she was raped by an intruder, who police say was Vance.
He faces up to life in prison for the rape if convicted.