TV Anchor in Arkansas Dies of Beating Wounds
By STEVE BARNES
Published: October 26, 2008
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A local television anchorwoman found savagely beaten in her home last week died of her wounds on Saturday night.
The death of the anchor, Anne Pressly, was announced by her parents through St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center. On Friday, it had been reported that Ms. Pressly was somewhat improved, although still in critical condition and unable to communicate verbally. Her doctors had described themselves as “guardedly optimistic” that she would recover.
“It was our hope, as was yours, that Anne would overcome the injuries inflicted upon her in the brutal attack at her home,” her parents, Patricia and George G. Cannady, said Saturday in the hospital’s news release. “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.”
Ms. Pressly, 26, was discovered by her mother, who went to her daughter’s home in the prosperous Pulaski Heights neighborhood when Ms. Pressly failed to answer a routine wakeup call. Ms. Pressly appeared on the “Daybreak” program on KATV, the ABC television affiliate here.
Mrs. Cannady had been visiting Little Rock from her home in Pawleys Island, S.C., when the attack occurred.
The police said Ms. Pressly sustained trauma to her face, head and neck during what they believe was a robbery in her home. Detectives have said they have no evidence that Ms. Pressly had been singled out or stalked. A credit card belonging to Ms. Pressly was used at a service station several miles from her residence shortly after Mrs. Cannady discovered her daughter, the police said.
Ms. Pressly was a native of Greenville, S.C., and a political science graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis. She had been employed by the station since 2004 after serving several technical and editorial internships there.
Ms. Pressly appears in an uncredited role in the Oliver Stone film “W,” based on the presidency of George W. Bush. Mr. Stone awarded her a 30-second part when he reportedly noticed her physical resemblance to the conservative commentator Ann Coulter when Ms. Pressly visited the set of the film, in nearby Shreveport, La., to prepare a feature story on the production.
It is difficult to fight the impulse to jump to the conclusion that the brutal attack on Anne Pressly was a hate crime directed against a woman who had the audacity not only to be a member of what McCain-Palin has relentlessly demonized as the "liberal media elite" but to have portrayed Right-Wing commentator Ann Coulter in a cameo role in Oliver Stone's "W". But the investigation continues, and nothing is known for certain yet.
Please turn down the hate. We have seen time and time again how hate turns to violence. When you continuously demonize and dehumanize those who oppose you, especially when this is done by persons of national prominence with a wide and eagerly receptive audience, it becomes too easy for mentally ill individuals to hear this as a call to action. If it turns out that this was in fact the motive that led to this crime, its guilt will be shared by many people.
Turn down the hate.
Arkansas man charged in anchorwoman's slaying
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A man has been charged with capital murder in the beating death of a popular television anchorwoman, police said on Thursday.
Officers arrested Curtis Lavelle Vance, 28, at a home in Little Rock on Wednesday night — tipped to his location after police held a late-evening news conference to reveal him as their suspect. "We went there and he's in custody," said Lt. Terry Hastings, a police spokesman.