Killer Of Ark. TV Anchor Won't Be Retried For Rape

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A man already incarcerated for killing an Arkansas television anchorwoman won't be tried again on a separate rape charge after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict in the case, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Lee County prosecutor Fletcher Long told The Associated Press that he has decided not to retry Curtis Lavelle Vance because the accuser, a Marianna school teacher who was attacked in her home, doesn't want to go through another trial.

"Unless she changes her mind, I will be governed by that," Long said. "And she told me, 'I won't change my mind.'"

A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday after jurors said they couldn't agree on a unanimous verdict.

Vance, 30, was charged in the April 2008 rape case after he became a suspect in the beating death of KATV morning show host Anne Pressly. A sample extracted from a hair found in Pressly's bedding matched DNA from the rape investigation in Marianna, and investigators said both samples were traced to Vance.

The woman was a key witness in Vance's capital murder trial in Little Rock, testifying about how she was grabbed from behind early in the morning as she was getting ready to go to work teaching science at Marianna High School. He was convicted of the murder in 2009 and sentenced to life in prison without parole and has filed an appeal.

The rape case focused heavily on the DNA evidence and testimony from the teacher. Defense attorney Bill James attacked the validity of DNA testing and emphasized that the woman did not see her attacker.

Vance took the stand in his own defense, denying that he killed Pressly and saying he had no idea how his DNA was found on the Lee County woman.

Long called it "an outrage" that the jury couldn't reach a verdict.

"It's like getting raped once in your house and getting raped again in the courtroom," he said.

Jurors declined to comment after they were released by the judge.