Last October, Arkansas anchorwoman Anne Presley was raped and beaten and left for dead in her home. Five days after being found, she passed away in a hospital. Twenty-eight year old Curtis Vance was charged with capital murder, rape, residential burglary, and theft in conjunction with Presley’s death. A motion has been brought to the table which will bar police from further interviewing or interrogating Vance. This motion comes after attorneys claim that Vance was interviewed twice without legal representation. Opposing counsel claims that in actuality Vance had initiated the contact with the authorities and had waived his right to have an attorney present. The court will hear the case on March 17 and rule accordingly.
This case brings a lot of interesting topics to light. One such point is the breakdown in communication between the opposing counsels with the defendant apparently caught in the middle. Each side is claiming something different occurred, which may present a challenge for the judge and impending jury in trying to determine the facts. In some cases, there is at least a common ground upon which each side argues, but in this instance they cannot even agree on how communication between authorities and Vance. This also can bring up an interesting debate regarding a person’s miranda rights and the Sixth Amendment. Unfortunately, details for a ruling in the court of public opinion will be scarce, as a gag order barring both sides from talking about the case has been issued.