Monday, October 20, 2008

TV anchorwoman in critical condition after attack in home

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A popular local TV anchorwoman who had a small part in the Bush biopic "W" was in critical condition Monday after being beaten in her home. Police questioned whether she could have been targeted.

KATV anchor Anne Pressly, 26, was found about 4:30 a.m. Monday — a half-hour before she was due to appear on the station's "Daybreak" program. Pressly's mother went to the anchorwoman's house when she didn't answer a wake-up call, Little Rock police spokeswoman Cassandra Davis said.

Asked whether Pressly may have been targeted because of her job, Davis said officers were talking to station employees to determine whether she "has had any problems." Davis would not discuss specifics.

"(It) is possible that it is something other than robbery," Davis said. "Our detectives are talking with co-workers because she was a public figure, because she was on the news, in the media."

In a statement, KATV president and general manager Dale Nicholson said the anchor "is a person who simply lights up the room, by just walking in.

"The KATV family is having to deal with a personal crisis in our lives with the senseless brutality last night to one of our Daybreak anchors, Anne Pressly," Nicholson said. "I know her viewers will join her family as well as the KATV family in praying for a speedy recovery for Anne, who means so much to all of our staff."

Pressly was found unresponsive in her bed and a police report said she was bleeding from her head. Davis said Pressly was in critical condition at a hospital.

Davis said Pressly was stabbed, but KATV cited investigators later in reporting that all of her injuries were from being beaten in the head and upper body.

Pressly appeared briefly in Oliver Stone's new movie about President Bush that opened over the weekend.

She portrays a conservative commentator who speaks favorably of President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" event on an aircraft carrier shortly after the start of the Iraq war. She won the role after being noticed by the casting director when she went to Shreveport, La., where the movie was filmed, to work on a story about it and the city's film industry.

Spokeswoman Kate Hubin for the film company Lionsgate confirmed Pressly's role but declined to comment further.

KATV's Web site notes that Pressly's most notable interview was with Vice President Dick Cheney. Traveling through an Arkansas town, she found the highway blocked in front of a hunting goods store because Cheney was inside. Pressly asked for an interview, which she conducted on the ammunition aisle.

Early Monday afternoon, a man answering a phone number for Pressly's mother, Patricia Cannady, said the family had no comment.

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