The trial of a man accused of killing popular Little Rock, Ark., anchorwoman Anne Pressly is set to begin Monday, after being postponed nearly two months.
Curtis Lavelle Vance is accused of beating Pressly, 26, a rising star on the local morning news scene, into a coma and raping her in her apartment in October 2008 after a break-in. The face so many in her hometown had come to know was crushed beyond recognition. Five days after the attack, Pressly's brain stem ruptured and she died.
Vance, 28, of Marianna, Ark., is charged with capital murder. He pleaded not guilty to the attack. If convicted, Vance could face the death penalty or a life sentence.
Police said Vance did not know the anchorwoman prior to allegedly beating her to death.
Pressly's parents hope that a trial will answer the questions that keep them up at night.
"What kind of monster are you that would take the life of an innocent child?" asked her mother Patti Cannady. "What fills you with rage and hatred and no respect for human life? Why did you have to hurt my child and take her life?"
As reported on "20/20" in December 2008, the investigation into Pressly's murder may have helped solve a second crime.
Kristen Edwards, of Marianna, Ark., was raped and attacked in April. Police say that DNA evidence from Pressly's crime scene matched Edwards' attacker, and detectives from both cities collaborated to search for a suspect. Some 100 miles away, Edwards, a schoolteacher and fan of Pressly, was attacked while getting ready for work.
"It was a surprise," Edwards told ABC News. "He was hiding in my living room, and I never saw it coming. Never saw it coming." Edwards' attacker had come at her from behind, and forced her to lie on her stomach so she could not see his face.
Edwards said her rapist warned her not to turn around, and told her he had a gun and would kill her if she tried to look at him. And while she feared for her life until the end, she survived.
"I pretty much did as I was told to do," she said. "I didn't look, I didn't fight, I stopped yelling -- that sort of thing."
But Anne Pressly fought back against her attacker. Doctors also found that her left hand had been broken -- a defensive wound.
Patti Cannady, found her daughter the morning after the attack.
"It was brutal," she said. "Blood all over the walls; [I] could not recognize her."
Five days after the attack, Pressly's brain stem ruptured and she died.
"It is the worst nightmare that any human being could ever have to face," said Patti Cannady. "It is a nightmare to lose a child. To find your child. Our lives will never be the same."
She said she is determined to look her daughter's murderer in the eye.
"I am not leaving," she said. "I will see this person eye-to-eye. They'll have to face me. And God."
Kristen Edwards also wants the opportunity to confront her attacker.
"It's important for me to face him," she said. "I want to say to his face what he's done to me. I want that opportunity."
From day one, Little Rock police had powerful evidence in Pressly's case. She had fought her attacker and detectives recovered DNA from sperm, blood and his skin, taken from beneath Pressly's fingernails.