AUSTIN (KXAN) — More celebrities joined Kim Kardashian West over the weekend in calling on Gov. Abbott to halt the execution of Rodney Reed.
On Sunday, rappers Meek Mill and T.I. tweeted a link to the “FREE RODNEY REED” online petition. T.I specifically tagged Gov. Abbott in his post urging him to stop the execution.
Early Monday morning, Rihanna also joined the fight, calling on Abbott and sharing the online petition.
Last month, Kardashian West, who has 62 million followers on Twitter, said she has been “investigating” Reed’s case and tagged Abbott, telling him to “do the right thing.”
Sandra Reed welcomed the attention from Kardashian West.
“I’m really satisfied and happy with what we are doing and who we got and if she’s wanting to get on board he more the merrier and I welcome her and I thank her already,” she told KXAN in an interview on Saturday.
For decades, Reed and his family have maintained that he did not kill 19-year-old Stacey Stites in Bastrop in 1996.
While Reed was not looked into initially, he became a suspect when investigators ran his DNA as part of a separate alleged sexual assault case that was later dropped, the Reed defense says.
Authorities said Reed’s DNA matched evidence found in the Stites case, and he was arrested and charged with capital murder in 1997.
Reed claims he had a secret and consensual relationship with Stites, which explains the DNA match. Reed’s legal team has continuously pointed the finger at Stites’ then-fiance, former police officer Jimmy Fennell, as the killer. Investigators considered Fennell a suspect prior to Reed’s DNA match.
Fennell was later convicted of the 2007 rape of a woman in his custody when he was a Georgetown police officer. Last week, a former leader of the Aryan Brotherhood said that Fennell confessed to killing Stites while serving a 10-year sentence. The witness said Fennell approached the Aryan Brotherhood for protection in prison.