WASHINGTON, D.C. (KXAN) —On Wednesday, Oct. 9, family members of Rodney Reed, a Texas man who was convicted in a famous 1996 murder case, rallied on the steps at the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to stop Reed’s scheduled Nov. 20 execution.
BACKGROUND: Murder in the Lost Pines: The Rodney Reed Case
For decades, Reed and his family have maintained that he did not kill 19-year-old Stacey Stites in Bastrop in 1996. Stites, a bride-to-be who worked at H-E-B, was found dumped on the side of a rural road north of Bastrop after a search that began when she didn’t show up for work that morning.
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.
In a statement on Oct. 9, Reed’s brother Rodrick said: “We must continue lifting and amplifying our voices as loudly as possible to ensure that Texas does not execute my brother, an innocent man, for a crime he had no part in whatsoever. The true murderer(s) are still out there and have not been held accountable for taking Ms. Stites’s life. We demand justice for Rodney, Stacey, and both Stacey’s family and my family.”
Just this week, Reed’s mother Sandra and brother Rodrick appeared on “Dr. Phil” to discuss Rodney’s case and their quest to stop his execution. Dr. Phil McGraw himself also sat down with Rodney to discuss his case.
In an exclusive interview with KXAN’s Sally Hernandez, McGraw said: “I’ve spent a lot of years in my career in deception detection. I’ve looked this man in the eye. I asked him a lot of questions, and I believe he is being very truthful. He answered questions straight up.”
With the execution date quickly approaching, the Reed family continues fighting to save his life for what they consider a wrongful execution. In addition to rallying, the Reed family recently filed a motion to withdraw his execution.