Death Row Inmate To Die Next Month Despite Victim’s Family Trying To Save Him
A death row inmate is being put to death in Texas next month, despite the victim’s family campaigning to save him.
Rodney Reed, 52, was charged with the rape and murder of Stacey Stites, 19, in 1996. Reed was convicted of strangling Stacey during an aggravated sexual assault in Bastrop, Texas.
However, in the years that followed, Stacey’s family have worked tirelessly to protest Reed’s innocence, claiming the young woman was actually strangled by her police officer fiancé, Jimmy Fennell. Reed himself has continuously maintained his innocence.
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Reed has been on death row for 22 years. His original execution date was scheduled for 2015, but was postponed because of new witness testimony and forensic analysis.
However, the court then ruled against Reed, who is now facing execution on November 20, as reported by CBS Austin.
Earlier this month, Reed’s attorneys filed a motion asking the Bastrop County District Court to withdraw Reed’s execution date to allow them more time to investigate claims from two new witnesses in the case.
Among these witnesses was one individual who claims Stacey’s cop fiancé told them she ‘got what she deserved’. They said:
I was down at the funeral home when Stacey was down there, I was standing in the hallway and Jimmy himself come up beside me.
He said something about she was buried in her white wedding dress. He said something to me to the effect… she more or less got what she deserved.
UNILAD spoke with Julie Strickland, a woman who has known Reed since they were teenagers together in Wichita Falls, Texas.
She is among the individuals who are still campaigning for a new trial or exoneration for Reed, believing him to be wrongfully accused.
Julie told UNILAD:
We have our sights set on a new trial or an exoneration. We are with Rodney when he says he doesn’t entertain the idea of being executed. We are still continuing to campaign for Rodney, and we love everything our supporters are doing to share Rodney’s message.
A Change.org petition to put a stop to the execution of Rodney Reed has gained more than 80,000 signatures at the time of writing.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
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