Texas Death Row Inmate Rodney Reed’s Execution Halted
According to the Dallas News, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has officially granted a stay and put the execution of Rodney Reed on hold. The decision was announced Friday evening after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles suggested the execution be delayed for 120 days.
The decision was reportedly “based in part on his claims of actual innocence.”
Reed was sentenced to death more than two decades ago in connection to the murder of 19-year-old girl. Prosecutors involved with the case accused Reed of raping and killing Stites in 1996, after DNA tests linked Reed to the sperm found inside Stites’ body; however, Reed’s legal team claims their client was having an affair with the victim, which explained the DNA match.
Many people have stepped forward over the years accusing former police officer Jimmy Fennell in the murder. Fennell, Stites’ fiancé at the time, was released from prison in 2018, after kidnapping a woman while on duty. An inmate that served tome with him reported the ex-cop had bragged about killing his Stites because she was having an affair with a black man.
Thankfully, the case will head back to trial court, where the defense will present new evidence that will reportedly clear Reed’s name.