In five days, Rodney Reed is set to be executed for a murder in Texas that his attorneys believe he didn’t commit.
Reed’s case has sounded an alarm nationally and his legal team filed new documents calling for a stay of execution. They are also attempting to overturn his murder conviction based on new evidence, accompanied by the testimony of seven witnesses, CBS News reports.
Reed, 51, was convicted and sentenced to die in 1998 for the rape and strangulation murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites, by an all-white jury. He has always maintained his innocence, although his DNA was found inside the victim’s body. He has admitted to having an affair with Stites.
Recently, multiple people have come forward implicating Stites’ ex-fiancé, Jimmy Fennell, in her death. Fennell was a former cop who pled guilty and served time for kidnapping a woman while on duty. That woman claims he also raped her. Fennell was released from prison last year.
Reed is being represented by lawyers from The Innocence Project, who have argued that Reed was denied a full and fair trial and that new evidence could exonerate him. He is scheduled to walk the green mile on November 20.
On Monday, Reed’s team filed a petition with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals with the seven testimonies about Stites’ alleged volatile relationship with Fennell.
“These are not people coming out of the woodwork,” said Bryce Benjet, Reed’s attorney and a lawyer with the Innocence Project. “They are police officers, verified co-workers of the victim, and her neighbors. These people have nothing to gain by telling us what they know, and what we have learned corroborates Mr. Reed’s relationship with Ms. Stites and further implicates Jimmy Fennell in the murder.”
Fennel has maintained his innocence with his ex’s murder.
“The real travesty of justice in this Hail Mary, desperate push by Reed’s very creative legal team is that the press, public, and even some gullible politicians have become utterly entranced by smoke and mirrors, while the cold hard facts of Reed’s horrific and bloody legacy of rape, sodomy, and lies seem to fade into the mist of history,” said his lawyer, Bob Phillips to CBS News.
Reed’s case has caught the eye of key celebrities like Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna. He has a Change.org petition that was launched demanded that his execution gets stopped.