Rodney Reed trial begins to take toll on his family

Rodney Reed sat quietly Thursday as opposing attorneys spent much of the day challenging each other.

The hearing, now in its third day, has started to wear on Reed's family. "It's exposing everything, the autopsy, the corruption, the misprosecutorial conduct, its exposing everything," said the mother of Rodney Reed, Sandra Reed.

The focus of the hearing on Thursday returned to what is portrayed as a critical timeline discrepancy in this controversial murder case. It involves the alibi for Jimmy Fennell, the fiance of the woman who Reed was convicted of killing two decades ago.

Fennell is a former Georgetown police officer who was sent to jail in 2008 for kidnapping a woman he detained as well as for Improper Sexual Activity. He has refused to testify for the Reed Hearing, but in 1998 during the murder trial, Fennell said on April 22nd, 1996, the day before the body of Stacey Stites was found, they were home together and she went to bed around 9 pm.

He went on to testify he was asleep when Stites got up to go to her 3 am shift at a local grocery store.

Fennell's friend, Curtis Davis, testified earlier in this week about a different account from Fennell that he shared in an interview on a Cable TV program. "My intent was to give the side of the story that I didn't think that was being given," said Davis Tuesday morning regarding why he did the interview.

Davis claims Fennell told him he had been out drinking on April 22nd and came home late, about 10:00 he estimated, after Stites had gone to bed. "He was the last person to see her," said Lydia Clay-Jackson, one of Reed's original defense lawyers.

Matthew Ottoway, the State Attorney, challenged the assertion from Clay-Jackson that she had known about the new timeline account, in 1998, it would have changed her defense strategy.

Ottoway asked what made her question the 3 am time of death developed at the trial.

"When he said he got home and when he testified he did in fact get home, and what he did after he got home ... Given the new time frame that we have, on the death then thats how it has," said Clay-Jackson.

Wednesday, a noted forensic expert, Dr. Michael Baden, testified major mistakes were made in the autopsy.

According to Baden, Stites was not killed on the morning of April 23, after Fennel says she left home for work but before midnight the day earlier.

Reed's attorneys say that information is a game changer and warrants a new trial.

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