BASTROP, Texas - With only 3 weeks until he is set to die, attorneys for convicted murderer Rodney Reed are trying to spare his life one last time. The Innocence Project, the same group who helped free Michael Morton, says new evidence clears Reed of the 1996 murder of Bastrop teen Stacey Stites.
Reed's attorneys say three forensic pathologists have found that Bastrop teen Stacey Stites was killed hours before initially thought.
In 1996 Stites' body was found by the side of a road outside of Bastrop. It was determined she was raped and killed by strangulation while on her way to work around 3am on April 23rd.
In 1998 Rodney Reed, who claims he was romantically linked to Stites, was sentenced to death for the crime.
Reed's attorneys have filed countless appeals over the years and been denied. His attorneys' latest attempt surrounds the research of three forensic pathologists. They say Stites was killed four hours before her body was found.
Reed's attorneys say that implicates her fiancé Jimmy Fennell. Fennell went onto become a Georgetown police officer. In 2008 he was sent to prison for sexually assaulting a woman while on duty.
According to Reed's Attorney Andrew Macrae, ""I would hope that the state would want to execute someone only after we're certain that person is guilty. What the state is trying to do here in our view is rush the execution date before we get to the evidence that establishes Mr. Reed's innocence."
Reed's attorney also filed a petition with the board of pardons and paroles seeking a change in sentence from death to life. The petition must be filed 21 days before execution date.
The board votes and delivers a recommendation to the Governor.