Days away from impending execution date, Rodney Reed supporters rally at Governor’s Mansion
AUSTIN, Texas - Days away from an execution date, hundreds gathered outside of the governor's mansion demanding clemency for death row inmate Rodney Reed.
Reed sits in a jail cell convicted of the 1996 murder of Stacy Stites. A brutal death, Reeds attorney's claim, that did not happen by his hands but instead Stites' former fiancé and ex-cop Jimmy Fennell.
New evidence came to light when a Hays County jail inmate came forward claiming Fennell confessed to killing Stites. Fennell’s attorney Robert Phillips has responded to the allegations.
“Lawyers for Mr. Reed are doing what any good lawyers would do in this desperate eleventh hour, they’re trying this case in the court of public opinion because they have failed to get any judge, anywhere to listen to these fanciful claims,” Phillips said.
Reed's case has garnered national support on with celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Oprah voicing their support. Reed’s brother Rodrick said the support has been overwhelming for his family.
"We are feeling optimistic because of the response we've had from people all over the country," said Rodrick Reed. “We stand on faith, we stand on the truth and we believe at the end of the day the truth will be revealed and Rodney will have his day in court and he will be exonerated."
The Catholic Diocese of Austin and Texas lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have also weighed in writing letters to governor Abbott and Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles asking them to grant a reprieve. Senator Ted Cruz commended the bipartisan coalition on Twitter
Stacy Stites’ cousin Heather Stobbs was among the many in attendance to demand justice not only for Reed but her family as well.
"We can't have justice for Stacy at this point without ensuring there's a retrial for Rodney Reed they go hand in hand," Stobbs said.
Members of the Stites family are divided on who was responsible for young Stacy Stites’ murder. Stobbs the turning point for her was Fennell’s sexual assault conviction.
“Yes, I don’t have any doubt in my mind,” Stobbs replied when asked if she thought Fennell was guilty of the crime. “There is really nothing that could convince me that Jimmy Fennel didn’t do this.”
Reed has always maintained his innocence, FOX 7 Austin sat down with Reed for a one on one interview back in 2015.
Reed’s execution date is set for November 20th.