Fennell's lawyer addresses recent affidavit in Rodney Reed case
AUSTIN, Texas - A former murder suspect has found himself back in the spotlight.
A Hays County Jail inmate has come forward claiming Jimmy Fennell confessed to killing his then-fiance Stacey Stites in 1996. In the early stages of the investigation, police considered Fennell a prime suspect, but ultimately Rodney Reed was convicted.
He is slated to die for the crime by lethal injection on November 20. Reed has always maintained his innocence.
Arthur Snow Jr. is a white supremacist who admits he has “been in and out of prisons and jails for much of [his] life.” He and Fennell served time together in the Stevenson Unit.
Fennell, an ex-cop, served ten years in the Stevenson Unit in Cuero, Texas, for sexually assaulting a woman in his custody. He was released in 2018.
In an affidavit, Snow, says he was a high ranking member of the Stevenson Unit’s Aryan Brotherhood gang, and that Fennell sought protection from the gang “around 2010.” This agreement continued until word spread that Fennell “was a cop, and... a rapist.” Then, he says the Aryan Brotherhood could no longer protect him.
He claims Fennell then accused the Aryan Brotherhood of extorting him and as a result, Snow was moved to the Connally Unit, where they “send a lot of gang members.”
Snow says while Fennell was under the gang's protection, he told him his fiance had been sleeping around “with a black man behind his back.” At the end of the conversation, he reportedly stated: “I had to kill my n----- loving fiance.”
“My impression was that Jimmy felt safe, even proud, sharing this information with me because I was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood,” Snow states.
Reed’s semen was found in Stites’ body. Reed has claimed he and Stites were having an affair. During his trial, no witnesses spoke to corroborate this, though a number have come forward recently.
“Where are the photographs, where are the love notes, where are the fingerprints?” pressed Fennell’s attorney, Robert Phillips.
Snow is currently in the Hays County Jail.
“Recently, after having again landed myself in the Hays County Jail, I saw another newspaper article about Rodney Reed. I knew I couldn’t ignore this memory anymore. I decided that I had to come forward and tell someone what I knew.” he said in the affidavit.
“[Snow is] trying his best to lighten his load, I’m sure, at Jimmy’s expense. Not a word of what he says is true based on the evidence,” said Phillips, pointing to a number of sexual assaults Reed was accused but never convicted of. Some of Reed’s accusers spoke at his trial for Stites’ death.
“Prosecutors don’t go forward on un-indicted cases when they already have the death penalty … cause they don’t need to.” Phillips countered.
Snow's testimony does not stand alone. According to Reed’s attorneys with the Innocence Project, least three new witnesses have recently come forward.
An insurance salesperson, who reportedly witnessed Fennell tell Stites “If I ever catch you messing around on me, I will kill you and no one will ever know it was me that killed you.”
Jim Clampit, a former Lee County Sheriff’s deputy says Fennel looked over Stites’ body at the funeral and said “something along the lines of ‘you got what you deserved.’”
Charles Wayne Fletcher, a former colleague of Fennell’s at the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office, also came forward stating that Fennell told him prior to the killing that he believed “Stacey was f----- a n------.”
A woman who previously worked with Stites at HEB has also spoken publicly, claiming Stites confided in her about the affair. Phillips questions why they have all waited so long.
“The next witness I expect to be called is Mother Theresa back from the grave via epiphany because each one that comes along is more absurd than the last,” said Phillips, who says Fennell is currently working as a missionary.
The case has garnered a lot of attention, being showcased by national media outlets and even compelling stars like Kim Kardashian West to weigh in.
“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.
On Wednesday, Reed's lawyers filed an application for clemency with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, the same day the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied Reed's appeal.
READ THE FULL AFFIDAVIT BELOW: (Warning: it contains offensive language)