Rodney Reed celebrates 52nd birthday one month after execution stay

Approximately one month after Rodney Reed was set to die, he celebrated his 52nd birthday. 

Reed was scheduled to be executed on November 20 for the rape and murder of Stacey Stites in 1996.

His execution was stayed indefinitely by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and is being sent back to the Bastrop County court where he was originally convicted of the crime in 1998. There, a judge will examine claims raised by Reed's legal team including the claim that he may be innocent. 

It’s a claim Reed and his family have always maintained.

Sunday, was his twenty-third birthday behind bars. 

“It is bittersweet. It’s bitter in the fact that he’s not here. My family is not whole. And he’s been wrongfully charged for a crime he did not commit. But, it’s sweet in the fact that we still have a chance -- he’s still here on this earth with us, he is still alive.” said Reed’s brother, Rodrick Reed. 

Reeds family, friends, and supporters kicked-off Reeds' birthday by rallying in front of the Bastrop County Courthouse. Those at the rally were hoping to put pressure on the Bastrop County District Attorney. They then held a full birthday bash at the Kerr Community Center. 

“This year is very special because you know, they tried to take his life.” said Rodrick Reed, adding “we just want to celebrate his life, that he’s still here and we do have the opportunity to bring him home.” 

Reeds family has vowed to never stop fighting for more birthdays. Rodrick Reed tells FOX 7 Austin he hopes Rodney Reed will be home to celebrate his next birthday with family.