AUSTIN, Texas - With just five days until the scheduled execution of death row inmate Rodney Reed, the push to save his life ramps up.
Reed's supporters gathered in front of the Governor's Mansion beginning at 7 p.m. last night (11/14) for an all night vigil and a message to free Reed. The vigils took place at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. and in Bastrop as well and ended at 7 a.m.
Organizers say they are calling on Governor Greg Abbott to stay Reed's execution. The governor hasn't spoken publicly about the execution or what action he may take.
One supporter drove for two days to attend the Austin vigil from Wisconsin.
Reed is set to die on November 20, for the murder of Stacey Stites in 1996. He has always maintained his innocence.
His case has drawn the support of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West, actress/activist Alyssa Milano, singers Rihanna, Meek Mill, Beyoncé and presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris. 16 Texas state senators, eight Republicans, and eight Democrats, also recently sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott and the chair of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles asking them to grant a reprieve for Reed.
Rodney Reed and his family have always maintained his innocence.
They believe crucial DNA evidence has not been tested in the Stites case.
The Reed family also believes ex-cop Jimmy Fennell, Stites’ former fiancé, is the culprit. Fennell was a suspect in the original investigation into Stites’ death, but ultimately Reed was convicted after his semen was found in her body.
Reed claims that the two were having an affair and new witnesses have come forward to corroborate the claim.
Fennell, a former cop, has been a free man since finishing out a 10-year prison sentence in 2018.
He was there for sexually assaulting a woman in his custody.