BASTROP, Texas - For the state, Dr. Suzanna Dana took the stand Tuesday morning.
Dana’s testimony fit the narrative of the state’s 3:00-5:00 am time of death window, but she also said time of death estimates are not an exact science.
During cross examination the defense argued that contextual evidence, and hearsay could have impacted her opinion.
The time of death is closely linked to rigor mortis, although it can never be an exact science. This factor is important because it will determine around what time Stacey Stites died, and if it was in the state’s window or the defense’s which says it was much earlier than 3:00 to 5:00 am. Dana’s testimony was consistent with the state’s findings on that as well.
The next witness was Dr. Norma Farley, another pathologist. She says Stites’ body had waning rigor, or the rigor mortis began to disappear. This would actually help bolster the defense’s theory on time of death. However, the state said temperature, humidity, and other factors could make their theory fit the bill as well.
The time that semen was deposited in Stites’ body also came up. That was the factor that made Reed a suspect. If the science proves either side’s theory, it can implicate Rodney Reed, or put Stites’ fiance Jimmy Fennell, whom she was with the night before her death, back into question.
Reed maintains his innocence and said he and Stites were having a consensual affair before her death.
State brings in memory expert in Rodney Reed evidentiary hearing
State calls on law enforcement witnesses in Rodney Reed hearing
Stacey Stites' fiancé takes witness stand for questioning
Day 3 of Rodney Reed's hearing continues to see witness statements
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