BASTROP, Texas - The state started the morning with a couple of law enforcement witnesses, trying to corroborate and discredit some testimony from fellow inmates of Jimmy Fennell.
As the appeal draws closer to a close, people from all over are attending the proceedings.
"I have no doubt Rodney Reed is innocent. They should be about justice rather than covering it up," said O.T. Brandley, who came to watch the proceedings.
One of the witnesses was Kenneth Kopecky who issued a statement about having a conversation with Rodney Reed, but he got on the stand and said he does not remember writing the statement at all. So he was excused. This backfired on prosecutors.
Later, Thelma Fennell, Jimmy Fennell's mother, took the stand, saying she never heard him sounding so distraught over the phone the day Stacey disappeared. He said "Somebody took my baby. "
Crystal Dohrmann, Fennell's sister, also testified, saying the couple appeared to be in love and would visit her quite often at her Georgetown home.
Mark Brown, Fennell's cousin also testified, saying his cousin was a man of good morals. The defense cross-examined, and asked him if he would equate kidnapping and improper sexual conduct with someone in custody with a man of good morals.
Brown answered yes. The gallery let out laughs and gasps, angering district judge J.D. Langley.
Stacey Stites' sister Debra Oliver took the stand at the end of the day. She said Fennell was kind to her sister and Stites was excited about planning the wedding. She said Fennell also placed the ring on Stites' finger while she was in the coffin and he grieved deeply for some time.
The defense asked her if it is discovered that Fennell killed her sister, would she want him punished. She replied yes, if he did do the crime.
Both sides are expected to wrap up by Friday afternoon, leaving a decision on a new trial or not, in the judge’s hands.
State brings in forensic experts on day seven of Reed hearing
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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