AUSTIN, Texas - Supporters of Rodney Reed gathered at a restaurant in North Austin Sunday morning.
The group wrote letters to politicians and local media demanding Reed be granted clemency.
Reed is accused of raping and killing Stacey Stites, 19, in Bastrop County in 1996. Reed says the two were romantically involved.
The same year, Reed was convicted of Stites’ murder, he was charged with three counts of sex assault and one count of aggravated sex assault. DNA evidence was present in each case.
"That stuff is not true. I feel if that had been true they would have tried me on that stuff. This is not true.” Reed said in a 2015 interview.
Reed, and his family have always maintained his innocence. They believe crucial DNA evidence has not been tested in the Stites case.
“There are many questions about [Reed's] guilt and the fairness of his trial.” wrote Kyle resident Barbara Finlay in her letter.
The Reed family also believes ex-cop Jimmy Fennell, Stites’ former fiancé, is the culprit. Fennell spent years in prison for an unrelated sexual assault
“We’ve been talking to people for the last 23 years ‘till we’re blue in the face.” said Rodrick Reed, Rodney Reed's brother.
With just over 70 days to go, time is running out. Though days may be slipping away, the Reed family says their hope is not.
“That feeling gives us hope, you know. It gives us the strength to continue to fight, when you know you got others that believe,” Rodrick Reed said of those gathered at the restaurant. “These people don’t know my brother from Adam, but they do know right from wrong.”