This is the third part of our series entitled The Tale of Who Killed Stacey Stites. On April 23, 1996, 19 year old Stacey Stites was strangled to death and her body was dumped off the side of a road in Bastrop, Texas. Swabs taken revealed the presence of semen, leading authorities to surmise the motive for the murder was sexual assault. Her fiance, Giddings Police Officer Jimmy Fennell, emerged as a strong suspect early in the investigation until it was revealed the DNA of the semen was not a match to Fennell. The case was at a standstill for about a year when investigators finally caught a break – a match for the DNA was found in the criminal database belonging to an African American Bastrop resident named Rodney Reed. While he first denied knowing Stacey, and denied having anything to do with her murder, when he was told his DNA was found in her body, he changed his story – he did know Stacey. They were having a consensual sexual relationship and he said he had intercourse with her a couple days before she was killed. But he wasn’t believed, and that, along with the forensic and scientific evidence presented at trial was enough to convict Rodney and he was subsequently sentenced to death. In the years since, information has come to light that no only points to Rodney having had an affair with Stacey, but also the science used to convicted him was junk. He is one month away from being executed, as all of his appeals have been denied, and the Texas Governor Greg Abbott has refused to grant Rodney clemency. Is Texas about to execute an innocent man? Listen and decide for yourself. And if you believe in his innocence, please take action NOW and sign the petition on Change.org – Stop the Execution of Rodney Reed.
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