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TX: State opposes defense motion for new evidence in Reed ca
Thu Nov 12, 2015 13:23

State opposes defense motion for new evidence in Reed case
Friday, Nov. 6, 2015

State prosecutors have come out against a recent motion filed by defense attorneys for death row inmate Rodney Reed seeking new interviews and documents.

Rodney Reed was convicted and sentenced to death in 1998 for the rape and murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites. Less than two weeks before he was scheduled to be put to death this year, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stayed his execution based on a new appeal Reed’s attorneys filed in February.

Reed and his lawyers have long claimed that he and Stites were engaged in a consensual secret affair, which would explain the presence of his DNA in her body, rather than prosecutors’ assertions that Stites was raped shortly before being strangled. The affair, defense lawyers say, gave Stites’ fiance Jimmy Fennell motive to kill her.

Reed’s attorneys filed a motion last monthseeking to interview witnesses and obtain documents related to an investigation they learned of in January that they say points to Stites’ fiance Jimmy Fennell as the killer.

Prosecutors, however, argue in their opposition motion that the Bastrop County trial court lacks jurisdiction to grant the defense’s motion because Reed’s appeal is still pending with the Court of Criminal Appeals.

“Rodney Reed, a death-sentenced Texas inmate, seeks unprecedented expansion of jurisdiction and discovery authority in Texas trial courts disguised as a discovery motion,” prosecutors for the state stated in a motion filed in Bastrop County District Court Oct. 21.

The defense’s request centers around a January 2015 interview by Giddings and Bastrop investigators of the widow of a murdered Giddings police officer, according to court documents. In the January interview, the woman told investigators she believed a fellow Giddings police officer who worked with her husband knew he was investigating Fennell and believed he killed his fiance, Stites.

In the motion, Reed’s attorneys are seeking documents as well as permission to interview law enforcement officials who might have knowledge of the Giddings Police Department’s investigation into Fennell.

Furthermore, prosecutors say Reed could have included the requests in his most recent February appeal since his attorneys received the recorded interview a month before it was submitted, according to the motion.

Additionally, the attorneys requested interviews with two of the state’s forensic experts in order to see if they still stand by their trial testimony, in light of Reed’s most recent appeal which includes affidavits from three renowned forensic pathologists that refute the claim Stites was murdered after 3 a.m. while on her way to her job at the Bastrop H-E-B.

Instead, the appeal says, the new time of death leaves Fennell as the only suspect, based on his statements that he and Stites were alone prior to her leaving for work.

Fennell, a former Georgetown Police Sergeant, is presently in jail after pleading guilty in 2008 to charges of kidnapping and improper sexual conduct with a person in police custody. Fennell was accused of sexually assaulting a woman involved in an October 2007 domestic disturbance call he responded to.

  • TX: New evidence in Rodney Reed casePetra., Mon Oct 26 12:58
    New evidence in Rodney Reed case highlights victim’s fiance By David Barer Published: October 23, 2015 AUSTIN (KXAN) — Attorneys for death-row inmate Rodney Reed have filed a motion in Bastrop... more
    • TX: TV interview could help death rowPetra, Tue Sep 12 12:56
      (CNN)Rodney Reed has spent nearly two decades on Texas' death row for the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites, which he insists he didn't commit. Now, he may get a chance at a new trial. A Texas court has... more
      • TX: NEW DETAILS RODNEY REED CASEPetra, Sun Mar 4 12:26
        NEW DETAILS RODNEY REED CASE Reed case figure Fennell to be freed Ex-cop was suspect in fiancée’s death till DNA tied it to Reed. By Chuck Lindell Jimmy Fennell (left) had... more
    • TX: State opposes defense motion for new evidence in Reed ca — Petra., Thu Nov 12 13:23
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