Hearing Held In Rodney Reed Case

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A forensic pathologist believes Central Texas prosecutors used a faulty report to convict a Black man in the 1996 killing of a white woman.

Dr. Andrew Baker told a Bastrop County judge Monday he thinks Stacey Stites had been dead for longer than the original pathologist suggested. Baker also notes evidence on Stites' body suggested she may have been murdered at another location, then dumped.

Rodney Reed was convicted in 1998 for Stites' killing and sent to death row. He's has long proclaimed his innocence and says he and Stites were in a secret relationship. Reed's attorneys are trying to get a new trial. They believe Stites' fiance at the time, Jimmy Fennell killed her.

Fennell, a former Georgetown cop, was later sentenced to ten years in custody for sexual assault. Reed's attorneys claim Fennell bragged about killing Stites to an Aryan Brotherhood leader in prison because she was sleeping with a Black man.

Reed was supposed to be executed in 2019 but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a stay.

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