Rodney Reed Fact Sheet


Download a fact sheet (updated August 2019) here

Rodney Reed has been on Texas death row since 1998, convicted of killing Bastrop woman Stacey Stites in 1996. A mountain of evidence has been presented over the years proving Rodney’s innocence and pointing to Jimmy Fennell, Stacey’s fiancé, as the perpetrator of this crime. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) and the federal 5th Circuit Court have consistently denied Rodney relief. Consider these facts:

  • Jimmy Fennell has given conflicting accounts of where he was the night before the day that Stacey’s body was found. During the initial investigation, he claimed to be home with Stacey all night, going to sleep before she left for a graveyard shift. But in a recent statement from Fennell’s close friend Curtis Davis, a former Bastrop Sherriff’s Office Deputy, Davis claims that Fennell told him that he was out drinking until late that evening.
  • The prosecution’s only forensic evidence linking Rodney to the crime was semen taken from Stacey’s body. However, defense attorneys at trial failed to call witnesses to testify to a known sexual relationship between Rodney and Stacey, which accounted for the DNA. In addition, Rodney’s defense failed to challenge an expert witness who falsely testified that the semen could not be more than 24 hours old.
  • Three forensic experts, including renowned expert Michael Baden, have submitted affidavits that the original time of death is inaccurate and that Stacey was actually murdered before midnight, which would make it impossible for Rodney to have murdered Stacey.
  • The original medical examiner, Robert Bayardo, has stated that his findings regarding evidence of rape were either wrong or misinterpreted by the prosecution.
  • During the initial investigation, Fennell failed a polygraph test on the question “Did you strangle Stacey Stites?”
  • Police did not search Stacey and Fennell’s apartment, the last place she was known to be alive. Also, police released the truck Stacey was driving the night of the murder to Fennell, who sold the truck a few days later. Fennell closed a bank account he shared with Stacey just before her body was found.
  • Two beer cans found at the scene of the crime tested positive for the DNA of at least one police officer. This test was not reported to the defense at the time of the trial.
  • Defense attorneys have shown a pattern of violence on the part of Fennell, who served a near 10-year prison sentence for the rape of a woman who was in his custody while he was on duty as a police officer in the city of Georgetown, TX. He was released in 2018.

Rodney Reed, a black man, was found guilty of murdering a white woman by an all white jury – denying him the right of a jury of his peers. It’s time to end this injustice and bring Rodney home!