S9E1: Rodney Reed: An Innocent Man on Death Row **BREAKING NEWS + ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY FROM DR PHIL**
Stacey Stites and Police Officer Jimmy Fennell were engaged, but Stacey was having an affair with Rodney Reed. On April 23rd, 1996, Stacey’s lifeless body was discovered, lying face up next to a dirt road near Bastrop, TX. Jimmy Fennell was a prime suspect until 3 spermatozoa found in Stacey’s body were matched to Rodney Reed. The state alleged that Rodney did not know Ms. Stites, intercepted her on her 3AM drive to work, raped and strangled her, and left her on the side of that dirt road, while abandoning the truck in a high school parking lot. With no other evidence of Rodney found in the truck, on the body, or at the scene; the state’s forensic experts incorrectly asserting that intact spermatozoa could not survive passed 24 hours; and Stacey’s whereabouts being known for the 24 hours prior to 3AM; Rodney Reed was found guilty and sentenced to death in 1998. The state’s forensic experts have since disavowed their testimony, and Rodney Reed continues to maintain that the presence of his semen was a result of consensual intercourse from late in the night of the 21st (early morning, 22nd). In this premiere episode of the 9th season of Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom, we go to death row to speak with Rodney Reed. His attorney Bryce Benjet talks to us about the case. His brother Rodrick Reed tells us about his advocacy for his brother and the Reed Justice Initiative. And, forensic pathology legend Dr. Michael Baden retells his sworn testimony given at a hearing for a new trial in October 2017, disputing the time of death. The corrected time of death places Ms Stites in her apartment with Fennell when she died, according to his testimony at trial. When asked about this discrepancy, Mr. Fennell invoked his 5th amendment rights.
Rodney Reed was granted an indefinite stay of execution from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, saving him from his November 20th, 2019 execution date, but his future is still in danger. He still needs our help.
This Episode of Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom was produced in partnership with NowThis. https://nowthisnews.com/
Additional engineering for Dr Phil and Jason Flom’s interview by Freedom Wynn.
Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava for Good™ Podcasts in association with Signal Co No1 and PRX.