BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — Attorneys for the state will begin their case against Rodney Reed on Friday in an effort to uphold his conviction in the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites.
Reed’s defense team, on the other hand, is asking the judge to consider making a recommendation to the higher courts that he get a new trial. All week, they called witnesses to the stand to prove their assertion Reed is innocent and another man, the victim’s fiancé, is responsible.
They worked to establish a prior relationship between Reed and the victim that they say would “gut” the kidnapping and rape claims. They also argued false evidence was presented at his original trial and that prosecution did not turn over all exculpatory evidence that could have exonerated or been favorable to him.
Meanwhile, the state argued in its opening statements that there is no evidence the two had an affair prior to her death and asked the court to consider the “credibility” of the witnesses taking the stand decades later. On cross-examination of the defense’s witnesses, they’ve questioned their memories, the reliability of their testimony, and their motives for coming forward.
The state’s attorneys have also questioned the reliability of witnesses’ sworn affidavits, some of which were written in 2019 before the courts stayed Reed’s execution date. They asked witnesses whether someone had drafted the document for them or helped them craft the contents of the document.
The state was scheduled to begin their case on the second week of proceedings, but will now have the ability to bring their witnesses to the stand on Friday.
KXAN’s Avery Travis will be updating this article with more information. For now, details from Wednesday’s testimony are available in the Twitter thread below.
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