BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — A second forensic pathologist is scheduled to take the stand Wednesday morning as the next witness called by the defense in Rodney Reed’s evidentiary hearing.
Reed’s attorneys have spent the last two days presenting new evidence they say points to Reed’s innocence and implicates another man in the 1996 abduction, rape and murder of Stacey Stites. The state’s attorneys have responded by asking the court to question the credibility of the new witness testimony presented in this hearing.
On Tuesday afternoon, defense attorneys told Judge J.D. Langley they planned to present testimony from Kentucky medical examiner and forensic pathologist Dr. Gregory Davis.
The prosecution objected to him appearing before the court — pointing to a letter filed in court records that outlines what Davis plans to discuss. They also noted that the court heard hours of detailed testimony from another forensic pathologist, Dr. Andrew Baker, on Monday.
The letter indicates, attorneys say, Davis plans to agree with Baker’s qualms against the original testimony provided by the medical examiner in the 1998 trial. They told the judge they believed it would be considered “improper bolstering.”
On Monday, Baker told the court he believes there was misleading or even “false” testimony regarding Stites’ time of death. He outlined the reasons he disagrees with conclusions drawn in the original case from bruises found on her body and indicators such as rigor mortis (the stiffness of her body) and apparent lividity (discoloration of the skin due to the pooling of blood at the lowest point on her body).
The defense attorneys told the judge on Tuesday afternoon, “No spoiler alert here: he [Dr. Davis] agreed with Dr. Baker.”
Still, they believe his own review of the case and ultimate agreement with Baker’s assessment would be of value to the judge. Ultimately, the judge ruled that the defense could call this second expert witness.
This testimony is set to be given through a Zoom call beginning at 9 a.m.
KXAN’s Avery Travis is in Bastrop for the third day of the hearing and will be updating this article with the latest details as they develop. She’ll provide live updates from the hearing in the Twitter thread below.
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