As man on death row awaits decision about new trial, group protests for his release

A group of 20 people gathered outside the Court of Criminal Appeals to represent the 20 years Rodney Reed has sat in prison.

AUSTIN - One day after the hearing for Rodney Reed wrapped up, a group of University of Texas students and advocates gathered at the Court of Criminal Appeals to show their support for the man on death row for the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites.

For four days this week, Reed's defense argued new evidence shows he did not murder Stites. Reed was sentenced to death in 1998. Many believe evidence points to Jimmy Fennell as the suspect in her murder. Fennell was Stites' fiance and a law enforcement officer when she was found on the side of a Bastrop County Road.

After the four-day hearing wrapped up, Judge Doug Shafer said he may need up to two months to give his recommendations to the Court of Criminal Appeals.

About 20 UT students and members of the "Free Rodney Reed Campaign" were at the event Saturday, rallying for a new trial for Reed. Twenty people gathered to represent the 20 years that Reed has been in prison. Throughout the event, they read facts about the case and spoke out against the death penalty.

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"We're here the Saturday after the hearings took place to show that the Court of Criminal Appeals now has the responsibility of freeing an innocent man," said Alisa Hernandez.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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