Family, advocates fight to prevent Reed execution

AUSTIN -- With days left before convicted killer Rodney Reed is executed, his family and members of the victim's family united Sunday to fight for a stay of execution.

Reed, convicted of killing Stacey Stites in 1996, is scheduled to be executed March 5. Family members and supporters maintain Reed's innocence.

"There's evidence out there that's never tested," said Roderick Reed, Rodney's brother. "There was witnesses that we're never called. He had lazy lawyers. Look, all I'm asking and the message I want to ask is: Just give him a fair trial."

Days before Reed is scheduled to be executed, his family gathered powerful supporters, including Sister Helen Prejean, an anti-death penalty advocate and author of " Dead Man Walking," members of The Innocence Project, which works to absolve wrongfully convicted people, and even some members of Stites' family.

"I don't think he did it," said Heather Stobbs, Stites' cousin. "I don't think he's guilty."

With growing support, the Reed family filed a writ of habeas corpus, requesting to do DNA testing on evidence and asking for a stay of execution. Reed's lawyers expect answers from the Criminal Court of Appeals within the next couple of weeks.

"There will likely be a final opinion," said Quinncy McNeal, attorney for Rodney Reed. "It will move from the Criminal Court of Appeals. If Mr. Reed doesn't get relief there, it will move up to the federal level."


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