Many high-profile names have been advocating for Rodney Reed’s release before his scheduled execution on November 20.
What We Know:
- The 51-year-old has maintained his innocence in the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Stacy Stites.
- In 1996, 19-year-old Stites’s body was found on the side of the road about 35 miles southeast of Austin. Her body was found partially clothed and lying face up with her arms above her head. The marks on her neck determined the cause of death was strangulation with a belt. Sperm was also collected from the inside of the victim.
- Almost a year after Stites’s death, Reed was arrested after his DNA was found in an unreleased sexual assault. He was sentenced to death in 1998, but Reed’s lawyers found new evidence that points to the woman’s fiancé Jimmy Fennell who was a suspect in the original investigation.
- According to TMZ, Kim Kardashian, who earlier this year announced she’s studying to become a lawyer, spoke to Reed last week to discuss his scheduled execution date. Kardashian believes new witnesses and evidence will exonerate Reed for murder and punish the person responsible. TMZ also says the reality star has been working hard behind the scenes to provide legal resources to Reed.
- Last month after watching his documentary, Kardashian tweeted and urged Texas Governor Greg Abbott to grant Reed clemency.
PLEASE @GovAbbott How can you execute a man when since his trial, substantial evidence that would exonerate Rodney Reed has come forward and even implicates the other person of interest. I URGE YOU TO DO THE RIGHT THING.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 19, 2019
- On Monday, Reed’s brother thanked Kardashian. He called her a “blessing”. ”We’re so glad you have publicly voiced that you also believe he is innocent.”
- Rihanna has also advocated for Reed’s release. She tweeted out a link to the petition “Free Rodney Reed” and urged her followers to sign. As of Wednesday morning, the petition garnered 1.4 million signatures.
— Rihanna (@rihanna) November 4, 2019
Beyonce is the latest celebrity to advocate Reed. The singer signed the petition and shared the link on her social media. With the caption ”take a hard look at the substantial evidence in the Rodney Reed case that points to his innocence. Be honest. Be fair. Give him back his life”.