A Texas justice connected Sunday denied a retrial of convicted rapist and murderer, Rodney Reed, aft deciding that recently presented grounds was not capable capable to assistance a caller one.
Reed, 53, is presently connected decease enactment aft being recovered blameworthy and sentenced to death for the assault, rape, and execution of 19-year-old Stacey Stites.
Prosecutors allege that successful 1996, Reed, who is black, raped, and strangled Stites arsenic she made her mode to enactment astatine a supermarket successful Bastrop, a agrarian assemblage astir 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Austin.
Reed has agelong maintained that the victims’ fiance, erstwhile constabulary serviceman Jimmy Fennell, who is white, is the 1 who killed her aft discovering she was having an matter with Reed. Fennell, who served 10 years successful situation for kidnapping and allegedly raping a woman portion connected work arsenic a constabulary serviceman successful 2007, has denied sidesplitting Stites.
Retired authorities District Judge J.D. Langley was appointed to reappraisal the lawsuit aft the Texas Court of Criminal appeals enactment Reed’s November 2019 planned execution by lethal injection on clasp erstwhile caller grounds came to airy that raised superior questions astir his guilt.
Lawyers for Reed claimed that prosecutors suppressed evidence, that Fennell falsely testified helium didn’t termination Stites, and that Reed is really innocent.
But Judge Langley Sunday said the claims Reed is making were not capable to assistance a retrial.
“The tribunal has extensively considered the full grounds of this lawsuit from its proceedings though the 10-day evidentiary hearing, astatine which the Court was capable to observe and witnesser and measure their credibility concerning applicant’s claims. This tribunal recommends that each alleviation sought by the applicant beryllium denied,” Langley wrote successful his 50-page ruling.
The justice said that grounds did not enactment Reed’s claims and that Reed, “has not proven by wide and convincing grounds that helium is really innocent.”
The proposal present heads to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which volition determine the outcome, though a day for the authoritative ruling is not instantly known.
Reed’s supporters, which include celebrities specified arsenic Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, and Oprah Winfrey arsenic good arsenic some Democratic and Republican lawmakers like Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, person asked officials to reappraisal the grounds successful the case. Supporters person often cited Reed’s lawsuit arsenic an illustration of a achromatic antheral railroaded by an American transgression justness system.
In July, multiple witnesses and experts testified connected Reed’s behalf, stating that some helium and Stites had been having a consensual matter and claiming that they had seen the 2 together. They besides claimed that they had seen Fennell enactment suspiciously aft Stites’ death.
Several forensic experts testified that the unfortunate died hours earlier than the timeline presented by prosecutors.
However, prosecutors accidental Reed’s claims of an matter with Stites were not proven astatine trial, and enactment that helium had a history of committing different intersexual assaults. Reed was indicted, but ne'er convicted, successful respective different rape cases months earlier his proceedings successful Stites’ decease began successful 1998, The Texas Tribune reports.
Judge Langley successful Sunday’s ruling questioned the 17 witnesses who testified connected Reed’s behalf, saying that many had “waited decades to bring forth” their recollections.
Langley besides sided with prosecution experts who assertion that Stites died wrong a two-hour window, which would mean that it was not imaginable for Fennell to person killed her.
The retired justice besides said he found Fennell to beryllium a “credible” witness.
“If a caller assemblage heard the overwhelming grounds of Rodney Reed’s innocence, it would person tenable doubts,” Jane Pucher, an lawyer with the Innocence Project, which is representing Reed, said. “Convicted by an all-white jury, Mr. Reed has spent 23 years connected decease enactment for a transgression helium did not commit.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Katabella Roberts is simply a newsman presently based successful Turkey. She covers quality and concern for The Epoch Times, focusing chiefly connected the United States.
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