Rodney Rodell Reed is an African-American man from Texas, United States. He is incarcerated at the Allan B. Polunsky Unit death row facility in Polk County, Texas.
Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian West, Susan Sarandon, Seth Green, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Meek Mill and Pusha T were among the celebrities who publicly urged Texas governor Greg Abbott to either exonerate Reed or stay his execution in 2019. Amanda Seales and other celebrities originally supported Reed’s exoneration but changed their minds after learning more about his alleged involvement in the case of Stacey Stites, a woman born in Nueces County, Texas on January 19, 1977 and raped and killed on April 23, 1996 in Bastrop, Texas.
Reed stands 6’2″. Here are 13 more things about him:
- He was born in Texas in 1967 to Air Force veteran Walter Reed of Wichita Falls, Texas and nurse Sandra Reed of Bastrop, Texas. He has six brothers.
- Raised in Texas, he attended Hirschi High School in Wichita Falls and played on the school’s football team. He was also a Golden Gloves champion boxer in Texas.
- He was sentenced to one year of deferred-adjudication probation on a theft charge on October 17, 1986. Judge Bob Brotherton ordered his probation revoked and sentenced him to serve six months on December 10, 1991 in Wichita County Jail.
- At 10:00 a.m. on September 1, 1987, he was arrested at Hirschi High School in connection with an aggravated sexual assault in a house in Wichita Falls on August 25, 1987. The victim named Connie York was born in 1968. He admitted to having sex with her but claimed it was consensual. On August 16, 1991, a Wichita County jury acquitted him of aggravated sexual assault in 30th District Court.
- In September 1991, he was arrested after his then girlfriend Lucy Eipper Gibbs, best friend of York, accused him of sexually assaulting her in her house on September 15, 1987. She dropped the charges after York lost her case and he was not indicted on the charge. Gibbs continued to have a relationship with him. They have two children together.
- He was charged with speeding on May 13, 1992.
- He was accused of raping Angela Hamby Weiss, who was then 12 years old. He was also accused of raping his then girlfriend Caroline Rivas, a woman with intellectual disabilities, in Bastrop and was charged with sexual assault on May 10, 1995 and Vivian Harbottle underneath a train trestle in November 1995.
- Born in 1968, Linda Schlueter of Austin, Texas accused him of attacking her and threatening to kill her for resisting on November 9, 1996. It made him a suspect in the case of Stites, who was engaged to Jimmy Fennell, due to the similarities of the cases. He initially denied knowing Stites but after his DNA matched semen inside her dead body, he claimed that he was having an affair with her and they had consensual sex on April 22, 1996.
- On April 4, 1997, he was officially charged with the murder of Stites and held without bond while he was already in jail on an unrelated charge.
- On May 28, 1998, he was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
- In 2012, his case was picked up by the non-profit legal organization The Innocence Project, which works to free wrongly convicted people.
- He was scheduled to be executed on January 14, 2015, which was rescheduled to March 5, 2015 based on a request by the state of Texas. His execution was stayed on February 23, 2015 and was rescheduled for November 20, 2019.
- The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles unanimously recommended that Texas Governor Greg Abbott grant him a 120-day reprieve on November 15, 2019 and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals indefinitely stayed his execution to review his innocence on November 16, 2019.