Case Files and Evidence in The Rodney Reed Case

This site is a work-in-progress!

This website was created with the intention of sharing with the public the collected and available case files, transcripts, police reports, evidence, video and photography files associated with the Rodney Reed death penalty case to further continued research, study and journalism on this case.

Please contact the website administrator to provide any additional documentation that you feel is relevant and necessary in order to make this file complete. (See Below)

Background: Since April 3, 1997, when Rodney was arrested and charged with the capital murder of Stacey Stites, a murder he claims he did not commit, the case and case files have been shrouded in a cloud of misinformation, mystery and secrets.   Now, for the first time, the original trial transcripts and evidence exhibits (as well as public documents and reports) are available in digital form. It is our hope that in providing this resource researchers, journalists, lawyers and concerned citizens will have the opportunity to fully study and review this critical and highly controversial death penalty case.   Our intention is that these materials can be finally and fully reviewed, analyzed and discussed in a public setting.    We believe the trial testimony, exhibits, court documents, witnesses and evidence (new and old), and a modern understanding of science, all speaks for itself.

Thank you for visiting this site.




25 thoughts on “Case Files and Evidence in The Rodney Reed Case

  1. Joseph Schillaci

    I am re investigating this case for a television program called dead again that airs on the arts and entertainment channel.

  2. Richard

    Am I the only person who reads the court documents relating to this case and it only strengthens my opinion that Reed is guilty? I was doubtful before, but having read the court documents, I’ve come to realise that for the most part all of the news stories in mainstream media about evidence that exonerates him relate to things that have already been done to death in the courts and those which don’t simply aren’t credible.

    This is an excellent website and I urge anyone with an interest in this case to read the documents presented here, and to read them critically. See just what has been addressed by the courts and the strength of the evidence presented by both the prosecution and defense. If you can read them and still believe Reed is innocent then I respect that, but you should read what has been presented in the courts, courts which have upheld his conviction, and understand their rationale for doing so, before jumping on any bandwagons.

  3. Nicole

    I’m from here, I know these people.
    1. There was a LOT of evidence that wasn’t included in court.
    2. Friends and family of Rodney and Stacey were both harassed, repeatedly. Especially when they were found to be on the list to testify. What happened? The didn’t testify.
    3. Cops in a small town take care of their own, and that happened here. I haven’t bothered to read the documents above; but this goes with what I said about the evidence not being included in court. Her ‘loving’ fiance’s behavior was covered up. Anyone from this area with half a brain could tell you that.
    5. Rodney’s black. Stacey was a beautiful white girl. There’s no way she could be in a consensual relationship with him. It was Giddings, Texas in 1996. Of course the big, black, scary man did it.
    6. It’s well known the crime scene investigation was botched and the criminal trial was rushed. The beer cans from the crime scene had the DNA of her fiance’s friends present, all of them police officers. One of them joined the investigation team for Ms. Stites’ murder. Amazingly, he committed ‘suicide’ not long into the investigation. Or as I like to call it, murder. He was murdered.
    7. Let’s not also forget about the fact that Fennell, the fiance, is certifiable.
    Girl 1: Before Ms. Stites’ death he was accused of stalking and harassment by a local Giddings woman. Remember, this is at the same time he’s in a relationship with Ms. Stites. It culminated when Fennell’s friend, Hall, (the other officer whose DNA was present on the beer can) asked her to step outside her home one night.
    Girl 2: Fennell appeared to move on rather quickly from his fiance’s gruesome murder, and found another local girl/girlfriend to terrify. Just three months after Ms. Stites’ death, his newest victim attempted to break up with for being ‘possessive and jealous.’ Never one to give up on true love, Fennell persisted and stalked her for a month. I’m not sure if she still lived at her childhood home, but according to reports he drove to her house late at night and would shine his police light through her window and scream BITCH. Number 1…. Her childhood home is in the country. Like, down a road, then a road, then a road, etc. That requires a lot of effort. Which makes him extra crazy. Number 2…. In Texas, we can shoot first and ask questions later. Seriously, that’s a law here. I’m paraphrasing a little, but I’m pretty close. The poor thing, who also looks strikingly similar to Ms. Stites, finally filed a police report. What happened when a copy was requested at the local headquarters, where Fennell works? Nothing to be found. I’m also very puzzled why her parents never did more than this. Her parents have a ‘name’ in Giddings. I also think this speaks to Reed’s innocence. They were terrified, and saw what Fennell was capable of. I’m sure there are things that happened that we as the public will never know of unless they call her as a witness, which I hope they do, to speak of what Fennell’s behavior was like.
    8. In 1995, Fennell told a fellow police officer during crime scene training that he would strangle his girlfriend with a belt if he ever caught her cheating. Why strangle with a belt? To avoid leaving fingerprints. And, what was wrapped around Stacey’s neck??
    9. AND, finally Fennell found himself behind bars in 2007. Unfortunately, not for Stacey’s crime but because he is a predator whose time is finally up. He was convicted of raping a woman in his custody. After the rape, he threatened to ‘hunt her down and kill her’ if she ever told anyone. Unsurprisingly, several more of his victims came forward during the trial.

    These are all the things I can remember at the moment, which means there are more. Reed comes from a poor-lower middle class family. Everything he had during his original trial was court appointed. I’m not sure what his circumstances are now. He has also had MANY roadblocks in the state and federal court systems. Why they have refused to review new scientific evidence or listen to testimony from key witnesses is beyond me. Our court system should be ashamed of themselves, and I think they are. How sad they are too prideful to let a free man go free.

    1. Lisa O'Brien

      Am I the only person who reads the court documents relating to this case and it only strengthens my opinion that Reed is guilty? I was doubtful before, but having read the court documents, I’ve come to realise that for the most part all of the news stories in mainstream media about evidence that exonerates him relate to things that have already been done to death in the courts and those which don’t simply aren’t credible.

      This is an excellent website and I urge anyone with an interest in this case to read the documents presented here, and to read them critically. See just what has been addressed by the courts and the strength of the evidence presented by both the prosecution and defense. If you can read them and still believe Reed is innocent then I respect that, but you should read what has been presented in the courts, courts which have upheld his conviction, and understand their rationale for doing so, before jumping on any bandwagons.

      Richard, you are not alone, but as with most cases where wrongful conviction is alleged, the propaganda is a difficult hurdle to overcome, as evidenced by Nicole’s response to your post.


      I would be interested to see just what alleged evidence wasn’t included in court. Would you please provide a specific list?

      Your claims about harassment are nothing more than uncorroborated allegations. First and foremost, Reed’s attorneys did not report any alleged harassment of themselves, their investigators or their witnesses to the court during the time between Reed’s arrest in 1997 and the trial in 1998. Two witnesses testified on behalf of Reed at the trial regarding a relationship between Reed and Stacey. The problem was that the witnesses were not found by the jury to be credible. Thus, Reed’s defense fell short of proving to the jurors that there was a relationship at all. Without credible proof of a relationship, there is not innocent explanation for the presence of Reed’s DNA in and on Stacey’s body.

      It’s also interesting to note that when Stacey’s mother and sister(s) testified at the trial, Reed’s defense never once asked them about an alleged relationship with Reed. Nor did they ask one of Stacey’s friends, who also testified on behalf of Reed regarding Stacey’s relationship with Fennel.

      Your claims about the police protecting their own is also nothing more than uncorroborated allegations. The Texas Rangers were brought in to assist in this investigation. Fennel was their prime suspect for nearly a year, but they were never able to develop probable cause to obtain a search warrant, or make an arrest. In fact, their focus didn’t shift to Reed until late 1996 when he attempted to kidnap and rape another woman. He was also linked by DNA to Stacey’s murder and two other rape cases in Bastrop.

      My belief that Stacey would not be involved in a relationship with Reed has nothing to do with their respective races. I don’t believe Stacey, a girl who worked hard to support herself and her mother, would be involved in a relationship with a man with no job, who dealt drugs.

      That the crime scene investigation was “botched,” is also not as “well-known” as you would like to make it out to be. In fact, Reed’s attempts to prove that to the state and federal courts were rejected.

      Regarding the beer cans, Reed’s advocates continue to try to re-write history to erase the whole story about the results of testing performed on the cans. Yes, initial testing performed by the state crime lab and Reed’s expert did not exclude Stacey, Dave Hall and Ed Selmela as contributors of DNA on one of the beer cans. However, the part of the story that Reed’s advocates refuse to even acknowledge is that Reed’s expert performed additional, more sensitive DNA testing, which excluded Stacey, Hall and Selmela as contributors of DNA on the beer cans. Therefore, the results of testing on beer cans were not exculpatory and, in fact, the beer cans were eliminated as relevant evidence.

      As for Ed Selmela’s death, there was evidence supporting the finding of suicide. There has never been any evidence supporting the allegations of murder.

      There has also never been any evidence, direct or circumstantial that ties Fennel to the murder. He may have been a bad boyfriend/fiancee before the murder. He may have been a reprehensible person after the murder. Reed has still failed to prove that Fennel killed Stacey. Nor can he do so, since DNA eliminates Fennel and Reed has never produced any credible evidence that Fennel had means, motive or opportunity.

      It appears that you’re confused regarding the women stalked by Fennel. What you describe is actually an incident that occurred to a woman Fennel dated after Stacey’s murdered. While there was evidence about Fennel’s controlling nature in his relationship with Stacey, there was no evidence from any prior girlfriends to support the allegations you’ve made.

      The allegations made by the girlfriend after Stacey’s murder have been rejected by the state and federal courts. The report also didn’t “disappear,” since Reed’s attorneys were able to get a copy of it, identify the complainant and obtain an affidavit from her to be used on Reed’s behalf.

      As for the rest of the allegations, they’re not corroborated by anything in Reed’s appellate filings.

      It’s also somewhat ironic that Fennel’s behavior is deemed a significant indicator of his guilt, yet Reed’s five prior rape charges and the one subsequent attempted rape charge are deemed not credible and/or not significant to prove his guilt. During one of Reed’s post-conviction claims, his father signed an affidavit detailing statements made by a friend of Reed’s that purported to provide an alibi on the night of the murder. When detectives/investigators interviewed the person to corroborate the statements attributed to him by Reed’s father, the person told them, “I don’t know anything about Rodney Reed except that he’s a crackhead who likes to rape women by the train tracks.”

      Mary Blackwell’s statements have been deemed not credible by the state and federal courts, primarily due to the fact that they were not corroborated by anyone else in the officer certification class (it wasn’t a crime scene class, as you erroneously stated). There was also the fact that Ms. Blackwell, in spite of the fact that she was a law enforcement officer, failed to report the alleged statements to investigators at the time of Stacey’s murder.

      Fennel is behind bars because he didn’t kill his victim, who knew who he was and reported his crime. Once she reported the crime, he didn’t follow through on his alleged threat to killer her, as she’s still alive and giving interviews on behalf of Reed.

      You really should take the time to read the appellate opinions regarding the case, so that you can see just what evidence Reed has presented and why that evidence has consistently been rejected by the state and federal courts.

      1. Anonymous

        I did report it in fact i reported it the day Stacey was found..which only family and law enforcement were informed!!! The captain of Bastrop Sheriffs Dept asked me and me to get permission from Constabe Medrano to have me and fellow deputy constables of Pct 4 to escort Stacy’s funeral…and we did the escort. I reported to Investigator Vasquez after Constable Medrano contacted him on my behalf. Vasquez in turn immediately reported this to the DA who REFUSED TO ENTER THE REPORT AND COMMENTED TO VASQUEZ “I HAVE ALL i NEED FOR THIS CASE”. Not only did I identify by our academy photograph who was talking with Fennell when Fennell made that statement, but they kept my photograph! Not once did anyone question me or other deputies that were in this academy with me, that included not asking Stephen Weiner, Chris Frierson, myself, and another African American Cadet who also was hired by Constable Medrano upon my recommendation of hiring Stephen Weiner, Chris Frierson, and two others that were all in the same police academy with Fennell.

        The testimony I provided was spread out for over an hour, and my last statement was, “It may not be today, tomorrow or even years from now, but eventually Fennell will show his violent treatment and disrespect for women. ”

        Please do not spread information that is not accurate, especially when YOU WERE NOT THERE! Fennell was not talking to me,,,,I overheard the conversation… and he said, “If I find Stacey cheating again, I’ll strangle her.” I turned around and said, “Right Fennell, and your fingerprints will be on her throat.’ Fenell said,, “That’s why you don’t know shit, Best, because i”ll use a belt!”

        There,, now you have the whole truth..but it doesn’t matter because law enforcement would not listen the DA wouldn’t listen and yet they accuse me of NOT REPORTING! Hmmm! Do you feel safe in Texas?

    2. Unkown

      First of all stop being a reasest mother fucker its 2017 number 5 is way out off order second all the info withheld was all the info that proved he was not guilty he had a witness with him when her partner the dirty cop aka the killer tharetend him when he said he was home third the time of death was fully incorrect it was placed at 8pm when reed was drinking her partner was driving around when he said he was asleep y lie dirty cops do dirty things with power pined to there shoulder all u see is size and black skin open your eyes most of the time evil is right there standing in front of u wearing a badge all the info gos throw there hands that’s how the truth gets lost not in cort.

      1. Lisa W O'Brien

        It’s “racist,” not “reasest.” My opinion regarding Reed’s guilt has nothing to do with his race, my race, or his victim’s race. It’s based on the DNA evidence found in and on Stacey’s body that links Reed and only Reed to her murder. It is based on the DNA evidence found in July, 2014 that identified DNA from Reed on Stacey’s pants and back brace, which connects him to both her body and the truck.

        Reed did not claim to have had a relationship with Stacey until he found out his DNA was found on her body. It’s no coincidence that he did the same thing in 1989 when he was accused of a brutal rape in Wichita Falls, Texas. In that case, he also claimed not to know the victim until he found out there was DNA evidence. It was only then that he claimed to have had a relationship with that victim.

        Reed’s evidence of a relationship has been consistently rejected at trial by the jury and by every appellate court that has been presented with varying claims/witnesses over nearly 20 years of post-conviction litigation. It is the absence of reliable and credible evidence of a relationship that is fatal to Reed’s innocence claims.

        As to the accusations against Fennell, they are unsupported by any reliable and credible evidence. The witnesses who came forward during Reed’s state post-conviction litigation were deemed unreliable and not credible. There’s no DNA, or any other physical evidence linking Fennell to Stacey’s murder.

        As for the claims of evidence withheld, that is a convenient excuse, but I have yet to see anyone present a reliable and credible list of such evidence. Reed has raised several Brady claims in state and federal post-conviction litigation and each of those claims have been found to be unreliable and not credible.

  4. Lisa O'Brien

    I’m presuming that “Anonymous” is Mary Best/Blackwell. One of the things I don’t understand is why Vasquez, who was working for Reed’s defense, wouldn’t provide that information to his attorneys, who could have then called you to testify on behalf of Reed at his trial. I also don’t understand why you wouldn’t contact Reed’s counsel in 1998 during the trial with that information.

    1. Anonymous

      Don’t continue to vomit lies and presumptions…you do not have a clue about the truth of this case…and you don’t have the common sense it takes to put it together.

      1. Lisa W O'Brien

        Ad hominem attack does not reflect well on you, or your position. I am not impugning your intelligence, or character. I’m merely providing alternative facts that have been proven at Reed’s trial, and in his subsequent post-conviction claims.

      2. Lisa W O'Brien

        My statements are based on your testimony and the testimony of Mr. Vasquez given at Reed’s hearing in Bastrop in around 2006. Were the two of you perjuring yourselves?

    1. Lisa O'Brien

      I’m not working for anyone.

      The sad thing is that Rodney Reed is worse than Fennel, but his supporters continue to ignore that fact.

    2. cjk

      Ha, ha, ha, She has completely DESTROYED your lies about this case. face it Reed is guilty as sin and should be executed ASAP!!!!

  5. Noisy Kitten!

    If this case happened twenty years prior I could be convinced that a substantial portion of US society would be unwilling to accept that a relationship could exist between those of different races, but this case happened in the late 90s, not in the 60s or 70s.

    A phone call between the two parties, or some evidence of the alleged relationship (love letters, other correspondence, etc.) would be conclusive. Prior to the online era that emerged after this case the telephone and pencil/paper were the only social media people had.

  6. James Whitmore

    If Reed had a relationship with the victim prior to the murder, as he now claims, there would be ample cell phone records to prove it. Had any existed, either his original defense attorney or the new one would be waving them high as exculpatory evidence. They simply don’t exist.

    1. Anonymous

      Actually, cell phones were not as common in 1996 as they are today. Based on the records and testimony, as well as the pleadings and court opinions, neither Reed, nor Stacey had a cell phone.


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