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Rally and march held to support Rodney Reed

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TWC News: Rally and march held to support Rodney Reed
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A group rallied Saturday in Bastrop, asking for justice for a man they say has been wrongly held in prison for 15 years.

Rodney Reed, 44, currently sits on death row for the 1996 rape and murder of Stacey Stites. Supports say a Bastrop jury convicted the wrong man.

"I'll be blunt, this is a small town,” supporter Jamie Bush said. “This is a black man who was having a consensual sexual affair with a white woman who was engaged to a white police officer."

At the time of her murder, Stites was in a relationship with a man named Jimmy Fennel.

In 2008, Fennell pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct with a person in custody. He was accused of sexually assaulting a woman following a domestic call. Fennel was a police officer in Georgetown at the time. It was second allegation of its kind.

In Reed’s prison cell, Fennell’s conviction gave him hope for freedom.

"I always felt that the truth will prevail in this case,” Reed told YNN in 2008. “I am not going to die like this.

Reed's Mother says her son and Stites were having an affair and that culture and race has led to a wrongful conviction.

"He didn't get a fair trial. It was an all-white jury,” Sandra Reed said. “That's not fair—that's Jim Crow."

A federal judge is reviewing the Reed case, and will decide if there is merit is his appeal.

Jimmy Fennel remains in a state prison and could be released as early as October.

Photos by Anne Szilagyi

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