On 18 May 1998 Rodney Reed was convicted by an all-white jury to be guilty of the murder of Stacey Stites and sentenced to death. His DNA had been found on the victim's body. Rodney Reed admitted to having had an affair with Stacey Stites. At the time of the murder she was the fiancee of former police officer Jimmy Fennel.
Rodney Reed maintains his innocence. He admitted that he had an affair with Stacey Stites and that they had met the night before her death but maintains that he had nothing to with her murder on 23 April 1996.
His lawyers and the Innocence Project are seeking for the conviction to be overturned because new witnesses have come forward in support of Rodney Reed's innocence. They also question the fairness of the trial. The belt with which Stacy Stites was strangled to death was never tested for DNA.
Witnesses have come forward who confirm that Stites and Fennel were in an abusive relationship. Arthur Snow who met Fennell in prison claimed that Fennell admitted to him that he had murdered Stites for sleeping with a Black man.
Based on the new evidence Rodney Reed hopes that his innocence will be proven.