Jump to content
PilotsError

Rodney Reed denied DNA testing

Recommended Posts

10 minutes ago, SDG said:

DNA and a 12 yr old.  Sorry but I’m not protesting anything bad that happens to this dude.  This could make a lot of SJW’s look really bad and in essence hurt their credibility for making change.  
 

regarding your comment: I agree completely that our whole justice system needs an overhaul, I started the wishlist thread on the old site, my response here is that so many people jumping to a clear predators defense might ultimately keep us in the status quo longer. 

It ain't about this dude being a stand up citizen. It's about making sure that for this crime, we got the right guy, because if we haven't, then a murderer walks loose. Regardless of other crimes this guy may have committed. This thought process drives me batshit. "Well, i won't lose any sleep over this guy, even if he didn't do it, because he's done other bad stuff."

No, that's not how any of this is supposed to work. 

Edited by hayden_horn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I’m flat-out not ok with executing/convicting someone for crime 1 just because we’re sure he committed crimes 2 and 3. If we want to lock him up forever for crimes 2 and 3 (and it sure sounds like we do), then we have an obligation to try and convict him via due process.
If we allow ourselves to dispose of the rules and due process because we really don’t like this guy, then the loser is we the people.
Again, not saying that he’s not guilty of crime 1. Or crimes 2 or 3. But he’s on death row for crime 1, and the process and trustworthiness of that process matters. This may not be the best case to make that point. But the fact that we still need to make that point, over and over, is why we are where we are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Brisketexan said:


And I’m flat-out not ok with executing/convicting someone for crime 1 just because we’re sure he committed crimes 2 and 3. If we want to lock him up forever for crimes 2 and 3 (and it sure sounds like we do), then we have an obligation to try and convict him via due process.
If we allow ourselves to dispose of the rules and due process because we really don’t like this guy, then the loser is we the people.
Again, not saying that he’s not guilty of crime 1. Or crimes 2 or 3. But he’s on death row for crime 1, and the process and trustworthiness of that process matters. This may not be the best case to make that point. But the fact that we still need to make that point, over and over, is why we are where we are.

I get what both of you are saying and agree with it.  My gripe that I have failed to articulate is all the celebrities claiming his innocence...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I get what both of you are saying and agree with it.  My gripe that I have failed to articulate is all the celebrities claiming his innocence...

Oh, definitely a fair gripe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One issue I have is how Reeds lawyers say we are not supposed to use Reeds previous alleged crimes as a determining factor in the stites case against reed, yet they paint fennel as a suspect and point to his later sexual assault case as evidence.
Even after a $50k reward put up by heb early on, not 1 single Reed family member, friend or even enemy that may have seen them together at ALL these family functions together (according to reed and his family) is just bullshit. Most tip lines blow up with people trying to get that $. But no one called in to say Reed was dating Stites or had seen them together.
In any case with no video of the crime our system relies on evidence. Its always pointed towards Reed. Even the DNA pointed to him and he denied knowing stites early on.
The shit bag did it, took the dna to find him and the people gave their verdict.
Both reed and fennel are criminals.
Difference is fennel took his punishment and served it. Reed is the only 1 crying claiming racism and the anti- DPers are kissing his ass.
Dragging the Stites family thru this is the sad part. Her mom and sisters know she was never dating Reed a true fucking monster and thug. Shit any relationship he rver had was marred by family violence against the female including assaults and rape.
Not once has he said he was sad or cried over Stites. Yet he claims they were in love. He discusses her with no expression in his face as she was just another of his trophies that he used and discarded.
He deserves to not take another breath after nov 20. In fact its been way too fucking long.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, if he somehow is freed from prison, the cops will just be waiting for him at the gate, arrest him for the unprosecuted crimes, hold him without bail until trial, then send him away for life?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, conVINCEd said:

So, if he somehow is freed from prison, the cops will just be waiting for him at the gate, arrest him for the unprosecuted crimes, hold him without bail until trial, then send him away for life?

it’d be a lot nicer if he made a furtive movement and they shot him.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, futureman said:

it’d be a lot nicer if he made a furtive movement and they shot him.  

Well, if you think the #freeRodneyReed uproar is obnoxious now...Imagine what it would be like if he were killed "trying to escape" or "threatening an officer."

And in that case it would be warranted. I know you are kinda maybe joking but we can't just have cops or guards running around killing people. (That's why we have them get other convicts to do it for them.) 

On another note, in a world where Coral / Carl Eugene Watts was almost released from prison, I cannot discount the possibility that Reed could somehow, someway beat this case and then make bail pending his rape trials.

Shit, there would probably be a Gofundme for him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The case that should haven used to reform the system was Cameron Todd Willingham.  He was convicted and executed because of debunked arson investigation techniques and the state refused to re-examine the evidence.  Damn near every “fact” used against him at trial was known to be wrong a few years later and Texas still executed him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, kevwun said:

The case that should haven used to reform the system was Cameron Todd Willingham.  He was convicted and executed because of debunked arson investigation techniques and the state refused to re-examine the evidence.  Damn near every “fact” used against him at trial was known to be wrong a few years later and Texas still executed him.

Yes, the Willingham case is haunting and is one reason I'm against the death penalty.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's strange.  I'm anti-death penalty and mostly pro-appeal for most of the reasons stated here.

Yet, because I don't think this is a particularly compelling case, and especially not a good "poster child" case, I'm finding myself actually mentally defending the legal reasons you DON'T grant an appeal or post-conviction relief here.

Ugh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, hayden_horn said:

It ain't about this dude being a stand up citizen. It's about making sure that for this crime, we got the right guy, because if we haven't, then a murderer walks loose. Regardless of other crimes this guy may have committed. This thought process drives me batshit. "Well, i won't lose any sleep over this guy, even if he didn't do it, because he's done other bad stuff."

No, that's not how any of this is supposed to work. 

He’s guilty of the Stites murder beyond any reasonable doubts.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TwiceHorn said:

It's strange.  I'm anti-death penalty and mostly pro-appeal for most of the reasons stated here.

Yet, because I don't think this is a particularly compelling case, and especially not a good "poster child" case, I'm finding myself actually mentally defending the legal reasons you DON'T grant an appeal or post-conviction relief here.

Ugh.

Some people deserve to die, and child rapists is one of those people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a summary of the trial testimony from Reed’s punishments phase:


The rape and murder of Stites was hardly Reed’s first or last foray against women. First was Connie York, a nineteen-year-old who had come home late one evening after swimming with friends. 57.RR.34–35. York was grabbed from behind and told “don’t scream or I’ll hurt you.” 57.RR.35–36. When York did not listen, she was repeatedly struck, dragged to her bedroom, and raped multiple times. 57.RR.37–42. Reed was interviewed, and, while he admitted that he knew York from high school, he denied raping her. 57.RR.123–24. When confronted with a search warrant for biological samples, Reed had an about-face, “Yeah, I had sex with her, she wanted it.” 57.RR.138. The case went to trial four years later, 57.RR.30, 60, and Reed was acquitted, 57.RR.61.


Next was A.W., a twelve-year-old girl, who was home alone, having fallen asleep on a couch after watching TV. 58.RR.36–42. A.W. awoke when someone began pushing her face into the couch and had blindfolded and gagged her. 58.RR.42–43. She was repeatedly hit in the head, called vulgar names, and orally, vaginally, and anally raped. 58.RR.43–49. The foreign DNA from A.W.’s rape kit was compared to Reed; Reed was not excluded and only one in 5.5 billion people would have the same foreign DNA profile from A.W.’s rape kit. 58.RR.51, 92; 61.RR.26.


Then came Lucy Eipper, who Reed had met in high school, and whom Reed began to date after her graduation. 59.RR.10–12. Eipper had two children with Reed. 59.RR.13–14, 19–20 Throughout their relationship, Reed physically abused Eipper, including while she was pregnant, and raped her “all the time,” including one time in front of their two children. 59.RR.14–17, 21, 25–32.


Afterwards, Reed began dating Caroline Rivas, an intellectually disabled woman. 60.RR.39–41. Rivas’s caseworker noticed bruises on Rivas’s body and, when asked about them, Rivas admitted that Reed would hurt her if she would not have sex with him. 60.RR.41, 61.Later, Rivas’s caseworker noticed that Rivas was walking oddly and sat down gingerly. 60.RR.43. Rivas admitted that Reed had, the prior evening, hit her, called her vulgar names, and anally raped her. 60.RR.44, 63–65. The samples from Rivas’s rape kit provided the link to Stites’s murder. 60.RR.89–90.


Shortly thereafter, and about six months before Stites’s murder, Reed raped Vivian Harbottle underneath a train trestle as she was walking home. 59.RR.87–92. When she pleaded for her life for the sake of her children, Reed laughed at her. 59.RR.94. The foreign DNA from Harbottle’s rape kit was compared to Reed; he could not be excluded, and only one person in 5.5 billion would be expected to have the same foreign DNA profile. 59.RR.95, 113–14; 61.RR.26.


Finally, and about six months after Stites’s murder, Reed convinced nineteen-year-old Linda Schlueter to give him a ride home at about 3:30 a.m. 61.RR.10, 37–47. Reed led her to a remote area and then attacked her. 61.RR.47–58. After a prolonged struggle, Schlueter asked Reed what he wanted and Reed responded, “I want a blow job.” 61.RR.60. When Schlueter told Reed that “you will have to kill me before you get anything,” Reed stated “I guess I’ll have to kill you then.” 61.RR.60. Before Schlueter could be raped, a car drove by and Reed fled. 61.RR.62–64.

https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/17/17-1093/45899/20180507150103836_Reed BIO FINAL.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Pam Cummings said:

I wanna know more wrt the 12 year old. Heard that story is bullshit?

Go check the Bastrop County court records.  He’s under indictment for that and three others.  Because when his DNA was collected it lit up all sorts of cold cases. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, 3adays said:

I’d like to hear more about Stites’s cousin saying he saw her with Reed at the Dairy Queen.

She was available to testify at the last evidentiary hearing in 2017.  Kind of weird those Innocent Project attorneys chose not to put her on the stand to testify under oath and be cross examined?  Reckon why?

It’s one thing to get on Dr Phil and lie. And quite another to get sworn and be cross examined.  

And if you hear what Stites’ mother and sisters say about that cousin, it’s that she didn’t even know her.  

Again, there’s a reason why even Reed’s own attorneys don’t call these joke witnesses.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/8/2019 at 2:12 PM, HOOKEM4 said:

 

 

It is entirely possible there are two rapists in this case, but there is only one murderer and that person isn't Reed imo.

 

 

What the fuck are you smoking 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Johnny Sack said:

She was available to testify at the last evidentiary hearing in 2017.  Kind of weird those Innocent Project attorneys chose not to put her on the stand to testify under oath and be cross examined?  Reckon why?

It’s one thing to get on Dr Phil and lie. And quite another to get sworn and be cross examined.  

And if you hear what Stites’ mother and sisters say about that cousin, it’s that she didn’t even know her.  

Again, there’s a reason why even Reed’s own attorneys don’t call these joke witnesses.  

Are we talking about the same cousin? The cousin I was referring to was a “he”. Calvin “Buddy” Horton. 

http://www.search.txcourts.gov/SearchMedia.aspx?MediaVersionID=396b7ca9-bc99-4a28-9e5b-533214054760&coa=coscca&DT=BRIEF&MediaID=27be1c0c-0c74-4382-9a89-f46a3910c20c

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/7/2019 at 6:08 PM, MaybeACoordinator said:

Corcoran is a real journalist and he read all the trial transcripts, including the testimony from the penalty phase, which is where those accounts all come from. 

My memory sucks but wasn't he just a music critic at the Statesman for far too many years, and a shitty one at that? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, test the final purported DNA evidence... which won’t change anything apparently. 
But why doesn’t somebody from the State or the prosecutor’s office set Reed’s record straight with the media and his ignorant supporters?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bastrop should try Reed on his 4 pending sexual assault indictments.   Start with the 12 year old girl he brutally raped orally, anally and vaginally and he beat so bad it would make the villains in A Time to Kill blush.  

Then maybe Oprah, Dr. Phil and the #freerodneyreed dumbfucks would shut the fuck up.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Armybrat said:

Yes, test the final purported DNA evidence... which won’t change anything apparently. 
But why doesn’t somebody from the State or the prosecutor’s office set Reed’s record straight with the media and his ignorant supporters?

It’s all out there if you look.  Those people aren’t at all interested in the truth.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn’t expect the Austin Chronicle to bring up the actual facts of the story, but do think other media outlets would present the complete history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Armybrat said:

I wouldn’t expect the Austin Chronicle to bring up the actual facts of the story, but do think other media outlets would present the complete history.

it’s all fake news.  kim kardashian and oprah say he’s innocent.  he’s innocent.  we’re done here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, txhorns said:

Story was just on NBC Nightly News.  Only Reed's side of the story of course.  Interview with his mom and brother.

How irresponsible.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Johnny Sack said:

How irresponsible.  

I was wrong, they did have a quick one line from Stite's sister that basically said that he deserves his punishment.  Nothing about his other crimes.  Lots of notoriety for the celebs supporting him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, having idiots like Kardashian and Orpah supporting CJ reform is important to the cause.  They're still idiots, though, and mostly wrong on this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, TwiceHorn said:

Unfortunately, having idiots like Kardashian and Orpah supporting CJ reform is important to the cause.  They're still idiots, though, and mostly wrong on this one.

I’m not some huge DP lover.  Serial predators like Reed give me less pause.  But I could live with him spending the rest of his life as a prisoner.  Wouldn’t bother me.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/5/2019 at 9:11 PM, irishtexan said:

Sure. Can you post a link to the evidence? There is DNA evidence that can be tested that could potentially quiet down all the typical bleeding heart liberals who don't want the state to execute a potentially innocent man on our behalf. Why not stay the execution and process the DNA? 

I believe it to be the DNA evidence linking him to the murder is what sealed his conviction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, jdhorn92 said:

I believe it to be the DNA evidence linking him to the murder is what sealed his conviction.

Yeah, when you find a body beaten and raped with the panties down below the hips and semen in the panties and inside the victim's anus and vagina, and that's the only DNA you find on the body, it looks really bad and is hard to explain away.

Saying you had sex two days earlier does not really cut it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stites worked at a Bastrop, Texas grocery store—the store was about thirty miles from her residence—and was scheduled for a 3:30 a.m. shift.  43.RR.95; 44.RR.48.  When she did not show, a fellow employee became worried and eventually called Carol around 6:30 a.m.  43.RR.96, 101–02.  In turn, Carol Stites called Fennell, and he went to look for Stites while Carol informed authorities about Stites’s absence.  44.RR.70–71.  

Before Carol knew about Stites’s disappearance, a Bastrop police officer had, at 5:23 a.m., discovered the pickup truck Stites took to work— Fennell’s red, compact truck—seemingly abandoned in a local high school parking lot.  43.RR.117.  Because the truck was not reported stolen, the officer took no further action.  43.RR.118,122.  Before he left, however, he noticed a piece of a belt lying outside the truck.  43.RR.120.        

Later that day, Stites’s body was found off a rural road.  44.RR.18, 21.  Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) crime laboratory personnel processed the scene.  44.RR.108.  They observed a partially clothed Stites—her shirt removed, bra exposed, and missing a shoe and an earring.  44.RR.113.  Her pants were undone, the zipper broken, and her panties were bunched at her hips.  44.RR.113–14, 122. She was discovered with work apparel—a nametag and a large knee brace.  44.RR.128, 151.  On the side of the road was another piece of belt.  44.RR.115.    

Because of obvious signs of rape, a DPS criminalist took vaginal and breast swabs from Stites’s body.  44.RR.123; 45.RR.51.  On-site chemical testing of a vaginal swab signaled the presence of semen.  44.RR.124–27.  Around 11:00 p.m. that night, microscopic analysis showed the presence of intact sperm, which indicated recent seminal deposit—based on scientific articles, sperm remains whole within the vaginal cavity for usually no longer than twenty-six hours.  44.RR.131; 45.RR.15–16.    

Later forensic testing matched the belt fragments to each other, and it appeared that the belt was torn apart, not cut, 47.RR.83–85, and Fennell identified the belt as Stites’s, 45.RR.102.  A search of the truck by DPS criminalists yielded Stites’s missing shoe and earring, and the remnants of a smashed, plastic drinking glass.  47.RR.44–45; 49.RR.34, 38.   Additionally, the driver’s-side seatbelt was still engaged and the seat was angled in such a way that a 6’2’’ person could properly utilize the rearview mirror.  46.RR.101; 49.RR.43.        

Stites’s body was autopsied the next day by Dr. Roberto Bayardo.  48.RR.111.  He observed a large mark across Stites’s neck that matched the pattern of her belt.  48.RR.119–20, 136–37.  There were bruises on Stites’s arms consistent with forcible restraint, bruises on her head consistent with the knuckles of a fist, and bruises on her left shoulder and abdomen consistent with an over-the-shoulder seat belt.  48.RR.115– 18.  Based on physical changes in the body, Dr. Bayardo estimated Stites’s time of death to be 3:00 a.m., give or take four hours.  48.RR.113– 14.    

Dr. Bayardo also took vaginal swabs, in addition to oral and rectal swabs.  48.RR.121–23.  He too observed intact sperm from a vaginal swab, which he stated indicated “quite recent[]” seminal deposit.  48.RR.121–22.  There were also injuries to Stites’s anus, including dilation and lacerations.  48.RR.126. These were consistent with penile penetration inflicted at or near the time of Stites’s death—peri-mortem.  48.RR.126–27.  And, Dr. Bayardo, via microscopic analysis, thought he saw sperm heads from a rectal swab, though he acknowledged that chemical testing was negative for semen from this swab.  48.RR.123–24.  But, he noted however, that sperm break down quicker in the rectal cavity than in the vaginal cavity, so the fragmented sperm further indicated recent seminal deposit.  48.RR.125.  

Thereafter, DPS personnel conducted DNA testing on the vaginal, rectal, and breast swabs, and the results indicated that the foreign DNA came from a single source.  49.RR.95–113.  They also “mapped” Stites’s panties, which showed little movement after semen was deposited in her vaginal cavity.  44.RR.190–91; 55.RR.40.  This, too, demonstrated seminal deposit just before her murder.  55.RR.41.    

For approximately a year, law enforcement—state, county, and municipal—searched for Stites’s killer to no avail.  They interviewed hundreds and obtained biological samples from twenty-eight males; none matched the foreign DNA in and on Stites.  46.RR.111–12; 49.RR.114– 19.  And none mentioned Appellant associating with Stites.  46.RR.112.  

Appellant became a suspect in Stites’s murder after he was arrested for kidnapping, beating, and attempting to rape and murder another nineteen-year-old woman, Linda Schlueter.   46.RR.122.9  Schlueter was abducted by Appellant approximately six months after Stites’s murder, near both the route Stites typically took to work and the time she disappeared—3:00 a.m.  61.RR.10, 37–47.  Moreover, Appellant was regularly seen in this area by Bastrop police officers in the early morning hours, and his home was close to where both Stites’s and Schlueter’s vehicles were abandoned.  50.RR.70–73, 80, 95–96.  Further, Appellant’s height—6’2’’—aligned with the angle of the driver’s seat.  49.RR.43.  

Given these similarities, law enforcement inquired with DPS if they had Appellant’s DNA profile; they did because Appellant had raped his mildly intellectually disabled girlfriend, Caroline Rivas (this was preCODIS).  46.RR.122–23.10  Appellant’s DNA profile was compared to the foreign DNA inside and on Stites’s body and the two were consistent.  50.RR.104.  Appellant was then questioned and he denied knowing Stites.  48.RR.82–83.  Additional biological samples were taken from Appellant pursuant to a search warrant.  48.RR.18, 86–92. 

More DNA testing was performed by DPS and a private laboratory on the new samples from Appellant and those taken from Stites’s body.  49.RR.118–19; 50.RR.120–36, 140; 49.RR.127; 51.RR.33–34.  The results were conclusive—Appellant could not be excluded as the foreign DNA contributor but 99% of the world’s population could be, and one would only expect to see the foreign DNA profile in one person in anywhere from 24 to 130 billion people.  49.RR.118, 122; 50.RR.144–45; 51.RR.80.  But, just to be sure, samples were taken from Appellant’s father and three of his brothers, and they were ruled out as contributors too.  49.RR.123–25  

Appellant’s trial counsel attempted to counter this damning evidence with a two-pronged attack—they tried to blame someone else for the murder, and they argued that Appellant and Stites were engaged in a clandestine, but consensual sexual relationship.    

To prove the former, Appellant’s DNA expert testified that a hair found on Stites’s back did not match any of the samples gathered by law enforcement, and a couple of witnesses testified they saw a white truck with three men in it near the area where Stites’s body was recovered.  51.RR.107–08, 124–25; 54.RR.50–52.  The latter witnesses’ testimony was significantly impeached.  51.RR.115, 119, 128–29. 

Trial counsel also suggested that Fennell was the murderer.  Law enforcement interviewed Fennell several times and collected biological samples from him, but they never searched his apartment.  45.RR.110– 12; 46.RR.62.  Fennell was eventually cleared after law enforcement investigated, and ruled impossible, Fennell’s ability to travel to Bastrop, murder Stites, and return home for Carol’s phone call within the known timeframes, and without any sort of transportation.  46.RR.127.  

Further still, trial counsel cast suspicion on David Lawhon, a Bastrop resident who murdered another woman, Mary Ann Arldt, two weeks after Stites’s death.  46.RR.158.  They called several witnesses that testified about a connection between Stites and Lawhon, including one who said Lawhon had confessed to killing Stites.  52.RR.29–31, 89.  They were all greatly impeached—the confession witness actually told police someone other than Lawhon had confessed to Stites’s murder, Stites’s good friends testified in rebuttal that Stites never dated Lawhon, and Lawhon’s ex-wife testified that nothing unusual occurred around the time of Stites’s murder, which was different than when Lawhon murdered Ardlt.  52.RR.93; 54.RR.130, 138, 141–43. 

As to the secret-relationship defense, one witness testified that she saw Stites and Appellant talking at the grocery store, and another said Stites came by Appellant’s house looking for him.  51.RR.136; 53.RR.92.  These were not credible accounts, however, as Appellant’s family were frequent guests at the first witness’s bar, and the second witness initially said “Stephanie,” not “Stacey,” was looking for Appellant, and she did not identify Stites when shown her driver’s license photo.  51.RR.138–39; 53.RR.92–93.  The jury found Appellant guilty of two counts of capital murder.  See also Reed IV, 271 S.W.3d at 702–12 (providing an extensive recitation of the facts from Appellant’s trial). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Johnny Sack said:

Yeah, when you find a body beaten and raped with the panties down below the hips and semen in the panties and inside the victim's anus and vagina, and that's the only DNA you find on the body, it looks really bad and is hard to explain away.

Saying you had sex two days earlier does not really cut it.

The ebil racist cop arranged the body like Dexter and the racist Bastrop County lawmen helped him get away with it!

On a more serious note, another journalist I know (a hard news guy, not a music critic like Corcoran) was musing online about why he never published a story on Reed's case. He has cubic yards of papers on it, has interviewed dozens of people, and never pulled the trigger because he believed the story was too complex for anything shorter than about 15,000 words, and the Houston Chronicle wasn't going to give him that much space for what they viewed as an Austin murder.  (He was the Chron's Austin bureau chief, back when papers had those kinds of jobs.)

Anyway, despite all the complexities, he believes these three things are true:

  1. No conceivable way the cop could have done it.
  2. Reed did do it. He is less certain about this than he is about number 1, but only an infinitesimal amount. 
  3. Although he believes that beyond reasonable doubt that Reed is guilty as sin, he thinks that Bastrop County did not give him a fair trial.

And that was one reason he didn't want to commit to a story. Nobody (except lawyers) wants to read about the railroading of a man guilty of a heinous crime. 

I've covered a trial like this, albeit one with lower stakes. The defendant was not a murderer, but he was a violent sociopath with many victims, most of them well-off Houstonians.

This guy, Dinesh Shah, was so awful, his own civil attorney wrote a tell-all expose about him called River Oaks Monster.   His MO was to befriend strangers and very slowly draw them into a web of deceit and then take over their whole lives: bank accounts, houses, cars, everything. One of his victims was an Exxon heiress and her whole family -- he installed himself in her house as the head of household for years, beating on her and the kids and stealing them blind. He wasn't fucking her though -- he spent the money he stole on boytoys, some of whom he also abused and robbed blind.

That was what this trial was about. He essentially took over the mind and bank account of a male Swedish dancer, and then started blowing him after he was high and drunk. Kind of the Kevin Spacey deal of semi-raping straight dudes. And Shah would beat the dude up every now and then, too.

And when he got called to court to answer for a felony assault rap, it was plain as day that his trial was rigged as fuck. 

His court-appointed lawyer had just been purged from the DA's office in one of those inevitable post-electoral bloodlettings, and he'd worked with / been drinking buddies with both the ADA and the judge, and it sure looked to me like the three of them had conspired to see to it that Shah got the max sentence, which he did.  

Was it a miscarriage of justice, as justice is defined by criminal lawyers in law school? Absolutely.

Did Shah appeal, claiming he didn't get a fair shake at trial? Yes.

Did that make a shit to the CCA? Hell naw.

Was true justice served in putting this guy away for as long as possible? Definitely.

Sometimes as a journalist you see some misdeeds you choose not to report on because you are serving the greater good by keeping your yap shut. That was the case here. Dinesh Shah reaped what he sowed and did not deserve to have anyone clutching pearls over his comically (or more likely intentionally) terrible defense attorney.

Rodney Reed is another scumbag who does not deserve even a gram of the support he's getting. Go fight the death penalty in the abstract. Don't make him the poster boy for shit. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MaybeACoordinator said:

The ebil racist cop arranged the body like Dexter and the racist Bastrop County lawmen helped him get away with it!

On a more serious note, another journalist I know (a hard news guy, not a music critic like Corcoran) was musing online about why he never published a story on Reed's case. He has cubic yards of papers on it, has interviewed dozens of people, and never pulled the trigger because he believed the story was too complex for anything shorter than about 15,000 words, and the Houston Chronicle wasn't going to give him that much space for what they viewed as an Austin murder.  (He was the Chron's Austin bureau chief, back when papers had those kinds of jobs.)

Anyway, despite all the complexities, he believes these three things are true:

  1. No conceivable way the cop could have done it.
  2. Reed did do it. He is less certain about this than he is about number 1, but only an infinitesimal amount. 
  3. Although he believes that beyond reasonable doubt that Reed is guilty as sin, he thinks that Bastrop County did not give him a fair trial.

And that was one reason he didn't want to commit to a story. Nobody (except lawyers) wants to read about the railroading of a man guilty of a heinous crime. 

I've covered a trial like this, albeit one with lower stakes. The defendant was not a murderer, but he was a violent sociopath with many victims, most of them well-off Houstonians.

This guy, Dinesh Shah, was so awful, his own civil attorney wrote a tell-all expose about him called River Oaks Monster.   His MO was to befriend strangers and very slowly draw them into a web of deceit and then take over their whole lives: bank accounts, houses, cars, everything. One of his victims was an Exxon heiress and her whole family -- he installed himself in her house as the head of household for years, beating on her and the kids and stealing them blind. He wasn't fucking her though -- he spent the money he stole on boytoys, some of whom he also abused and robbed blind.

That was what this trial was about. He essentially took over the mind and bank account of a male Swedish dancer, and then started blowing him after he was high and drunk. Kind of the Kevin Spacey deal of semi-raping straight dudes. And Shah would beat the dude up every now and then, too.

And when he got called to court to answer for a felony assault rap, it was plain as day that his trial was rigged as fuck. 

His court-appointed lawyer had just been purged from the DA's office in one of those inevitable post-electoral bloodlettings, and he'd worked with / been drinking buddies with both the ADA and the judge, and it sure looked to me like the three of them had conspired to see to it that Shah got the max sentence, which he did.  

Was it a miscarriage of justice, as justice is defined by criminal lawyers in law school? Absolutely.

Did Shah appeal, claiming he didn't get a fair shake at trial? Yes.

Did that make a shit to the CCA? Hell naw.

Was true justice served in putting this guy away for as long as possible? Definitely.

Sometimes as a journalist you see some misdeeds you choose not to report on because you are serving the greater good by keeping your yap shut. That was the case here. Dinesh Shah reaped what he sowed and did not deserve to have anyone clutching pearls over his comically (or more likely intentionally) terrible defense attorney.

Rodney Reed is another scumbag who does not deserve even a gram of the support he's getting. Go fight the death penalty in the abstract. Don't make him the poster boy for shit. 

 

I fundamentally disagree with this assertion. If someone had 

 

2 hours ago, Johnny Sack said:

Stites worked at a Bastrop, Texas grocery store—the store was about thirty miles from her residence—and was scheduled for a 3:30 a.m. shift.  43.RR.95; 44.RR.48.  When she did not show, a fellow employee became worried and eventually called Carol around 6:30 a.m.  43.RR.96, 101–02.  In turn, Carol Stites called Fennell, and he went to look for Stites while Carol informed authorities about Stites’s absence.  44.RR.70–71.  

Before Carol knew about Stites’s disappearance, a Bastrop police officer had, at 5:23 a.m., discovered the pickup truck Stites took to work— Fennell’s red, compact truck—seemingly abandoned in a local high school parking lot.  43.RR.117.  Because the truck was not reported stolen, the officer took no further action.  43.RR.118,122.  Before he left, however, he noticed a piece of a belt lying outside the truck.  43.RR.120.        

Later that day, Stites’s body was found off a rural road.  44.RR.18, 21.  Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) crime laboratory personnel processed the scene.  44.RR.108.  They observed a partially clothed Stites—her shirt removed, bra exposed, and missing a shoe and an earring.  44.RR.113.  Her pants were undone, the zipper broken, and her panties were bunched at her hips.  44.RR.113–14, 122. She was discovered with work apparel—a nametag and a large knee brace.  44.RR.128, 151.  On the side of the road was another piece of belt.  44.RR.115.    

Because of obvious signs of rape, a DPS criminalist took vaginal and breast swabs from Stites’s body.  44.RR.123; 45.RR.51.  On-site chemical testing of a vaginal swab signaled the presence of semen.  44.RR.124–27.  Around 11:00 p.m. that night, microscopic analysis showed the presence of intact sperm, which indicated recent seminal deposit—based on scientific articles, sperm remains whole within the vaginal cavity for usually no longer than twenty-six hours.  44.RR.131; 45.RR.15–16.    

Later forensic testing matched the belt fragments to each other, and it appeared that the belt was torn apart, not cut, 47.RR.83–85, and Fennell identified the belt as Stites’s, 45.RR.102.  A search of the truck by DPS criminalists yielded Stites’s missing shoe and earring, and the remnants of a smashed, plastic drinking glass.  47.RR.44–45; 49.RR.34, 38.   Additionally, the driver’s-side seatbelt was still engaged and the seat was angled in such a way that a 6’2’’ person could properly utilize the rearview mirror.  46.RR.101; 49.RR.43.        

Stites’s body was autopsied the next day by Dr. Roberto Bayardo.  48.RR.111.  He observed a large mark across Stites’s neck that matched the pattern of her belt.  48.RR.119–20, 136–37.  There were bruises on Stites’s arms consistent with forcible restraint, bruises on her head consistent with the knuckles of a fist, and bruises on her left shoulder and abdomen consistent with an over-the-shoulder seat belt.  48.RR.115– 18.  Based on physical changes in the body, Dr. Bayardo estimated Stites’s time of death to be 3:00 a.m., give or take four hours.  48.RR.113– 14.    

Dr. Bayardo also took vaginal swabs, in addition to oral and rectal swabs.  48.RR.121–23.  He too observed intact sperm from a vaginal swab, which he stated indicated “quite recent[]” seminal deposit.  48.RR.121–22.  There were also injuries to Stites’s anus, including dilation and lacerations.  48.RR.126. These were consistent with penile penetration inflicted at or near the time of Stites’s death—peri-mortem.  48.RR.126–27.  And, Dr. Bayardo, via microscopic analysis, thought he saw sperm heads from a rectal swab, though he acknowledged that chemical testing was negative for semen from this swab.  48.RR.123–24.  But, he noted however, that sperm break down quicker in the rectal cavity than in the vaginal cavity, so the fragmented sperm further indicated recent seminal deposit.  48.RR.125.  

Thereafter, DPS personnel conducted DNA testing on the vaginal, rectal, and breast swabs, and the results indicated that the foreign DNA came from a single source.  49.RR.95–113.  They also “mapped” Stites’s panties, which showed little movement after semen was deposited in her vaginal cavity.  44.RR.190–91; 55.RR.40.  This, too, demonstrated seminal deposit just before her murder.  55.RR.41.    

For approximately a year, law enforcement—state, county, and municipal—searched for Stites’s killer to no avail.  They interviewed hundreds and obtained biological samples from twenty-eight males; none matched the foreign DNA in and on Stites.  46.RR.111–12; 49.RR.114– 19.  And none mentioned Appellant associating with Stites.  46.RR.112.  

Appellant became a suspect in Stites’s murder after he was arrested for kidnapping, beating, and attempting to rape and murder another nineteen-year-old woman, Linda Schlueter.   46.RR.122.9  Schlueter was abducted by Appellant approximately six months after Stites’s murder, near both the route Stites typically took to work and the time she disappeared—3:00 a.m.  61.RR.10, 37–47.  Moreover, Appellant was regularly seen in this area by Bastrop police officers in the early morning hours, and his home was close to where both Stites’s and Schlueter’s vehicles were abandoned.  50.RR.70–73, 80, 95–96.  Further, Appellant’s height—6’2’’—aligned with the angle of the driver’s seat.  49.RR.43.  

Given these similarities, law enforcement inquired with DPS if they had Appellant’s DNA profile; they did because Appellant had raped his mildly intellectually disabled girlfriend, Caroline Rivas (this was preCODIS).  46.RR.122–23.10  Appellant’s DNA profile was compared to the foreign DNA inside and on Stites’s body and the two were consistent.  50.RR.104.  Appellant was then questioned and he denied knowing Stites.  48.RR.82–83.  Additional biological samples were taken from Appellant pursuant to a search warrant.  48.RR.18, 86–92. 

More DNA testing was performed by DPS and a private laboratory on the new samples from Appellant and those taken from Stites’s body.  49.RR.118–19; 50.RR.120–36, 140; 49.RR.127; 51.RR.33–34.  The results were conclusive—Appellant could not be excluded as the foreign DNA contributor but 99% of the world’s population could be, and one would only expect to see the foreign DNA profile in one person in anywhere from 24 to 130 billion people.  49.RR.118, 122; 50.RR.144–45; 51.RR.80.  But, just to be sure, samples were taken from Appellant’s father and three of his brothers, and they were ruled out as contributors too.  49.RR.123–25  

Appellant’s trial counsel attempted to counter this damning evidence with a two-pronged attack—they tried to blame someone else for the murder, and they argued that Appellant and Stites were engaged in a clandestine, but consensual sexual relationship.    

To prove the former, Appellant’s DNA expert testified that a hair found on Stites’s back did not match any of the samples gathered by law enforcement, and a couple of witnesses testified they saw a white truck with three men in it near the area where Stites’s body was recovered.  51.RR.107–08, 124–25; 54.RR.50–52.  The latter witnesses’ testimony was significantly impeached.  51.RR.115, 119, 128–29. 

Trial counsel also suggested that Fennell was the murderer.  Law enforcement interviewed Fennell several times and collected biological samples from him, but they never searched his apartment.  45.RR.110– 12; 46.RR.62.  Fennell was eventually cleared after law enforcement investigated, and ruled impossible, Fennell’s ability to travel to Bastrop, murder Stites, and return home for Carol’s phone call within the known timeframes, and without any sort of transportation.  46.RR.127.  

Further still, trial counsel cast suspicion on David Lawhon, a Bastrop resident who murdered another woman, Mary Ann Arldt, two weeks after Stites’s death.  46.RR.158.  They called several witnesses that testified about a connection between Stites and Lawhon, including one who said Lawhon had confessed to killing Stites.  52.RR.29–31, 89.  They were all greatly impeached—the confession witness actually told police someone other than Lawhon had confessed to Stites’s murder, Stites’s good friends testified in rebuttal that Stites never dated Lawhon, and Lawhon’s ex-wife testified that nothing unusual occurred around the time of Stites’s murder, which was different than when Lawhon murdered Ardlt.  52.RR.93; 54.RR.130, 138, 141–43. 

As to the secret-relationship defense, one witness testified that she saw Stites and Appellant talking at the grocery store, and another said Stites came by Appellant’s house looking for him.  51.RR.136; 53.RR.92.  These were not credible accounts, however, as Appellant’s family were frequent guests at the first witness’s bar, and the second witness initially said “Stephanie,” not “Stacey,” was looking for Appellant, and she did not identify Stites when shown her driver’s license photo.  51.RR.138–39; 53.RR.92–93.  The jury found Appellant guilty of two counts of capital murder.  See also Reed IV, 271 S.W.3d at 702–12 (providing an extensive recitation of the facts from Appellant’s trial). 

What is the source of this? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry. I started to respond to your post about "no one wants to read about the railroading of a guilty man" but misread it as "not guilty." Then I forgot to delete. My bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, irishtexan said:

I fundamentally disagree with this assertion. If someone had 

 

What is the source of this? 

As for your fundamental disagreement, I'll put it another way. No writer wants to go through the Herculean effort of writing a megasourced 15,000-word ouevre over the course of many months, dealing with pesky editors and fact-checkers all along the way, to essentially argue that a heinous murderer get tried and convicted again for a crime that writer 99.99999999 percent believes he committed anyway. Again, the Rodney Reeds of the world reap what they sow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, irishtexan said:

Sorry. I started to respond to your post about "no one wants to read about the railroading of a guilty man" but misread it as "not guilty." Then I forgot to delete. My bad.

Whoops, and then I responded. No biggie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, ChickenSandwich said:

Someone needs to ask all of these woke celebrities if raping a 12 year old builds character?

Roman Polanski supporters say, "Hi!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fuck it. I’ve been thinking about saying it all day, but now I’ve had a few drinks (and emotional after the Willie and Kacey Musgraves duet on the CMAs).

 

As someone who is generally against the death penalty ... execute the vile piece of shit. He deserves far worse than a “humane” execution for what he has done to numerous women and children, and there’s no amount of reform a prison sentence could accomplish. Not saying this is the case here, but sometimes a broken system still works out in the end. The world will be better off without him.

 

Then test the belt afterwards to see if there needs to be further investigation.

 

* I’ll probably regret this post in the morning, but I’m now watching a news segment on the case. It’s really disturbing how this guy is being made out to be some sort of saint when he’s, at a minimum, a violent rapist and pedophile.

 

Edit to add: For anybody questioning the end result or my comment about a broken system occasionally working... if you walked in on someone raping your 12 year old daughter and you killed them, do you think you’re guilty of murder and/or do you think you would be successfully prosecuted and imprisoned for murder?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




Football ... Basketball ... Baseball ... Other Sports ... Recruiting ... Gambling ... Movies & TV ... Music ... Hobbies ... Lulz ... Food & Travel ... Daily Texan ... Help ... For Sale ... Politics ... Board Discussion
×
×
  • Create New...