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Seeking justice for Stacey Stites: A letter from members of her family

*Per request, this post has been edited to remove the names of two family members who did not want their names listed any longer.

I want to thank the following members of Ms. Stacey Stites’s family for their courage and for standing up for right and for justice: Judy Mitchell- cousin, Sherry Everitt – cousin, Arica Wiederhold – cousin, John Leston – cousin, Heather Campbell Stobbs – cousin, Brenden Campbell – cousin, Jeffery Holcomb – cousin, and Ray Horton – uncle. Rest in power, Mr. Ray Horton! My family thanks each of you so much for supporting us in this fight to free Rodney and to ensure he is granted a new trial so he can prove that he did not murder Stacey. Thank you for your Blessing to share this letter that you had sent to both Bryan Goertz and Governor Greg Abbott. I’m so sorry for your loss and for your 23 years of immeasurable pain and suffering. I pray that both of our families finally do get the justice we deserve. God Bless you all and your family.

-Rodrick Reed

The letter:

Dear Bryan Goertz,

I am writing to you about the Capitol case of Rodney Reed. I have followed this case since the murder of Stacey Stites. Stacey, the victim in this case, was my cousin. The loss of Stacey has deeply effected the family and has been the hardest for Aunt Carol and Stacey’s sister Debra.

Over the years I have begun to believe in the innocence of Rodney Reed. I believe that Jimmy Fennel, Stacey’s fiancée is the person who killed Stacey.

In following the case I became aware of the overwhelming mistakes in the investigation. I believe there was overwhelming evidence that was overlooked and that there is more evidence and DNA that need to be tested and reexamined. This evidence deserves a second look. I believe Rodney Reed has not received the full and complete due process of the judicial system.

Stacey deserves to have the correct person convicted for her murder. Our family, as well as Stacey, cannot rest until all evidence has been tested and examined. Stacey would not want an innocent man to die for a crime he did not do. Stacey deserves justice and I, as well as the family, feel she has not gotten it.

There is overwhelming and compelling evidence that Jimmy Fennel killed Stacey. I am aware that my Aunt Carol stated in a sealed affidavit that Jimmy Fennel was a violent man. These sentiments are shared among many family members.

The loss of Stacey has been devastating and a large loss to our family. Stacey was only 19 years old when she was murdered. She had her whole life ahead of her. She was a beautiful, kind, and loving young lady who loved life. We feel that Jimmy Fennel has gotten away with murder. Please help in getting justice for Stacey and our family. The wrongful execution of Rodney Reed will not give this family closure.

We ask you to please intervene and give your support to have the DNA and all evidence reexamined as the initial investigation was seriously flawed.

We feel we have been denied justice in Stacey’s murder. There can be no closure for our family if the wrong man is executed.

This letter also represents other members of the family who have added their names.


Judy Mitchell – cousin, and sister of Sherry
Sherry Everitt – cousin
Arica Wiederhold – cousin, daughter of Judy
John Leston – cousin
Heather Campbell Stobbs – cousin
Brenden Campbell – cousin
Jeffery Holcomb – cousin, son of Tina
Ray Horton – uncle and half brother of Carol Stites

–Disclaimer: A version of this letter has already been sent to both Bastrop County District Attorney Bryan Goertz and Governor Greg Abbott.

From Rodrick: The only way the full evidence and the full truth will be put out there is a new trial. Bryan Goertz has the power in his hands to bring the full truth and true justice to light. Tell Goertz that justice demands he intervene in this case. If you have the ear of either Bryan Goertz or Greg Abbott (or someone in either of their immediate networks), please tell each of them to do everything in their power to see to it that Rodney is granted a new, fair trial to prove that he did not murder Stacey Stites- a new, fair trial where all the crime scene evidence is DNA tested and where all Rodney’s witnesses are called. Then, and only then, will we have justice.

If you plan to reach out to Bastrop County District Attorney Bryan Goertz about this by email at bryan dot goertz at, feel free to cc me on the email. My email address is rodrickreed65 at gmail dot com. You can also reach the office of Bryan Goertz by calling (512) five eight one -7125.