Nationwide — Rodney Reed, a 51-year old man who was wrongfully convicted of a rape and murder that he did not commit, is scheduled to be executed on November 20th in Texas despite the evidence that confirms his innocence. Several advocates and celebrities such as Beyonce, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian West have signed a petition to prevent the execution.
In 1996, Reed was accused of killing Stacey Stites, who was then 19-years old. He allegedly kidnapped her before raping and strangling her, leaving her body in a remote area of Bastrop, Texas.
Reed was eventually convicted of rape and murder by an all-white jury in 1998.
However, new evidence that could potentially exonerate him and instead implicate Stites’ fiancé Jimmy Fennell, a local police officer, has emerged.
Reed’s attorneys claimed the prosecution relied on a hunch and inaccurate science, testing recovered DNA against Reed, which became the sole basis of the case. Reed, who initially denied knowing Stites, later admitted that he had a relationship with her and the sperm found inside Stites’ body was because they had consensual sex the day before she was found dead.
Forensic witnesses in the original trial claimed that sperm could not survive for more than a day after sex so prosecutors believed that she was raped by Reed shortly before being murdered. New evidence, however, proved that sperm can stay intact for days after death, confirming that the main evidence linking Reed to her death was wrong as it lacked scientific support.
Additional forensic evidence also pointed toward Fennell. Fingerprints discovered from his pickup truck — which was reportedly used to kidnap Stites — matched only Stites and Fennell.
During the trial, several witnesses could have testified that Fennell found about their affair and threatened Reed, but they weren’t called.
Meanwhile, Fennel, who had a history of violence against women, was sent to jail for kidnapping and sexual assault soon after Rodney was imprisoned. While in jail, Fennel allegedly confessed to killing Stites, according to the affidavit filed by Arthur Snow Jr., a former prison inmate. Snow said he was in jail with Fennel when he said his fiancé had been sleeping around with a Black man behind his back, so he had to kill her.
“Toward the end of the conversation Jimmy said confidently, ‘I had to kill my n****r-loving fiancé,’” Snow wrote. “My impression was that Jimmy felt safe, even proud, sharing this information with me because I was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. I think Jimmy assumed that his confession would impress me and earn him credibility with the Aryan Brotherhood.”
Over the years, Reed, who has been on death row for 21 years, maintained his innocence. The Innocence Project, an organization that aims to exonerate wrongly convicted people, is representing Reed.
Moreover, Reed has been receiving support from several people, including pastors, police officers, and celebrities. Almost 3 million people have signed the petition calling for Governor Greg Abbott to grant clemency, stop or delay the execution.
A BIZARRE OBSESSION TURNS DEADLY ON THE NEXT EPISODE OF FATAL ATTRACTION
An all-new episode of TV One’s True Crime Mondays is back on Monday, September 19. This episode of FATAL ATTRACTION unpacks a deadly obsession. Watch the story unfold on Monday at 9 p.m. ET/8C.
When a young woman arrives at the hospital with gunshot wounds, police attempt to locate the shooter. When the victim succumbs to her injuries, solving the case becomes difficult. Police make a thrilling discovery when a witness reveals information that turns the case on its head. Be sure to catch this compelling story on Monday at 9 p.m. ET/8C.
Driven by powerful, real-life stories, FATAL ATTRACTION offers intimate, first-person accounts, exclusive interrogation footage, and rare archival material. Along the way, viewers get a glimpse into the dark heart of dangerous romances. Tune in as the key players, families of the survivors and those that investigated the horrific crimes reveal the secrets to each sordid tale. Love doesn’t just hurt, it can kill!
Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TV One’s Twitter,Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv). Be sure to follow FATAL ATTRACTION on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #FATALATTRACTION.
Did the Pandemic Increase Young Adult Crimes?
Ever since the pandemic began, media outlets have been overloaded with news reports and aggressive political commentary highlighting major violent crimes committed by young people. The topic has received a lot of media exposure across the nation, fueling efforts to restore youth justice policies that have already been implemented in several states.
The decade culminating in 2020 saw a considerable decline in crime statistics, but the following years have seen an upsurge in violent crime in numerous US cities. Most recent statistics revealed that there had been a 39% increase in firearm-related attacks and a 23% increase in firearm-related robberies.
Reasons Behind the Rise in Young Adult Crimes
There are several interconnected causes of juvenile crimes like bullying, poverty, lack of accountability, hostile home environments, and social disadvantage, which all increase the likelihood of crimes.
Problems in School
Problems in school are a contributing factor to adolescent delinquency. Numerous factors connected to education can cause a young adult to engage in criminal activities. One of the biggest causes is absenteeism. A child who frequently skips school will neither profit from their education nor develop the discipline of going to school daily.
When a student struggles academically or has a parent who is generally uninterested if they attend school this could lead to circumstances that encourage criminal behavior.
A child’s growth is significantly influenced by the family, particularly the parents. One of the risks can be problems within the family. These problems may be societal, financial, etc.
The number of immigrants in the United States is also rising, and they include kids without parents. An unsuitable environment may encourage a teenager to engage in a crime. Domestic abuse, parental negligence, and unhealthy habits, among other things, can lead to criminal behavior.
Children living in homes where family members practice drug abuse increase the probability of criminal offenses by these minors. Even among younger adults, it’s estimated that 2 out of 5 instances of rape and sexual assault against college students were committed by a person believed to be under the influence of drugs.
Criminal behavior might also result from a lack of access to food, clothes, or shelter. There is an increased likelihood that many different criminal activities will occur if a minor’s basic requirements are not satisfied.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic fallout caused tens of millions of people to lose their jobs. Unemployment remained high throughout 2020 and about 20 million households reported having too little to eat in the past seven days. Another 10 million households reported being behind on rent.
10-year-old black girl dies from online TikTok challenge, family warns others.
Nyla Anderson, a 10-year old girl from Chester, Pennsylvania, has sadly died after reportedly trying the “blackout challenge” that tells participants to hold their breath until they faint. Her grieving family wants to alert others about its dangers.
Nyla was found unconscious in her bedroom of their home on December 7. She was rushed to the hospital where she was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit for days before she died on December 12.
“She happened to be in her own bedroom of her house, with her family at home,” Elizabeth Wood, a licensed clinical social worker at the local hospital, told ABC 7. “But no one was in the bedroom with her when this happened, so there was no one there to save her.”
Her family describes her as a happy and bright child who spoke 3 languages. They are still in a state of shock after Nylah’s tragic death.
“I’m so hurt,” said her mother Tawainna Anderson. “This is a pain that won’t go away. It’s at the top of my throat. I am so hurt.”
Moreover, Nylah’s family wanted her story to be known, warning other parents to keep a close eye on their children to prevent it from happening.
“Make sure you check your kids’ phones,” Tawainna said. “You never know what you might find on their phones. You wouldn’t think 10-year-olds would try this. They’re trying because they’re kids and they don’t know better.”
The trend, which reportedly traces back to the 1990s, had been recently resurfacing on social media where it spreads faster. A TikTok spokesperson said it is taking measures to stop users from sharing any content that promotes dangerous behavior.
“This disturbing ‘challenge,’ which people seem to learn about from sources other than TikTok, long predates our platform and has never been a TikTok trend,” the spokesperson said, according to Today. “We remain vigilant in our commitment to user safety and would immediately remove related content if found. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their tragic loss.”
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