They also charge that the prosecution withheld crucial evidence that might have helped exonerate Reed.
Yet no other physical evidence connected Reed to the crime -- neither on the body, in the surrounding crime scene, or in the pickup truck.
In their opening statements to the court, Reed's court-appointed lawyers said they could readily explain the DNA found in Stites' body.
On the basis of that DNA match alone, the prosecution argued that Reed had assaulted, raped, sodomized, and strangled Stites -- although there was no other physical evidence connecting Reed to the brutal crime.
Special prosecutor Lisa Tanner of the Texas Attorney General's Office, who assisted Bastrop D. Charles Pennick's prosecution team, argued passionately to the jurors that the case was simple: The DNA was the crime's "Cinderella's slipper." The genetic profile of the evidence could match only Reed, Tanner said, and therefore Reed was the murderer.
On April 23, 1996, Stacey Stites was scheduled to work a am shift at the Bastrop HEB.
According to her mother Carol Stites, Stacey had taken the early morning shift in order to earn an extra 50 cents per hour, money she was going to use to pay for the wedding dress she had put on layaway.
Six years after Stites' death, the question remains open: Who killed Stacey Stites?
Stites, a 19-year-old Giddings resident, disappeared in the early morning hours of April 23, 1996.
In May of 1998, a Bastrop County jury convicted Bastrop resident Rodney Reed of the murder of a young Giddings woman, Stacey Stites.