Court stays execution with reprieve

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AUSTIN — The execution of a Texas death row inmate incarcerated since May 1998 was stayed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Nov. 15.

The court order came five days before Rodney Reed, 51, was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection. A number of Republican and Democratic federal and state lawmakers and celebrities called on Gov. Greg Abbott to prevent the execution as motions for the reexamination of DNA and other evidence and the introduction of new witness statements gained publicity. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted in favor of granting a 120-day reprieve of the execution.

State Capitol Highlights

By Ed Sterling

TEXAS PRESS ASSOCIATION

In 1998, Reed was convicted in the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites, a 19-year-old grocery store clerk. Both Reed and Stites were residents of Bastrop when Stites’ body was found. Reed, who had dated Stites, was arrested as a suspect and taken into custody.

Lawmaker is charged

State Rep. Poncho Nevarez, D-Eagle Pass, on Nov. 14 was charged with possession of a controlled substance and released on $10,000 bond.

In September, Nevarez was observed on Austin airport security cameras dropping an envelope containing some 2 grams of cocaine. A conviction for possession of that amount of cocaine is a thirddegree felony that could result in a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Nevarez has announced he will not seek reelection to a fifth term as the state representative for District 74, an enormous district that includes the counties of Brewster, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Loving, Maverick, Pecos, Presidio, Reeves, Terrell and Val Verde.

Nevarez serves as chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety.