Jordan Smith posts, "Bayardo Says State's Case Against Rodney Reed is Wrong; Explosive information filed in federal court," at the Austin Chronicle. Here's the top of this must-read for those following this long-controversial case:
Former Travis County Medical Examiner Roberto Bayardo says his testimony in the 1998 capital trial of Rodney Reed for the sexual assault and killing of Stacey Stites was misconstrued by prosecutors to suggest a solid timeline for Stites' death, and to prove that Reed had sexually assaulted Stites. But that, he now says, is not at all what he found.
Instead, Bayardo says in legal declaration that it looks like Stites suffered from an anal rape – one more likely committed with a "rod-like instrument, such as a police baton." That conclusion suggests even more strongly, Reed's attorneys argue, that someone other than Reed murdered Stites before leaving her body on the side of a country road in 1996. Indeed, at the time of her murder Stites was engaged to then-Giddings Police Officer Jimmy Fennell, who is now in prison for the kidnap and sexual assault of a woman while on-duty as a Georgetown cop in 2007. (Fennell pleaded guilty in 2008 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.)
Bayardo's revelation is among several containing potentially explosive new information that were filed in an Aug. 13 brief in federal court, objecting to a federal magistrate's June opinion that Reed's federal appeals, including his innocence claim, should be denied. In short, Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin ruled on June 15 that Reed's DNA found in Stites' vaginal cavity is "significant – indeed…perhaps conclusive – evidence of his guilt." That ruling has been forwarded to Judge Lee Yeakel for consideration; Reed's attorneys Bryce Benjet and Andrew MacRae this week filed the new information, asking Yeakel to reject Austin's conclusions, to review all the available evidence, to hold an evidentiary hearing on the case, and, ultimately, to either retry or release Reed.
The latest filing by Rodney Reed's attorneys, including the Bayardo declaration and Barbisch affidavit, are availabe in Adobe .pdf format.
The Austin Chronicle's archive of Rodney Reed articles, is an excellent resource.
Earlier coverage of Rodney Reed's case begins at the link.