Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed wins stay of execution

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HOUSTON (AP) Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed won a stay of execution late Friday afternoon from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Rodney Reed faces execution next week. (Texas prison photo)

The appeals court returned the case to the trial court in Bastrop County so it could examine Reed’s claims that he is innocent and that prosecutors suppressed evidence and presented false testimony.

He was scheduled for execution next Wednesday evening in Huntsville.

Earlier Friday the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended delaying the execution.

The parole board on Friday unanimously recommended a 120-day reprieve for Reed.

The board’s decision went to Gov. Greg Abbott.

Since taking office in 2015, Abbott has halted only one imminent execution.

The 51-year-old Reed had been set for lethal injection Wednesday evening for the 1996 killing of 19-year-old Stacey Stites near Bastrop in Central Texas.

Reed’s efforts to stop his execution have garnered support from lawmakers and celebrities.

Since Texas resumed executions in 1982, only three death row inmates have had their sentences commuted to life in prison within days of their scheduled executions.