Monday, April 13, 2009

City of Georgetown settles Jimmy Fennell civil case

Catie Beck of the News8Austin reports:

The City of Georgetown last week settled the last pending case against former Georgetown police officer Jimmy Lewis Fennell Jr.

Fennell was sentenced to 10 years for charges that he sexually assaulted a woman in police custody. A civil case was filed almost immediately after his conviction against the City of Georgetown by Fennell's victim.

News 8 Austin Monday confirmed that the victim listed in Fennell's criminal case was awarded just more than $100,000 by the City of Georgetown.

The victim’s lawyer, Mark Hefter, said this decision and the payment to the victim ends the federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Georgetown and Fennell.

“This is a substantial settlement for a case of this nature,” he said.

In addition, Hefter said the victim wanted to end the case “and avoid what would have been a very painful trial.”

Fennell also was a suspect in the murder of his fiancée, Stacey Stites, in 1996. Rodney Reed was convicted of the crime and was sentenced to death.

The Court of Criminal Appeals denied Reed a new trial in December of 2008. Reed still has a pending appeal in federal court.

News 8 Austin's Catie Beck will have more on this story later today.

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