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Agreement Reached On Documents In Snow Murder Case

Police and Fire
WGLT file photo
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Lawyers for Jamie Snow and the state have reached an agreement on a portion of the police records the defense is entitled to view in their efforts to exonerate Snow of the 1991 murder of a Bloomington gas station attendant.

Snow attended Wednesday’s court hearing via Zoom from Stateville Correctional Center where he is serving a life sentence for killing William Little. Snow was convicted in 2001.

Snow’s attorney with the Exoneration Project, Lauren Myerscough-Mueller, told Judge Ramon Escapa that an agreement has been reached on documents related to forensic testing, but left unresolved are issues on documents the defense recently saw for the first time.

“We didn’t know the additional documents existed until we did this review,” said Myerscough-Mueller.

The defense lawyer cited a 2007 order by a McLean County judge that resulted in the state turning over about 900 pages of records to Snow’s lawyers. A subpoena issued later to Illinois State Police and Bloomington police netted more than 8,000 pages, according to Myerscough-Mueller.

Multiple Freedom of Information Act requests filed on Snow’s behalf produced heavily redacted documents.

“There’s many pages that are just black boxes,” said the defense lawyer.

First Assistant State’s Attorney Brad Rigdon argued the state is currently obligated to turn over records related to forensic testing that is the focus of a pending motion from the defense. In 2013, Snow’s legal team asked for DNA testing on 10 items of evidence related to fingerprints.

Both lawyers and the judge acknowledged during the hearing their time on the long-pending case has been relatively short and required extensive time to review the lengthy court file and documents.

Judicial conflicts in McLean County caused Snow’s case to be transferred to the 8th Judicial Circuit and Escapa. Rigdon and Myerscough-Mueller stepped into their roles after previous attorneys took new jobs.

In March, Escapa asked lawyers to continue negotiations on how many of the 8,000 pages of police records the state should turn over to the defense.

Escapa said he will set a hearing in early September in Bloomington to hear arguments on the records issue. After his ruling on that matter, an additional hearing is likely on the forensic testing request.

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