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New judge appointed to hear Snow post-conviction case

Jamie Snow
David Proeber
/
The Pantagraph (Pool)
Jamie Snow is serving life in prison for the 1991 murder of Bill Little.

A new judge has been named to hear Jamie Snow’s post-conviction case on charges that sent him to prison for life in the 2001 killing of a Bloomington gas station attendant.

On Monday, Eighth Judicial Circuit Associate Judge Kevin Tippey told lawyers he intends to keep the long-running case on track. Tippey replaces Judge Ramon Escapa, who was killed in a June bicycle accident near his home.

Tippey said he made a trip to Bloomington after his appointment to review files in Snow’s case. In his comments to lawyers, it was apparent Tippey was familiar with the recent developments in Snow’s case.

“I am taking this matter seriously. I want you to understand that,” Tippey told Snow, who attended the hearing from a televised link with the Stateville Correctional Center.

In a recent email to WGLT, Snow said he was “crushed” to hear of Escapa’s death.

“In Judge Escapa I found a source of hope I haven’t had since the day I was found guilty. I felt in my heart that finally there was a judge on my case who would at least give me a fair shake,” Snow wrote in his email.

After years of delay, Escapa held a hearing in March 2021 to address a pending motion seeking access to more than 8,000 pages of records related to the police investigation into the death 1991 shooting death of Bill Little. Attorneys for the state and the legal team from the Exoneration Project that represents Snow were in the process of reviewing the records for necessary redactions at the time of Escapa’s death.

Defense lawyer Karl Leonard said Monday that Snow is reviewing the redactions. First assistant state’s attorney Brad Rigdon is handling Snow’s case for the state.

A Sept. 19 hearing is scheduled to review the status of the case.

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Edith began her career as a reporter with The DeWitt County Observer, a weekly newspaper in Clinton. From 2007 to June 2019, Edith covered crime and legal issues for The Pantagraph, a daily newspaper in Bloomington, Illinois. She previously worked as a correspondent for The Pantagraph covering courts and local government issues in central Illinois.
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