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MCLEAN COUNTY COURTS

Watch now: Judge orders documents to be provided in Jamie Snow murder case

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Jamie Snow during a hearing at the Law and Justice Center in Bloomington on Sept. 8 waves to his family. Schuyler County Circuit Judge Ramon M. Escapa ordered that 8,000 documents collected by Bloomington police and Illinois State Police investigators be turned over to Snow's legal counsel.

Circuit Court Judge Escapa orders police records be released to Jamie Snow legal team.

BLOOMINGTON — Jamie Snow’s lawyers will be allowed to review thousands of pages consisting of prosecutors’ evidence against him in his 2001 murder conviction in the death of William Little in Bloomington, a judge ordered Wednesday.

Snow, now 55, is serving a life sentence in prison for killing Little at a Bloomington gas station on Easter Sunday 1991.

Schuyler County Judge Ramon Escapa’s ruling Wednesday widens Snow’s path to exoneration, as he has consistently claimed his innocence.

Snow wiped tears from his face after his family and supporters applauded loudly when the judge granted the defense motion in a full McLean County Law and Justice Center courtroom.

“I appreciate your ruling today. Thank you for allowing me to be here and be a part of this proceeding,” Snow told the judge.

He told his family and friends "I love you, thank you all for coming," before walking out the courtroom.

Escapa said the nearly 8,000 pages of documents “would probably prove or disprove a lot of things for the state and the defense.”

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Schuyler County Circuit Judge Ramon M. Escapa orders that 8,000 documents collected by Bloomington police and Illinois State Police investigators in the Jamie Snow murder investigation be turned over to Snow's legal counsel during a hearing at the Law and Justice Center in Bloomington on Wednesday. 

Snow has sought all discovery documents since prior to his trial.

He and his lawyers were not aware of the additional 7,704 pages of documents produced by Illinois State Police and the Bloomington Police Department, and held by the McLean County State’s Attorney’s Office, since they were revealed in 2016 under a subpoena.

Lauren Myerscough-Mueller, Snow’s defense lawyer from the Exoneration Project, said the new information is potentially pivotal to prove Snow’s innocence. It could include information about additional suspects, non-identifications of Snow, witness statements and confessions.

“We don’t know that unless we have all of this evidence,” Myerscough-Mueller said.

She said the 7,704 pages of discovery — contained in 11 PDF files — is “information that we just haven’t had before. And we need to have the ability to look into it and investigate it thoroughly as our ethical obligations as defense lawyers and as is the right of any criminal defendant in the state of Illinois.”

McLean County First Assistant State’s Attorney Brad Rigdon argued that not all of the 7,704 pages are subject to be provided to the defense lawyers.

The judge ordered that Myerscough-Mueller could have the documents, but with redactions to private information within specific police investigative details.

Myerscough-Mueller filed the motion for discovery Aug. 3.

In a response to the motion dated Aug. 13, and reiterated in court Wednesday, Rigdon said the defendant’s list for information requested “is vague and does not provide enough information for the State to provide a meaningful response to the items mentioned.”

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A sign in a pickup truck belonging to family of Jamie Snow express the family's wishes as it was found parked outside the Law and Justice Center in Bloomington, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.

He also wrote that many of the pages within the discovery are duplicated and others are not subject to the rules of discovery.

Myerscough-Mueller said she had previously tried to obtain the documents through the Freedom of Information Act, but it was heavily redacted, noting many pages were black boxes.

“It is honestly somewhat absurd that as post-conviction counsel, as counsel for petitioner, I cannot get access to the documents used against my client to convict him,” Myerscough-Mueller said. “I cannot adequately represent him and do my own due diligence without these documents.”

Snow in 2007 was granted discovery documents when he began to represent himself in the case. He was provided about 800 documents and 30 tape recordings.

Another defense motion for DNA evidence also is pending before the court in Snow’s case.

Snow is due back in court for a status hearing Nov. 10.

The case was recently moved to the 8th Judicial Circuit Court because of conflicts of interest in the 11th Judicial Circuit.


Contact Kade Heather at 309-820-3256. Follow him on Twitter: @kadeheather

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