BLOOMINGTON -- McLean County Judge Paul Lawrence has removed himself from future hearings in the 1999 murder case involving Jamie Snow, citing a potential conflict of interest with the anticipated testimony of another judge who served as a prosecutor.

Snow is trying to secure a new trial in the death of William Little. A jury found Snow guilty of killing Little, a clerk at a Bloomington service station, during a 1991 robbery.

Tara Thompson, Snow's attorney with the University of Chicago's Exoneration Project, has asked that the case be moved outside the 11th Judicial Circuit because former prosecutors (now judges) Robert Freitag and Charles Reynard were involved in Snow's trial.

Reynard was state's attorney during the Snow matter. Snow has served about a dozen years of a life sentence.

Assistant State's Attorney Bill Workman filed a motion Monday to dismiss Snow's post-conviction petition for a new trial. The defense has failed to produce new evidence of Snow's innocence, the state argued.

Allegations are without merit that Bloomington police mishandled the eight-year investigation into Little's death and witnesses gave false testimony in exchange for help with their pending criminal matters, said Workman.

The state takes specific aim at claims from former Bloomington Sgt. Jeff Pelo, who now supports the defense claim that Snow was not seen leaving the former Clark Service Station as witness Danny Martinez told the jury at Snow's trial.

"Additionally looking at the credibility factor of Jeff Pelo who did not come forward with this 'new' evidence until his own legal problems that resulted in his 440-year sentence" is appropriate for the court, Workman said of the former officer's 2008 conviction for sexual assault and stalking.

A new hearing date has not been set on the defense motion to move the case.

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