BLOOMINGTON -- A Schuyler County judge has been appointed to hear Jamie Snow's request for a new trial on murder charges.

Snow was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of William Little, a gas station clerk killed during a 1991 robbery. Snow, now 43, was charged with Little's murder almost a decade later.

Judge Alesia A. McMillen was named after Snow's attorneys asked that the case be moved outside the Eleventh Judicial Circuit where Snow's trial was held and former prosecutor Charles Reynard now serves as a judge. Reynard is considered a likely witness when hearings are held on Snow's post-conviction petition, according to defense lawyer Tara Thompson of The Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago Law School.

State Supreme Court rules preclude Reynard from commenting on Snow's pending petition.

Shortly after her appointment, McMillen filed a disclosure pointing out a connection between Schuyler County and the Snow case. Teena Griffith, state's attorney for Schuyler County, was a former McLean County prosecutor and worked on the murder case, the judge said in a statement.

Snow argues in his petition that witnesses with legal problems of their own offered false testimony to authorities in exchange for leniency in their cases. New evidence in the case may be offered from some unlikely sources -- including a former Bloomington police officer serving 440 years in prison for sexually assaulting four women and stalking a third.

Statements from former cop Jeff Pelo support a defense claim that Snow was not seen leaving the former Clark Service Station, according to the petition.

Prosecutors characterize Snow's new evidence as hearsay that should not be seriously considered.

The defense is expected to file a response Wednesday to the state's motion to dismiss Snow's petition.

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