BLOOMINGTON - The Illinois State Police crime lab has agreed to perform DNA tests on evidence stored since 1999 in the murder case of Jamie Snow, but Snow's defense has concerns about limitations the state wants to impose on its examination. | Archived video: Jamie Snow interview
Snow is serving life in prison for the 1991 murder of William Little, a Bloomington gas station attendant killed in during a robbery of the former Clark service station in Bloomington. Snow was convicted in 2001.
A defense team from The Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago Law School is representing Snow in his motion to secure a new trial. The group assists inmates who claim to be innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted.
Snow was in McLean County Circuit Court on Friday with his attorney, Tara Thompson, for a hearing on his request to have DNA tests performed on more than 20 items, including the victim's clothing, two bullets, and a bloodstain found on a counter.
Thompson asked that the state lab handle the testing to limit costs to the defense or, if the lab declined, that a private facility perform the tests at public expense.
Assistant State's Attorney Bill Workman told Judge Donald Bernardi that the lab has agreed to the testing - with certain restrictions. For example, the lab wants to test no more than 10 items and does not want outside supervision of its work.
The lab also told the prosecution that it could not perform DNA tests on the bullets recovered from the crime scene.
Thompson objected to the restriction on the number of items. "The defense really is entitled to testing of all the items," said Thompson.
The defense also disagreed with the conclusion that DNA tests cannot be performed on the bullets. Thompson said she will request an opinion from a lab used by the state crime lab for such testing.
Workman said the testing could take three to six months for the state lab to complete.
The issue of examination of fingerprints collected during the investigation may have been resolved with information from Workman that a national fingerprint database continues to run unmatched prints from crime scenes.
No match has been found for five prints obtained from the door of the service station.
Bernardi asked both attorneys to return to court Jan. 15 with specific recommendations on where the DNA testing should be done.
"We're not moving this ball at all. This is already a longstanding petition. I would like it to be in a position to be resolved one of these days," said Bernardi.
Bernardi noted a new judge will take over the matter after judicial assignments are made in December and he retires from the bench.