BLOOMINGTON — The fight by a Bloomington man convicted of murder in 1991 to have a hearing on evidence he claims will prove his innocence moves to the 4th District Appellate Court on Tuesday for argument.

Lawyers for Jamie Snow argue that information from polygraphs taken by several witnesses was not disclosed to the defense during Snow's 2000 trial.

Snow is serving life in prison in the death of Billy Little, a gas station clerk killed on Easter Sunday in 1991 during an apparent armed robbery.

In their appellate brief, lawyers with the Exoneration Project with the University of Chicago Law School argue that Snow was denied access to important evidence "that would have changed the outcome of the trial, evidence that impeached the main witness against him and evidence that impeached two other key witnesses in the case."

The defense contends Snow was denied access to statements allegedly made by witness Danny Martinez to a polygraph examiner in 1991 — eight years before Snow was charged with murder. Martinez went on to identify Snow as a suspect in 2000 after he saw a photograph of an earlier police lineup.

In a response filed by the state's attorneys appellate prosecutor's office, the state argues that the polygrapher's notes are not new, reliable evidence and should not lead to additional hearings in Snow's case.

The polygraph results from Martinez and a second witness, Steve Scheel, were obtained by the defense through Freedom of Information Act requests during the post-conviction process. Scheel had previously admitted that his trial testimony against Snow was false, said Snow's lawyers.

Snow also has asked a lower court for DNA testing on bullets and clothing collection in the investigation. Proceedings have been stalled for about two years in the lower court while lawyers waited for a decision by a now-retired judge in the 8th Judicial Circuit on the DNA testing.

Snow's case was moved outside McLean County because of a conflict with 11th Judicial Circuit judges. 

Snow's admissions to people in Bloomington and Florida that he had killed a man during an armed robbery support the conviction, the state argues in its appellate filing.

Follow Edith Brady-Lunny on Twitter: @pg_blunny


McLean County Courts Reporter

McLean County courts reporter for The Pantagraph.

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