Cisneros Trial: No mistrial, recess until July 7

MASON CITY, Iowa – After asking for a mistrial following new evidence, the defense team of Michael Cisneros is now retracting their motion.

On Tuesday, four rolls of film were discovered in totes at the Mason City Police Department’s Evidence Room.

Although, neither side knew where the photos were, Prosecutor Douglas Hammerand says they were always made available for all parties, even if they did not originally see them.

“Not only the negatives were in the totes, but the actual photographs were. They made copies for us yesterday, so the photographs and the negatives, I was told were in the three totes that are in this case,” said Hammerand.

However, the defense responds by claiming the state did not follow proper procedure in having all evidence provided to the defense and Michael Cisneros.

“That violation of the discovery agreement rises to the level of prejudicial on the state in impacting Mr. Cisneros’ right to have a fair trial,” said Defense Attorney, Letitia Turner.

After three hours of reviewing material and meeting with investigators, Judge Dedra Schroeder returned with her decision.

“An issue has been raised which is going to cause us to adjourn this trial recessed until July 7,” said Schroeder.

For the remainder of the week, attorneys will continue to review any new material they find in the evidence totes.

Judge Schroeder also made sure to remind jurors to not discuss the trial with anyone.

She says she understands it may be tempting, considering families gather during the holiday weekend.

As a reminder, Judge Schroeder did not give a decision on a mistrial due to the defense retracting the motion later in the day.

After reviewing the evidence over the break, the defense can still move for a mistrial again Monday when the trial resumes.


UPDATE: The mistrial request in the Michael Cisneros murder trial by the defense is now being retracted. The trial has been adjourned for the day and will resume on July 7.

Attorneys will now review all new evidence including the four rolls of film and diagrams from the scene.

The defense can still request a mistrial after reviewing the evidence themselves.

For more details tune in to our evening newscasts at 4, 5 and 6.

From Earlier:

MASON CITY, Iowa – The defense has asked for a mistrial in the Michael Cisneros murder trial. Wednesday morning, four new rolls of photos were brought forward as evidence that had not been seen by the defense or the state. The photos were apparently left in unmarked totes. Many of the images contain Snyder Jr. and the scene where he was found.

The trial is currently in recess as the judge considers granting the mistrial.

The defense claims, if the information was presented to them earlier, they may have taken a different direction in their approach to the case. However, the state claims the defense had ample opportunity to see all of the totes where the photos were stored. Michael Cisneros has also not looked at the photos.

Michael Cisneros is facing a murder charge for the 1994 death of John Snyder Jr.

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