Snyder Sr. questioned on connection to Cisneros


MASON CITY, Iowa – John Snyder Sr. is taking the stand once again and this time, it’s dealing with his connection to the defendant, Michael Cisneros.

Michael Cisneros is on trial in connection with the 1994 murder of 20-month-old, John Snyder Jr.

John Snyder Sr., who was believed to be the boy’s father at the time is testifying as a witness in the case.

Throughout the trial, John Snyder Sr. had referred to Cisneros as an acquaintance that he had met through a mutual friend.

However, when speaking to investigators just last year, he could not give a physical description of Cisneros.

“Height, weight and all that, I don’t recall,” said Snyder Sr.

The defense has made it clear that they believe there is little to no connection between the two men. Especially, between John Snyder Jr. and Michael Cisneros.

“Speaking of Lt. (Frank) Stearns, did you ever tell him that James Kleven and Mr. Cisneros were at your apartment the evening of July 19, 1994?” asked defense attorney Letitia Turner.

The line of questions would later switch gears toward Snyder Sr. and his temper.

The defense asked questions relating to his past history of violence in an effort show Snyder Sr. as an aggressive father with a short fuse.

At one point, going as far as to list past offenses by Snyder Sr., where he was charged for assaulting others.

Defense attorneys however, were more focused on his potential for violence against John Snyder Jr.

“Do you admit to inflicting any of the injuries on little John?” asked defense attorney Steven Kloberdanz.

“None whatsoever,” replied Snyder Sr.

“None before the night of July 19, 1994?” asked Kloberdanz.

“Never,” replied Snyder Sr.

Turner continues the questioning by asking Snyder Sr. about an interview he gave with KIMT-TV back in 1994.

In the interview, Snyder Sr. discusses being willing to take a polygraph test to prove his case.

This would set off a storm of objections from prosecutors.

In pre-trial motions, it was agreed that anything regarding a polygraph test was considered inadmissible.

In a rare move, the prosecution would motion for a mistrial due to the defense’s line of questioning.

Judge Dedra Schroeder denied the motion, but gave a final stern warning to the defense team for trying to bend the rules in their questioning.

The trial will continue on Wednesday with more witnesses expected to take the stand.

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