MASON CITY, Iowa – The jury finds Michael Cisneros not guilty in the murder of young, John Snyder Jr.
Michael Cisneros was on trial in the 1994 murder of Snyder Jr.
Today’s proceedings began with a formal announcement that Michael Cisneros would not be testifying on his behalf. That’s when prosecutors began their closing arguments.
They claim Cisneros’ blood DNA shows he was at the scene, and was the cause of Snyder Jr.’s injuries.
Injuries which consisted of a broken jaw and skull fractures.
“After breaking his jaw, and cutting his hand, his blood dripped on the front, on the back and on the side of little John’s pajama bottoms,” said Assistant Attorney General, Doug Hammerand.
The defense however, believes, there is enough reasonable doubt in the case.
According to the defense, even with DNA evidence, there is still enough reasonable doubt to prove someone else may be responsible for Snyder Jr.’s death.
“You would think there may have been a print, or two, or three or a hundred. They didn’t lift one out of that bathroom, or that kitchen, or of those dishes, that may have helped us here to get to the truth,” said Defense Attorney, Steve Kloberdanz.
The defense would later ask the jury to take a closer look at the statements made by lead investigator, Dan Ramaeker.
In his testimony, he is on record saying that he believed the home and the scene where the pajama bottoms were found, looked “staged”.
In a trial which made it into its rare, fourth week, it took jurors only three hours to come to a verdict.
“We the jury find the defendant, Michael Jason Cisneros, not guilty,” said District Judge, DeDra Schroeder.
While there were other options, such as second degree murder or involuntary manslaughter, jurors sided with Cisneros, and the lingering reasonable doubt.
“The state obviously thought we had strong evidence with the DNA evidence, and the fact that the defendant knew the location and the cause of death, but the jurors thought otherwise,” said Hammerand.
We did get a chance to reach out to both families, and both have declined to talk at this time.
They do however, expect to issue statements soon. We’ll have those as soon as they’re made available.