Accused murderer sending letters to prosecution from jail

LEWISBURG – Two decisions were made Tuesday during a testimony hearing for accused killer Joel Snider.  The 35-year-old Saint Louis man is charged in the 2010 shooting death of New Berlin yoga master Sudharman.  In Union County Court, defense attorney William Miele asked Snyder/Union County judge Michael Hudock to allow a videotaped deposition of witnesses from Saint Louis who know Snider.

Prosecutor Chief Attorney General Frank Fina says normally he would not allow witnesses to testify on videotape, however, these are mostly character witnesses and not fact witnesses, so he feels ok with the decision.  A draft order must be issued to the court by Miele 60 days before the proposed deposition.

In another matter, Fina approached the judge saying Snider had been writing him letters from jail.  The content of the letters were not discussed, other than saying Snider was complaining about ineffective council on the part of Miele and his other attorney Edward Rymsza.

Fina joked, “In all honesty, the letters are detailed, insightful and provide fantastic evidence.”  On a serious note, Fina asked for a special proceeding to go over the letters.  He said, especially in murder cases, when trial gets closer many defendants claim ineffective council, which can lead to new council and be costly to the county.

Miele asked that the special proceeding be in closed quarters and the judge agreed.  Snider could face the death penalty if he is convicted of murder.  His trial is scheduled for next year. (Sara Bartlett)

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