MASON CITY | District Judge DeDra Schroeder has denied a motion for a change of venue in the case of a man charged with the 1994 murder of a Mason City toddler.
Michael Cisneros, 37, formerly of Mason City, is facing a charge of first-degree murder in the death of 20-month-old John Joseph Snyder Jr.
Cisneros' attorney, Letitia Turner, filed a motion asking to move the trial because of extensive pre-trial publicity about the case and the alleged DNA match which led to Cisneros' arrest.
A DNA sample taken from Cisneros in 2012 allegedly matched DNA found on the boy's pajamas.
Turner said news coverage of Cisneros' arrest prejudiced the jury pool in Cerro Gordo County, making it impossible for him to get a fair trial here.
The child's father, John Joseph Snyder, reported the boy missing on July 20. He said he put his son to bed at the night before and awoke to find the boy gone from their apartment at 10 S. Adams Ave. The boy's body was recovered July 21 in Willow Creek.
Cisneros has pleaded not guilty. His trial is set for Feb. 17 in Cerro Gordo County District Court.
He remains in the Cerro Gordo County Jail under $500,000 cash bond.