Kelowna man takes the stand in first degree murder trial

Neil Snelson took the stand at his first degree murder trial Tuesday, testifying he's come to understand he had sex with Jennifer Cusworth but knows he played no role in her death.

Snelson testified that he remembers he met a woman at the Oct. 16, 1993 party, who he now believes to be Cusworth, in the backyard of the Richter Street home, where he was taking bathroom breaks to avoid long lineups.

They talked, made out, and then went to his brown GMC truck. Once at his truck, they made out some more, got into the cab and had sex on the seat, he said.  He testified they then parted ways, and he went to the party.

It wasn't until 2009, when police started tracking him in an effort to collect his DNA that the question of "what if" it was Cusworth he'd had sex with that night, came to his mind.

After his recollection of events was presented to jurors, Snelson's defence lawyer, Wade Jenson, prompted his client to revisit the days after he was arrested and explain why he said so little to police investigators. Specifically Jenson brought him back to video footage presented to jurors last week, where Snelson said he wanted his lawyer to review "your story," "my story" and all the paperwork connected to the 16-year-old cold case.

Jenson asked Snelson, who was in the witness box, to review that statement.

"My story of how I met a girl at a party and had sex with her at a party," said Snelson, explaining the statement.

Crown counsel Iain Currie started to cross examine Snelson just before noon Tuesday, but had yet to finish at the time of publication.

Thus far, he's focused on lining up conversations Snelson had with his father, his sister and the police, where discrepencies have emerged.

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