Cold case re-trial a 'slap in the face,' says victim's friend

Slain teen Jennifer Cusworth's friends and family were left reeling following Thursday's news that her accused killer was getting a new trial.

"It feels like a roller coaster with that instant knot in your stomach," said Jennifer Watson, a friend of Cusworth who sat through the lengthy 2011 trial that ultimately saw Neil George Snelson, 50, found guilty of manslaughter.

Although she hadn't spoken to them herself, Watson has heard Cusworth's parents were also shaken by the news.

"We are all very devastated and disappointed in the legal system," she said.

"We felt she could be at peace, which is what I needed. I needed to know that somebody was held accountable for what happened to her. This just reopens it all."

Making things worse is the realization that Snelson's next trial will be on a lesser charge.

"Because the jury found him guilty of manslaughter not first degree murder, his next trial will be for a manslaughter charge," she said. "It's a slap in the face. The most we can hope for is that he can get more time."

Yet to be announced is where and when Snelson's next trial will be held.

Snelson was serving a 15 year sentence for the overturned conviction.

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