Neil Snelson gets new trial in Kamloops

The man charged with the 1993 killing of Jennifer Cusworth succeeded in his bid to have his trial moved out of Kelowna.

The man charged with the 1993 killing of Jennifer Cusworth succeeded in his bid to have his trial moved out of Kelowna.

Neil George Snelson will now be tried for manslaughter in a Kamloops courtroom.

Snelson’s lawyer, Wade Jenson, told the court Monday that Crown counsel Iain Currie consented to the location transfer.  A date for the upcoming trial will be set April 28.

It’s a move that didn’t come as a surprise to friends and family of Cusworth.

Jennifer’s mother Jean recently pointed out that Snelson and his legal team “know how Kelowna” feels about them.

It’s filled with people “who want justice for Jennifer,” she said, outside the courtroom when Snelson made a court appearance last January.

And, she said, the move will be more convenient for her and her husband as they’ve recently relocated to Pritchard, which is much closer.

The Cusworths, regardless of location, will be at court every day for the second round of the trial.

In 2011 a Kelowna jury convicted Snelson of manslaughter.

That verdict was overturned late last year when the Court of Appeal ruled that the trial judge erred by showing the jury a portion of video where Snelson can be heard telling a police officer that he hadn’t yet decided how he was plead to the charges he was facing.

Jenson appealed the judge’s decision to show that portion of video evidence, noting it was prejudicial.

Jennifer Cusworth, 19, was found in October 1993, beaten and strangled in a ditch off Swamp Road.

The case went cold for 15 years, until police arrested Snelson, now 47,  in 2009.

DNA evidence revealed he had sex with the teen the night she died.

He was sentenced to 15 years for manslaughter.

 

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