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UCF #104200223

Man Found Guilty In Death of Jennifer Cusworth

Jennifer Cusworth
Neil Snelson (left), and Jennifer Cusworth

Jennifer Cusworth

Kelowna, British — In 2011, News outlets reported a jury found Neil Snelson guilty of manslaughter in the death Nelson's Jennifer Cusworth more than two decades ago.

Cusworth, a L.V. Rogers High School grad from Crescent Valley, was studying social work at Okanagan University College and went missing from a house party Kelowna on October 16, 1993.

Cusworth was never seen alive again. Her body was found in a ditch on Swamp Road, on the outskirts of Kelowna.

The jury reached the verdict on the first day of deliberations in the re-trial.

Snelson had been found guilty of the manslaughter of Jennifer Cusworth in 1993.

However, the B.C. Appeal Court agreed in a unanimous decision to set aside the decision to convict Snelson of Kelowna and order a new trial.

The decision by the B.C. Appeal Court hinged on a statement made by Snelson during police questioning which he did not reply to the officers if he would plead guilty to the charge.

At trial, the Crown argued Snelson’s response that he hadn’t decided his plea was an indicationg of guilt, since an innocent person always say he wasn't guilty.

The Crown urged the jury to come to the same conclusion.

But Snelson's lawyer appealed, arguing the accused was merely asserting his right to silence, which cannot be used against him.

The B.C. Appeal Court agreed.

Snelson was one of the 150 people at the house party from which Cusworth disappeared.

According to the police, they had allegedly found DNA on an object at the murder scene matched with Snelson's.

Fifteen years later improvements in DNA technology enabled investigators to find 43-year-old father of four. He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Year 2015

It took two trials and nearly 22 years for the case and the jail doors to close on Jennifer Cusworth's killer, but it will only be 21 months before his release.

Neil George Snelson, 48, was sentenced to 11 years on September 16, 2015, in Kamloops Supreme Court. Since he was detained in 2009, Snelson accumulated nine years and three months while in custody.

Cusworth's family and Snelson's supporters packed a courtroom to hear Justice Dev Dley announce his sentence, which drew gasps and shock from Cusworth's family and friends.

In a previous trial, Snelson received 15 years.

That is garbage. The judge calls a higher sentence revenge. No, it's justice. The justice system is badly flawed.

Cusworth's mother Jean said outside the courtroom.
Michael Barson

Michael Barson

See more Case Files contributed by Michael Barson.
Jeffrey Andrew Dupres
Jeffrey Dupres

Jeffrey Dupres told his mother he was going with his five-year-old friend to play next-door at his house. About 20 minutes later, the friend showed up looking for him.
Featured for 12 days

I moved there from Sudbury, ON, I now have also lived in Vancouver, BC for 10 years. The talks of bad things in Red Deer is a joke. Vancouver/Lower Mainland obvs has a lot of crime with larger population & favorable weather. Compare Red Deer to Sudbury for a more accurate comparison, and I'll tell you Sudbury is by far worse. Like, by far.

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Murders In Windsor
Murders In Windsor

The 1980 murder of Kirk Knight; the 1982 murder of 31-year-old Marlene Sweet and her 7-year-old son Jason; the 2003 killings of 30-year-old Debilleanne "Dee Dee" Williamson and her son 5-year-old Brandon "Xavier" Rucker.
Windsor, Ontario


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