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Neil George Snelson wants location of new trial moved

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
March 11th, 2014

The man accused of killing a former L.V. Rogers High School grad 18-years ago wants his new trial moved from Kelowna.

Neil George Snelson, who was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Jennifer Cusworth and sentenced to 15 years in prison, was granted a new trial by B.C. Appeal Court.

Cusworth was found beaten and strangled after a Kelowna house party in 1993.

The court decision 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 indication of guilt; since an innocent person always says 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.

CBC News reported that Snelson’s lawyer told the judge his client will apply for a change of venue.

The lawyer stopped short of giving any propose new venues.

Jean Cusworth, was in the courtroom and told CBC News she would prefer if it weren’t moved too far away.

“I would prefer it to be in Kamloops,” she said on the CBC News website.

“If it’s at the coast, it’s going to be very difficult for witnesses to get down there to do the trial. But I’ll go. We’ll go live there while the trial is on, if that’s necessary.”

The application for a change of venue has been set for April 14.

Categories: Crime

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