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Jean Cusworth says daughter's killer should have murder conviction

The charge of first-degree murder should have been upheld in Kelowna court last week, says the mother of the 19-year-old former L.V. Rogers graduate who was killed in that city 18 years ago, The Canadian Press reports.

Jean Cusworth said Friday Neil Snelson, who was convicted Thursday for the beating and strangulation death of her daughter Jennifer in 1993, should have been convicted of first-degree murder instead of manslaughter.

The former Crescent Valley resident and local school principal said she and her husband Terry were willing to “meet Snelson half way when he was arrested in 2009.”

"Today, I wouldn't meet him anywhere," Cusworth told CKFR radio of 44-year-old Snelson, who was convicted Thursday.

She said Snelson refuses to accept responsibility for what he has done, and that he lied in court to have his sentence in the 18-year-old cold case murder reduced from first degree murder to the manslaughter conviction handed him Thursday in B.C. Supreme Court.

The Cusworths are expected to give a victim impact statement at Snelson's sentencing hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Snelson, now a father of four children, killed Cusworth after the two attended the same house party in October 1993. DNA was found on the 19-year-old college student's body. She'd been beaten, strangled and dumped in a ditch.

Snelson said in court he had sex with a woman in his truck after the party, but didn't know who she was because he was too drunk.

The Crown maintained Snelson picked up Cusworth in his truck while she was walking home, raped her and then killed her.

Court heard Snelson had arranged to meet friends at a fast food restaurant but didn't show up.

See also

Former Nelsonite Jennifer Cusworth's cold case murder trial begins in Kelowna court

Kelowna father denies killing college student           

Neil Snelson found guilty of manslaughter in former L.V. Rogers graduate's death