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Suspect in Penich case extradited to S. Korea

By JEREMY KIRK | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 22, 2002

SEOUL — An American woman charged with the brutal stomping death of her friend arrived Friday from the United States to face trial, a Seoul prosecutor said.

Kenzi Noris Elizabeth Snider, 21, is the first American to be extradited to face charges in a Korean court under a 1999 agreement between the United States and South Korea, said the Ministry of Justice’s Park Song-ki.

Snider is charged with murder. She will be taken to the Yongsan Police Station for questioning by prosecutors, but no trial date has been set, Park said.

Snider allegedly confessed to the killing in February; since then she has been held without bail in Charleston, W.Va.

She would be eligible for the death penalty in South Korea, but no foreigner has ever been executed here. In fact, no Korean has been executed since South Korean president Kim Dae-jung took office.

Snider is accused of stomping to death Jamie Lynn Penich, 21, of Derry Township, Pa., in an Itaewon motel room on March 18, 2001. The two had traveled to Seoul from Taegu for sightseeing with other exchange students.

According to extradition papers filed by the U.S. District Attorney’s office in Charleston, Snider allegedly said she killed Penich after the woman made sexual advances toward her.

The papers said Snider hit Penich in the head while she was in the shower. Then, Snider moved Penich out of the bathroom and trampled her face, neck and chest with her shoes, the documents show. Bloody footprints found at the scene indicated a size 9 or 10 Skechers-brand shoe.

Snider will face a different legal system than in the United States.

South Korea has no jury format and instead uses a three-judge panel. Sentences are typically lighter in South Korea, depending on how much remorse the defendant shows and whether the person is willing to pay damages.

— Choe Song-won contributed to this report.


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