As jurors deliberate over a murder verdict in California, the wife of the victim is planning to move to his hometown of Valentia Island, Co. Kerry, with her four children as soon as the trial is over.
Krista Clem O’Sullivan, wife of 47-year-old John O’Sullivan who died from several gunshot wounds in August 2009, told IrishCentral.com via email that she has had enough of life in the U.S. and is looking forward to bringing up her children in Ireland.
“As soon as this trail is over we will fly to Ireland,” said Clem O’Sullivan.
Clem O’Sullivan visited Valentia Island last Christmas with the children and realized it was where she wanted to bring up her children.
“We had the most amazing time and John’s family are wonderful,” said Clem O’Sullivan.
“I raised enough money to stay here for all this time and also enough to ship one container back to Ireland. I will have to leave the rest of the stuff behind for the time being.”
The widow is hoping the sale of her truck and a few other items will pay for the cost of the flights.
O’Sullivan’s family in Ireland have been a great support to her and the children leading up to and during the trial.
“We are doing the best we can in the middle of the trial,” she said.
O’Sullivan and his family lived in a remote part of the countryside in Fiddletown, Amador County in California, about 45 minutes from Sacramento.
Ken Zimmerman, O’Sullivan’s neighbor, shot the Kerry man after he drove his tractor through the gates of his property last August.
Zimmerman, 56, shot the Valentia Island man once in the side and twice in the back while on his tractor on Sunday, August 16, 2009, after, what police said, was an ongoing feud between neighbors got out of control.
Zimmerman is claiming self-defense.
The two men had been in a long-standing dispute over an access gate to land.
Clem O’Sullivan said she has received several nasty threats from people in the area since her husband’s death.
She also claims her children were being harassed in school and since the trial she has received death threats on the phone.
Clem O’Sullivan gave her testimony last week.
During cross-examination, she said efforts were made to undermine her husband's character.
"I knew I would have to be extremely calm on the stand," she said, adding that every suggestion was thrown her way from her husband's alleged drinking to legal battles she had with neighbors.
"Just things that were totally untrue and inflammatory," she said.
"John and I always had this creed that the truth is the truth and if you give it enough time it will come out and that was what I was trying to rest on. I know what a good man he was and I know that people who knew him knew that."
O’Sullivan comes from a large family on Valentia Island and was the eldest of eight children.
He emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1980’s.
He hadn’t been back to Ireland in 13 years.
Prior to moving to the U.S. he worked in the building trade in Ireland and played football with Valentia Island.
He married his wife in 2006.
He is the father of Tessie, 2, and Michael Seamus, 4 and step father of Lydia and Jacob.