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John O'Sullivan and his family

Murder trial in death of Irish emigrant begins in California

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John O'Sullivan and his family

Read more - Murdered Irishman John Michael O’Sullivan's wife loses home in California

Read more - Murdered Kerry man's family fears they may lose California home

Ken Zimmerman is on trial in Amador Superior Court in northern California accused of the murder of Irish man John O’Sullivan.

In August of last year, fourteen months ago, John O'Sullivan was found dead in his tractor with shotgun wounds in his back. His neighbour Ken Zimmerman, with whom he had recently had an argument, was arrested and charged with homicide.

According to evidence heard at the trial, O’Sullivan had rammed through Zimmerman's locked gate and assaulted him before the fatal shooting.

O’Sullivan’s wife, Krista Clem, has alleged intimidation of her and her family during the course of the trial.

Speaking to the Sunday Tribune, she said, “We were getting a lot of noise coming out of the front and we took it to the shop and found out that all of the lug nuts on one of the wheels except one had been taken off; all except the one that you need a key for.”

“I had all the death threats on the phone. As time went on we showed up [to court] every morning and didn't confront anyone or interact or react to anything on the other side,” she said. “We were doing the very opposite. They were being very provocative and speaking to the jury and the witnesses.”

O’Sullivan was from Valentia Island, Co Kerry, and emigrated to the USA in the early 1980s. He married Clem in 2006 and had two step-children, Lydia and Jacob, as well as 16-month-old Tessie and 3-year-old Michael Seamus.  

The trial will continue this week.

Read more - Murdered Irishman John Michael O’Sullivan's wife loses home in California

Read more - Murdered Kerry man's family fears they may lose California home

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