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Sydney Mines murder accused facing eviction over arson

Kimberly O’Dea, left, who is charged with second-degree murder, leaves Sydney Supreme Court on Tuesday after receiving a date for a hearing in connection with a dispute with her former landlord.
Kimberly O’Dea, left, who is charged with second-degree murder, leaves Sydney Supreme Court on Tuesday after receiving a date for a hearing in connection with a dispute with her former landlord.

SYDNEY — A woman facing a charge of second-degree murder is now fighting a bid by her landlord to evict her from her home that was the scene of an arson fire shortly after the murder.

Kimberly Ann O’Dea, 35, of Oxford Avenue in Sydney Mines, is charged with second-degree murder and criminal negligence causing death.

The charges are in relation to the July 14 death of Dana Marie Jessome, 28, of McKean Street, Sydney Mines. Jessome was killed after being struck by a vehicle on Oxford Avenue. O’Dea is the alleged driver of the vehicle.

During a Supreme Court appearance Tuesday, O’Dea and landlord Allana Serroul were ordered to return to court Dec. 7 for a hearing on the application filed by Serroul.

An interim Supreme Court order was issued in September that gave Serroul temporary possession of the home on Oxford Avenue.

According to documents filed by both sides, O’Dea and Serroul entered into a rent-to-own agreement in 2010. O’Dea agreed to pay the mortgage, insurance, taxes and other costs for 20 years.

O’Dea said she paid a $7,000 down payment and spent some $15,000 so far on renovations to the home in addition to making monthly mortgage payments.

There was a fire at the home on Aug. 2 and Cape Breton Regional Police have now launched an arson investigation to determine the exact cause.

In her affidavit to the court, O’Dea said she and her family members tried repeatedly to make contact with Serroul to arrange for someone to take care of the property after her arrest on the murder charge.

However, she said, Serroul never responded to the requests and blocked some attempts at contact on the social media site Facebook.

O’Dea had been jailed for several weeks before securing release on conditions that include she now live in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Serroul contends O’Dea breached the agreement by failing to contact her about leaving the home vacant for more than 10 consecutive days.

In her affidavit, Serroul said during an inspection of the property after O’Dea’s arrest, she found that the power had been disconnected and home was in a state of disrepair.

She noted damages to the cupboards, flooring, sump pump along with rotting food in the fridge.

She said $55,000 remains on the mortgage that she must now pay in addition to the extra costs to repair damages.

 

news@cbpost.com

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