THE wife and four children of an Irishman shot dead in California face losing their home just six weeks after his fatal argument with a neighbour.
John O'Sullivan – who was killed after being shot three times by Kenneth Zimmerman last August following an ongoing dispute – had an agreement with the bank to whom he owed money. Following his death, officials are now ready to foreclose on his property.
In an interview with the Sunday Tribune, O'Sullivan's wife Krista Clem says she has no idea what she and her children will now do although she is considering moving to Kerry where she recently buried her 47-year-old husband.
"We have to move off the ranch. The mortgage company was working with John with respect to the home loan but it doesn't look like they are going to work with me so it looks like I am going to lose the ranch which is devastating," she said.
Clem is, however, confident that Zimmerman will be convicted of her husband's murder, adding that he was recently refused bail for the charge due to comments he made to the police in Amador County.
"They will not give him bail because it was revealed that he shot John once in the side and twice in the back," she said.
"When the police asked him what John was doing when he shot him his response was that he was 'hauling ass away from here'.
"I have a feeling – based upon what I have heard – that he was obviously headed away when he was shot because they told me that he died instantly. He didn't suffer."
For now, Clem is trying to cope with raising their four children – Tessie (one), Michael (two), Lydia (eight) and Jacob (15) – and looking after their property development company.
"The hardest thing for me is that John and I did everything together. We were working on our business together and we were together all the time.
"We weren't like some couples who are apart for 10 hours at a time – we were always together. It's very, very difficult. We shared taking care of the children so we could both run the business.
"Obviously in the development business it relies on loans. We had a beautiful project up here which was John's vision, implementing green site techniques. John had said to me just a few weeks before this that I had done such a great job on this and if we have to move, sure it will be a change of life, but we are so very happy and we will be fine."
O'Sullivan's remains were brought home to Valentia Island off Kerry last month, following his death on 16 August.
Clem believes that her future, and that of her children, may now belong in Ireland. "His family has been absolutely lovely. I took him back home to be buried which was a hard decision but I couldn't see burying him here where this happened," she said.
"I am hoping that I can visit there with my children at Christmas and maybe even move there. It was a very lovely service and the outpouring from the community was amazing."