Bail denied for Sydney woman charged with 1st-degree murder

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Jessica Anne MacDonald is shown at a provincial court appearance in Sydney on Nov. 12, 2019. (Gary Mansfield - image credit)
Jessica Anne MacDonald is shown at a provincial court appearance in Sydney on Nov. 12, 2019. (Gary Mansfield - image credit)

A Sydney, N.S., woman who has spent nearly two years in custody on a charge of first-degree murder has been denied bail while she awaits trial.

Jessica Ann MacDonald is one of two people charged in the 2019 death of Stephen Rose, a father of four from Sydney.

MacDonald had been seeking bail ahead of a trial scheduled for April 4-29, 2022, in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

On Monday, Justice Frank Hoskins denied MacDonald's bail request. The reasons for his decision, along with any evidence presented during the proceeding, is banned from publication.

MacDonald and co-accused Joey Frederick Evong were arrested just days after police found Rose's body inside a Rotary Drive apartment building in Sydney on Nov. 5, 2019. MacDonald was 33 and Evong was 37 at the time of their arrests.

Calls for MacDonald to remain in custody

Members of the 41-year-old victim's family gathered outside the Sydney courthouse during MacDonald's bail hearing, which was held over three days in August and October. They demanded justice for Rose by keeping MacDonald in custody.

Cape Breton Regional Police have said Rose knew the accused, but have not disclosed how he died. No other details have been released.

Evong, who is also charged with first-degree murder, continues to be held in custody. He is scheduled for his own trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court next year.

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