Protesters call on N.S. Supreme Court judge to deny bail for woman charged in murder

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Friends and supporters of murder victim Stephen Rose attended a protest outside the Sydney Justice Centre on Tuesday.  (Erin Pottie/CBC - image credit)
Friends and supporters of murder victim Stephen Rose attended a protest outside the Sydney Justice Centre on Tuesday. (Erin Pottie/CBC - image credit)

A Cape Breton father of four was remembered Tuesday at a protest demanding that one of the people accused in his death be denied bail.

Holding hand-drawn placards, friends and family of Stephen Rose stood outside the Sydney courthouse in bouts of rain asking a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge to keep Jessica Anne MacDonald in custody.

"We're here hoping that [bail] doesn't happen," said Bradley Kennedy, a friend who met Rose as a teenager.

"He deserves justice like everyone. It has not been easy on any of the family, especially not on Steve's children. And waiting for answers can be a long process and justice can move slowly."

Matthew Moore/CBC
Matthew Moore/CBC

Rose's body was discovered inside a Rotary Drive apartment building in Sydney on Nov. 5, 2019. He was 41.

MacDonald, 35, is one of two people charged with first-degree murder in Rose's death. She was taken into custody a little over 20 months ago and is now seeking bail over a two-day hearing in Sydney.

She sat quietly alongside defence lawyer Peter Mancini as the hearing got underway.

Bail sought

Investigators said that witness interviews and autopsy results led them to conclude Rose was murdered.

Cape Breton Regional Police have said that Rose knew the accused, but did not say how he died. Nor did they release any other details.

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A few days into their investigation, police charged MacDonald and Joey Frederick Evong, 39.

Both of the accused are scheduled for their own trials in Nova Scotia Supreme Court next year. Evong continues to be held in custody.

Senior Crown attorneys Mark Gouthro and Rochelle Palmer told the judge Tuesday they do not consent to MacDonald's decision to seek bail.

Gary Mansfield
Gary Mansfield

Supreme Court Justice Frank Hoskins, who was appointed in July, is overseeing the matter.

Rose family supporters and friends are expected to return to Sydney again on Wednesday.

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