A homeless woman accused of murdering the mother of a woman who adopted two of her children is due in Pasadena Superior Court for arraignment on Jan. 15.
Mary Jean O’Connor, 41, is accused of murdering Pasadena resident Jeri Douglas, 75.
Douglas’ unnamed daughter adopted two of O’Connor’s children after they were removed from her custody, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
It is not known how many children O’Connor has at this time.
Authorities responded to a call from Douglas’ daughter on Dec. 17 after she was unable to reach her mother for several days, according to police.
When officers entered Douglas’ condominium by force they found her unresponsive and not breathing. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives arrested O’Connor in North Hollywood and transported her to Pasadena, where she was booked for murder.
Police said they are still investigating the crime, but acknowledged there was trauma to Douglas’ body.
O’Connor has had several encounters with law enforcement dating back to 2006, when she was convicted of solicitation in Long Beach.She first came to the attention of the Pasadena Weekly in 2008, when she was the subject of a four-part series of articles detailing her successful civil court battle against landlords seeking to evict her for having numerous emotional support animals.
In 2010, she resurfaced in the Weekly in a series of articles about her battle with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) over custody of two of her children. One was placed with O’Connor’s parents in Illinois, while the other was adopted by a couple in the Los Angeles area. That series of court battles resulted in at least one arrest for O’Connor due to her missing court appearances.
On Dec. 22, 2010, Weekly reporters followed O’Connor as she fled from Pasadena police and DCFS workers in Northwest Pasadena days before Christmas and attempted to hide in Magi Clothing on North Marengo Avenue before she was apprehended.
In 2012, O’Connor and Marjorie McNary were ordered to vacate an Altadena property that the owners claimed they were occupying illegally. Officials turned off the water to attempt to convince the women to move out. Deputies claimed the pair may have been the victims of a scam where a con artist rents out a foreclosed or abandoned home. The two women were eventually evicted.