A Cape Breton woman accused of running down her 28-year-old partner with a vehicle appeared in court in Sydney on Monday.

Kimberly Ann O’Dea, 36, is facing several charges, including second-degree murder and criminal negligence causing death.

“This is a second-degree murder charge. The sentence is life imprisonment, the same with criminal negligence causing death,” says Crown attorney Gerald MacDonald. “There are different minimums with respect to parole eligibility, but certainly a life sentence is a life sentence. So it's a serious charge.”

Police allege O'Dea hit and killed a 28-year-old woman with a vehicle on Oxford Drive in Sydney Mines early Friday morning.     

Police haven't released the victim's name, but court documents identify her as Dana Jessome. Neighbours say the two women were a couple.

They also say they heard loud voices coming from O'Dea's home the night before. 

“All I seen were a black pair of sneakers on the road and a white pillow from the ambulance and a little bit of blood,” says neighbour Florence Lettuce.

Jessome was transported to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital with serious injuries and then to Halifax for further treatment, but later died. Family members of the victim were painting messages of grief on the road where Jessome was struck.

“It's sad, sad, sad. I don't think we will ever get over it,” says Lettuce.

O'Dea will return to court Aug. 2, when she's expected to appear in front of a Supreme Court judge for a bail hearing. The Crown is opposing her release.

There is a list of 17 people O'Dea is not allowed to have any contact with, including the victim’s family and witnesses.

Jessome's family was in court Monday and could be seen sobbing, along with the accused, as she appeared before the judge.  

The Crown says the investigation is in its early stages and more charges are not being ruled out.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.