By Melody Kinser
An account known as “Sabrina’s Boys” has been set up to help Sabrina Maters Markham’s sons Aiden and Heath. The boys, 7 and 3, lost their mother on Saturday, June 2, to what has been determined as an act of domestic violence.
The 30-year-old died as the result of gunshot wounds; the accused is her estranged husband Ryan P. Markharm, 33, of the 7400 block of Colts Neck Road in Mechanicsville. The incident took place in the 8200 block of Candleberry Drive in Mechanicsville.
Last week, Sabrina’s brother, Mark Maters, representing the family, talked about his sister and her children.
“Sabrina was — first and foremost — a wonderful, caring mother to her two beautiful boys,” Mark said. “She was known for her beautiful smile, which was always present.”
Mark said his sister loved her family as her family did her. “She was a mother, a daughter, a sister, and so much to so many. She was a friend to all — a model, a dancer. She was in a movie with Hilary Swank; she traveled all over and gave it all up to be a mom.”
Sabrina, who had celebrated her 30th birthday on April 8, “loved going to Virginia Beach.”
Mark said she was weeks away from finishing cosmetology school.
And, he added, “She was so looking forward to our yearly family beach vacation.”
Looking ahead, she had been finalizing plans to take her sons and her mother to Disney World in November. “She was so very proud of her boys and they will always know the love their mother had for them.”
As for the boys’ future, Mark wants the community to be assured that her family will take care of them “and always keep her memory alive in them.”
The account for Aiden and Heath was established at Village Bank at 6127 Mechanicsville Turnpike. All locations can help in accepting contributions.
Speaking on behalf of his family, Mark said, “We love you, Sabrina, and miss you so much. We will always be here for Aiden and Heath.”
The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is handling the criminal aspect of the case. Last week, warrants for murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and aggravated malicious wounding had been issued for Ryan Markham. He and another male were injured in the afternoon incident.
The men were transported to VCU Medical Center for treatment.
Sgt. Chris R. Whitley said Sabrina Maters Markham was dead when officers arrived at the house.
“Preliminary investigation into this incident indicates that Ryan Markham responded to his estranged wife’s residence, made entry, and fired several rounds from an assault rifle, which killed Sabrina Markham,” Whitley said. “During this encounter, Markham’s rounds also seriously injured another adult male, who fired rounds from a handgun that struck Ryan Markham. The incident appears to have stemmed from a domestic dispute.”
Deputies responded to the Candleberry Drive residence around 3:20 p.m.
The family received friends from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 8, at the Mechanicsville Chapel of Bennett Funeral Home on Lee Davis Road. Interment was private.
Sabrina was preceded in death by her father, Tony Maters.
In addition to her sons and her brother, she is survived by her mother, Cheryl Maters; Mark’s wife Sherri; her sister Tina Reichwein and husband Brad; nephews, Chase and Layne Maters; nieces, Kristen and Megan Reichwein; lifelong best friend, Esther Price Doggett; Blake Minter, the man Sabrina loved, as well as a host of extended family and friends.
In the wake of the domestic incident, Stacie Francis, who is with Community & Outreach Services for Hanover Safe Place, released the following statement: “Domestic Violence is present in our community and society at large. One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). “
“The pervasiveness of domestic violence affects not only the victim, but their children, family, friends and our larger community,” she continued.
“With that being said, we would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Sabrina Markham,” Francis said.
Hanover Safe Place offers a 24-hour confidential hotline — 804-752-2702 — for victims of domestic abuse, as well as those who know someone who is a victim and needs support.
For more information on helping Hanover Safe Place, call the office at 804-752-2728.