Murder victim's friends urge protection against domestic violence
06/04/2012 NBC12


The Hanover woman who authorities said was killed by her estranged husband Saturday took out a protective order against the man just two days earlier.

Also Monday, amid the goodbye messages and the sadness, those who knew Sabrina Markham found time to remember the good days.

"She had love and support of all of us. She was our family," said Carla Edmonds, outside the Empire Beauty School.

Earlier, classmates raised balloons in memory of the 30-year-old mother of two, who was shot and killed Saturday at the hands, authorities said, of her estranged husband, Ryan Markham.

Court papers reveal a volatile marriage filled with multiple protective orders dating back to March, including one filed against Ryan just two days before the murder. It was signed May 31, the same day attorneys declined to prosecute a misdemeanor assault charge against him.

Authorities would not provide further details citing the ongoing investigation.

"We don't rush these sorts of investigations. They're too important to rush," said Sgt. Chris Whitley of the Hanover County Sheriff's Office.

Friends said Sabrina Markham lived in fear, and while protective orders will often be effective, some said there needs to be more.

"Unfortunately, a protective order cannot stop a gun, a knife. If somebody is determined, that protective order will not stop them," said Sheree Hedrick, executive director of Hanover Safe Place.

Hedrick added that victims will often create safety plans that include emergency shelters or the safe haven of friends and loved the extended family Sabrina Markham had at school.

"Regardless of what she was going through, she was an angel. And she shouldn't have been taken away like this," said Shakita Wilson, outside the Empire Beauty School.

Authorities said, on Saturday, Ryan Markham used an assault rifle to shoot his estranged wife and another man in her house. That man fired back at Ryan Markham. Both men remain hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

Authorities said Ryan Markham will be charged with murder and two other charges when he is released from VCU Medical Center.

Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault can contact the Hanover Safe Place hotline at (804) 752-2702 or 1-888-370-SAFE.

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