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Community raises money for sons of slain mom

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – A Saturday night fundraiser was held at Cullen’s Cove in Hanover to benefit the young sons of a woman murdered in June. Sabrina Markham was shot and killed June 2 in her Mechanicsville home.

Hanover investigators said Sabrina’s ex-husband, Ryan Markham, forced his way into the  home and opened fire with an assault rifle.  Sabrina died at the scene, her boyfriend exchanged gun fire with her ex-husband.  Both men were seriously wounded in the exchange.

Ryan Markham has been charged with 1st degree murder in connection with Sabrina’s killing.

But Saturday night’s event was about remembering the Markham’s two young sons left in the wake of this tragedy.

“Her boys are her memory, all this is for her boys and then for the memory of her,” said Justin Weber, who had known Sabrina since middle school.

“Not one bit of her smile couldn’t be contributed to them [Markham’s sons].  They were her life.  Her world revolved around them.  Anything she did she did for them,” said Esther Doggett, one of Sabrina’s best friends.

At Cullen’s Cove Saturday, local bands provided live music, raffles were held, and tee shirts marked “Sabrina’s Boys” were sold to help raise money for the boys, ages four and seven.

“They’re going to grow up knowing that Hanover County is family to them,” said Weber.

But the circumstances of June 2nd still loom large.

On Wednesday, Ryan Markham is due in a Hanover County Court on the charges stemming from Sabrina’s death.

“He was a monster,” said Doggett.  “She [Sabrina] went through a lot having to deal with him, and it took her a lot to leave because she was so concerned about the boys.”

But Sabrina’s friends said Saturday’s gathering is about remembering the best parts of Sabrina.

“That’s one thing that everybody remembers about her: her smile,” said Doggett.

Doggett designed the “Sabrina’s Boys” tee shirts with a sketch of Sabrina’s smile printed in pink and white on the front.  Her hope is to not only remember Sabrina’s grin, but to help provide monetarily for the two boys who helped inspire it.

“I want them to be able to be everything that she knew they could be because she just thought they were going to rule the world,” said Doggett.

On October 6, a group of Sabrina’s friends will set up a booth to collect donations for her sons at Hanover Safe Place’s Pumpkin Run at Ashland Berry Farm.  The 5k race raises money to help prevent sexual and domestic violence.  An eventual goal for the group is to set up a “Sabrina’s Boys” memorial fund.

Sponsors of Saturday night’s event at Cullen’s Cove include:  A New Length, West Store, Loveland Distributions, Misti Belle’s, Graffiti’s, Laura D’s, Extreme Audio, Buffalo Wild Wings, Temptation, and Precision Street Rod.

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