A Hanover man pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing his estranged wife and shooting her boyfriend in June.
Ryan Markham, 33, pleaded guilty to four charges Tuesday: first degree murder, aggravated malicious wounding, and two counts of the use of a firearm in the commission of those two felonies. He could face 46 years to life in prison without parole.
"Certainly, the family must feel relieved that we don't have to have a long trial and that there's a closure in that he's accepted responsibility at this point," said Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney, Shari Skipper.
He shot and killed his estranged wife with an assault rifle after an argument on June 2 in her Mechanicsville home.
Skipper says Ryan entered through an unlocked kitchen door and found the couple hiding in a closet in the master bedroom. She says he told them quote: "You (expletive) are going to die." The boyfriend pleaded with Ryan not to shoot for the sake of Sabrina's children.
Prosecutors say Ryan Markham shot Sabrina nearly a dozen times leaving her dead in the closet. They say he stabbed and shot Blake multiple times, who then fired back- leaving both men injured. Ryan Markham was arrested upon his release from the hospital. His sentencing date is set for February 26th at 1:30 p.m.
Sabrina Markham was killed just two days after she took out a fourth restraining order against her estranged husband. Court documents show she dialed 911 when she saw him on her porch, and the gunshots were audible on the call.
"For the two of them, their families will live with this for the rest of their lives as well as Blake Mentir seeing Sabrina killed right next to him," Skipper added.
Sabrina Markham was a mother of two young sons and a beauty school student. Friends say she lived in fear of her estranged husband.
The family has set up a memorial fund for her two children. You can donate to the "Sabrina's boys" fund at Village Bank in Mechanicsville.
Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault can contact the Hanover Safe Place hotline at (804) 752-2702 or 1-888-370-SAFE.
Ryan Markham's sentencing date is set for February 26 at 1:30 p.m.
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