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A Michigan man is in custody after a mother of six was found dead in her backyard over the weekend.
Steven Mark Bratton, 42, was arrested early on Sunday after Harper Woods Public Safety Officers responded to a report that a 37-year-old woman had been fatally shot in a backyard, the Harper Woods Department of Public Safety said in a press release. Responding officers got to the scene at around 12:50 a.m. and found that the victim had been shot one time.
Bratton was arrested in under an hour, and a handgun believed to be the murder weapon was recovered, officials said.
The release does not name the victim, but she has since been identified as Katie Lynn Elliott, The Detroit News reported. Elliott and Bratton, who were in a relationship and lived together, had gotten into an argument prior to the fatal shooting, according to the outlet.
Bratton was charged on Tuesday with first-degree murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, and two counts of a felony firearm charge. He faces life in prison if convicted, the release states. Bratton was denied bond, and he remains in custody at the Wayne County Jail. He is slated to next appear in court on Oct. 7 for a preliminary examination.
The about section of a Facebook fundraiser launched to help cover funeral expenses for Elliott states that she is survived by six children, who range in age between 10 and 19.
“We are all hurt and at a loss for words,” the post reads.
Neighbors reported that Bratton turned himself in to police after the fatal shooting, according to Detroit Fox affiliate WJBK. The shooting was a shock to the family's neighbors, one of whom said that the couple were “always laughing and joking, like normal people, like family,” according to the outlet.
“When I heard about it this morning, I was so shocked because you never would have thought that someone would have done something like that,” one neighbor, Pamela Kearse, told the station.
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