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'I'm just trying to hold everything together'

The children of a man fatally shot in White City last week are holding car washes to help raise money to bury their father.

Mark Anthony Corsbie, 49, was shot to death as he was forcing his way into a house at 7898 Andrea Drive in White City at about 1:30 p.m. Monday, according to Jackson County sheriff's deputies.

Corsbie's oldest daughter, Ashley, 26, said she and her siblings are struggling to raise the $2,229 needed to cover their father's burial expenses.

Charitable donations from United Way's HOPE Chest fund and from ACCESS Inc. have contributed $850 total. And two days of washing cars at Medford's Food 4 Less parking lot have brought a few hundred more. But they are still struggling to pay the balance, she said.

"We're still short, like, $1,000," she said.

The siblings are also struggling to pay the rent on their Medford home, Ashley said.

She, her four young children and her younger brother and sister lived in Medford with Corsbie, who police and witnesses say was acting erratically and pounding on front doors in the White City neighborhood just moments before he was shot.

"My parents are divorced," Ashley said. "I'm the oldest. I'm just trying to hold everything together."

Her sister Amanda Corsbie, 17, said her father previously had been diagnosed as a paranoid-schizophrenic.

A preliminary investigation by the Jackson County Sheriff's Department has determined Mark Corsbie was shot with a single round from a .357-caliber revolver. The resident of the house, a 66-year-old man identified by friends as Norm Thomas, was protecting his home and his daughter and grandson and was acting in self-defense, the preliminary investigation has found.

Since no charges have been filed against the man who shot Corsbie, the state does not legally consider Corsbie nor his family members as victims, said Diana Hamilton, director of the Jackson County Victims Assistance program.

"They don't really fit in a box," Hamilton said, expressing sympathy for the family's personal tragedy.

Unlike the family of Tabasha Paige-Criado, whose husband, Jordan Criado, is facing multiple murder charges in the deaths of Paige-Criado and their four children, Corsbie's family does not qualify for up to $5,000 in burial compensation funds available though the Oregon Crime Victims Compensation program, Hamilton said.

That Corsbie was allegedly trying to force his way into strangers' homes only adds to the complexity of the situation, Hamilton said.

"Another rule is that the (state program) won't pay out on a claim if the victim might have been committing a crime at the time of the death," she said.

HOPE Chest funds are not so restricted by state bureaucracy, said Dee Anne Everson, executive director of United Way. The community-donation fund is available to help with "everything from car repairs to helping you bury your father," she said.

"My father died a long time ago," Everson said. "Thankfully my family was able to bury him. But what happens when somebody dies and there is nobody to pay?"

So many families are struggling in these challenging economic times, Everson said. So many have exhausted whatever resources they may have set aside for when a sudden and tragic emergency strikes, she added.

The publicity surrounding Mark Corsbie's death has strangers offering both condolences and condemnation at the car washes, Ashley said.

"A lot of people are talking bad about him," she said. "Some people are saying nice things. That they are sorry about what happened to him. To us."

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email sspecht@mailtribune.com.