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Vigil set for Shady Cove domestic violence victim

SHADY COVE — A candlelight vigil for Makiala Upton, the eighth victim of domestic violence this year in Jackson County, is scheduled this evening at the Upper Rogue Community Center.

Upton was shot to death Nov. 23 in her Shady Cove home. The body of her husband, Dewayne Upton, was found on the banks of the Rogue River with a small-caliber handgun nearby. The Jackson County Sheriff's Department determined that Makiala Upton was the victim of a murder-suicide.

The Jackson County Council Against Domestic and Sexual Violence organized the vigil. Gerry Sea, coordinator for the council, said everyone is invited to attend the event.

She said the vigil is meant "to honor Makaila and all the other victims of domestic violence who died this year and for those who are living with domestic violence."

The other victims of domestic violence in Jackson County this year are Tabasha Criado and her four children, who were murdered on July 18 in Medford, Jessica Bethany, who was killed on Sept. 4 in Central Point and Bonnie Sue Payne, who was strangled to death on March 4 in Medford.

Shady Cove Mayor Ron Holthusen, who will speak at the vigil, said he was saddened by the deaths.

"We have a lot of compassion for this type of situation and the tragedy it can lead to," he said. "Particularly in this case — we have four children here left behind.

"It not only hurts the people involved, but it also damages the psyche of the entire community."

Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at newsmiller@live.com.