Family of homicide victim calls for end to domestic violence - abc27 WHTM

Family of homicide victim calls for end to domestic violence

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YORK, Pa. (WHTM) -

Huddled together and tearful, the family of Billie Jo Bratton gathered Wednesday night.

They remembered their beloved daughter and mother.

"She was very kind. She would do anything for anybody," Bratton's father, Ellis Smeal said.

"This should have never happened to her," said Dale Rinehart, her oldest of three sons.

On Tuesday, 23-year-old Jermane Taylor was charged in connection with Bratton's death. She was his girlfriend.

Bratton, 34, was beaten to death in their apartment in the 200 block of S. West Street over the weekend, according to police.

Taylor has been charged with criminal homicide and remains in the York County Prison.

The case also saddens J.R. Waltemyer, the domestic violence victim/witness coordinator with the York County District Attorney's Office.

"I think about the family who lost their loved one and the effect on the community," Waltemyer said.

A ripple effect, Waltemyer said, that has hit home for too many.

"Unfortunately, we are number three in the state for domestic violence fatalities only behind Allegheny and Philadelphia.  I find that to be awfully depressing," he said.

The cause of the ranking can be tough to determine. However, officials have noticed an unfortunate pattern.

"The majority of the people who are victims of fatalities here that are domestic violence related have not been involved in the system before. That means they haven't contacted us or any other non-profit agencies," Waltemyer said.

He, among others, is urging residents to seek help if needed.

"If you see something, go to their family and tell them. If you know their family, tell them it's happening. Call the police if it's that violent," Smeal said.

Additional resources can be found at:



ACCESS-York/Victim Assistance Center: 1-800-262-8444

SAFE Home – Hanover: (717) 632-0007


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