Anniversary of Deputy Slayings - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/03/03

Anniversary of Deputy Slayings

One year ago next week, two Beaufort County sheriff's deputies, Lance Corporal Dana Tate and Corporal AJ  Coursen, were shot and killed in the line of duty after responding to a domestic violence call. WTOC sat down with their widows today, as they talked about that fateful day and what life has been like for them since.

It's been a rough year for both the deputies' families, with the holiday, birthdays, and anniversaries, but they both say their faith is getting them through. Now, both of these wives are trying to move on with their lives.

"Sometimes I can hear something or smell something, and it just breaks my heart that he's not here," Marie Tate told us.

Marie Tate now co-owns a faith-based consulting and information services business called Derule, helping people find their spiritual gifts, while raising two children at home. Although she misses her husband, she says his memories will live on, and so will she, thanks to her faith in God.

"He's the source and the power in my life," she said. "He's the reason why I wake up in the morning."

DJ Coursen also started up her own business, a tea house in Port Royal called a Little Piece of Heaven. This was a dream she and her husband had before he was killed. But behind her courage and strength lies the anxiety over the killer's trial.

"When it's time for the trial," she said, "then it will be time for my life to continue."

But Coursen too looks to her faith to bring her through the rough times.

"My anniversary's coming up and I just had to figure out something to do that was positive," she said. "So I decided to get baptized."

A trial date has not yet been set for Tyree Roberts, but DJ Coursen is using this time fighting for victims' rights. A memorial service is scheduled for the one-year anniversary of the killing, on January 8, at 6pm at the Baptist Church of Beaufort to honor these deputies.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey@wtoc.com

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