Suspect in pregnant woman's homicide now charged in 2015 robbery: police

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

DNA linked a man charged in the stabbing death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend with a robbery seven years ago, police said.

Terence Brabham, 35, of Spring Garden Township, was charged with robbery and other counts in the new case while he’s also charged in the stabbing death of Tamarra Deloache in May.

Terence Brabham

In the new case, Springettsbury Township investigators said a man walked into a second-floor break room and held up two employees at the Gabriel Brothers department store at 1226 Greensprings Drive, in Springettsbury Township, in November 2015.

The man, described as wearing a hoodie, a black beanie cap and a black bandanna over his face, held a handgun while demanding one of the staff call the manager to the room, according to details in the criminal complaint.

When the manager arrived, police alleged the man pointed the gun at his head and made him lead them to the safe in an office.

The man then held out a bag and had the manager fill it with cash. When the manager didn’t move fast enough, the man helped him load money into the bag, the complaint shows.

The manager was ordered to his knees, and the man fled with $1,587 in cash as well as a mobile phone he took from one of the employees to prevent staff from making more calls, according to the complaint.

Tamarra Deloache smiles in a photo provided by family.

Security video showed the robbery in the office. Other clips from earlier that night showed the man allegedly walking around in the store and in employee areas for several minutes, the complaint shows.

As he ran from the store, police said the man dropped the bandanna.

Investigators recovered it as evidence and sent it to the Pennsylvania State Police lab for testing. DNA was pulled from the bandanna, which gave investigators a profile but no matches to anybody on record, according to the criminal complaint.

Fast forward nearly seven years to last month, and police put a name to the DNA. According to police, a detective learned DNA taken from Brabham was linked to the robbery.

The detective asked the state police lab to run a comparison of Brabham’s DNA with the profile from the bandanna, and the lab confirmed the match on Aug. 29, the complaint shows.

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York City Police collected a sample of Brabham’s DNA in June when he was questioned and subsequently arrested as the suspect in Deloache’s death. Investigators accused him of stabbing and killing the 32-year-old Deloache, his ex-girlfriend, in an apartment at a home in the first block of North State Street the night of May 17.

After fleeing, Brabham allegedly returned a short time later carrying what looked like a jug of bleach, police said after viewing security camera video from the neighborhood.

Deloache was said to be six months pregnant with another man’s child at the time she was killed. Police said she and Brabham were also involved in an ongoing custody dispute over their 13-year-old son.

Brabham's charged with counts of first- and third-degree murder with that case in the York County Court of Common Pleas system.

The robbery case was filed Sept. 6, charging him with two felony counts of robbery, felony counts of theft and receiving stolen property, and a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment.

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On top of the DNA evidence, Springettsbury Township Police interviewed the current manager of Gabriel Brothers, who said he recalled Brabham working at the store from 2006-2008 and again from 2019-2020, according to the complaint. Investigators also learned Brabham was booked into York County Prison in a separate case in December 2015, and that his height, weight and age at the time resembled descriptions provided by the robbery victims.

Bail in the robbery case was set at $100,000 on Thursday, court records show. But Brabham, of Spring Garden Township, is already held at the prison with no bail in the homicide case.

He’s scheduled to appear before District Court Judge Barry Bloss on Oct. 6 for a preliminary hearing in the robbery case.

His next hearing in the homicide case is scheduled for Oct. 13.

— Reach Aimee Ambrose at aambrose@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.