Madison murder case rife with mayhem

victim told police of fake id scam, girlfriend told of confession

gkocher1@herald-leader.comDecember 3, 2011 

Marcum

RICHMOND — Five days before Jason Singleton was arrested on a murder warrant in connection with Angela Singleton's death in January, she told Kentucky State Police that Jason was "running an elaborate fake identification-card scam" from the couple's Richmond home, according to affidavits filed in Madison Circuit Court.

In addition, Christina Tompkins Marcum, a woman with whom Jason Singleton had a romantic relationship, told state police detectives that Jason had told her on Jan. 18 "that he strangled Angela," according to another affidavit filed in the case. That was consistent with autopsy findings that had not been made public at the time.

And after his arrest in Pulaski County on other charges, Jason Singleton told state police detectives "that he had done something bad, and he would be willing to tell them everything that happened if they would give Marcum a deal "where she would not be arrested."

These and other revelations are included in affidavits for 21 search warrants filed from late January to late March in connection with the investigation into Angela Singleton's death.

Earlier this week, a Madison County grand jury indicted Jason Singleton, 35, and Marcum, 28, of Georgetown on charges of murder and tampering with physical evidence in connection with Angela Singleton's death.

The indictment says the two removed, destroyed, concealed and altered Angela Singleton's body, which was found on Jan. 19 dismembered in a field near Valley View in northwestern Madison County.

In addition to those charges, Jason Singleton is accused of third-degree arson for "wantonly causing damage to his home" by intentionally setting two fires. And he was indicted on a misdemeanor charge that he abused Angela Singleton's corpse.

Marcum also was indicted on a charge of hindering apprehension or prosecution for allegedly providing clothing and a credit card to Jason Singleton "to assist him in avoiding apprehension" in Angela's murder.

Jason and Angela Singleton lived together in Richmond as husband and wife, but it is unclear whether they were actually married because a marriage certificate was never returned to the county clerk's office in Whitley County, where her parents live.

A bizarre series of events led to Jason Singleton's arrest.

On Jan. 17, Angela Singleton's mother reported her missing to state police. About four hours later, Lexington police found a Nissan Altima, which belonged to Angela Singleton, on fire off Interstate 75.

Three days later, on the morning of Jan. 20, Madison County firefighters received a call from a neighbor about heavy smoke coming from the Singleton house at 110 Forest Hill Drive in Richmond. But the department was told to disregard the call before they could respond.

Later that same day, state police learned that Somerset police had arrested Jason Singleton after he allegedly stole a vehicle, wrecked it, and held four people hostage for 15 minutes before surrendering to officers.

Somerset police told state police that, after his arrest, Jason Singleton had "made a voluntary, unsolicited statement that he had done a terrible thing that was too terrible to talk about, and the state police were after him," according to an affidavit.

Josh Wesley, a Somerset police officer, heard Singleton say "that he would be accused of doing the worst possible thing someone could do, and he wished the police would have killed him." Wesley also said he heard Jason Singleton make "several, unsolicited statements about a murder."

Also on Jan. 20, state police went to the Singleton house in Richmond to secure it. Upon arrival, they noticed that the garage door was open, and that a door going into the house was open. Detective Chris Short saw a knife lying on the floor just inside the house, and noticed that there was an area "void of carpet."

Short also noticed "a film of black soot on the walls and ceiling inside the house, and the smell ... indicated that something had been burning." Short also noticed that a large area of carpet had been removed and subfloor had been removed from a room upstairs, and he noticed "an electric saw beside a hole." It appeared that the carpet had been recently pulled up.

That evening, state police detectives Brian Reeder and Joie Peters interviewed Marcum at the Richmond post. During that interview, "she told them that Jason had told her that he strangled Angela" two days before, on Jan. 18. She also told the detectives that "Jason was covered in ashes and soot, and smelled like smoke. Christina also said Jason's Lexus smelled like smoke and another smell that smelled very badly."

In their interview with Jason Singleton, detectives noticed that he had "red marks on his hands that resembled chemical burns or a rash." Detectives also noticed that "Jason Singleton smelled strongly of smoke, and his clothes and vehicle were covered with a black film that was possibly soot from a fire."

That same day, Jan. 20, Angela Singleton's body was positively identified through fingerprints.

On Jan. 21, state police executed a search warrant at the Singleton's home to look for "any item used in the dismemberment of the body of Angela Frazier Singleton, including but not limited to power tools, knives, or any other item that could be used as cutting/chopping instruments." Detectives also looked for other evidence of murder, including blood.

On March 7, state police Detective Reeder interviewed Nick Marcum, Christina Marcum's husband, who said he had recently discovered some documents on a laptop. Christina Marcum had been the computer's primary user, and Nick Marcum showed Reeder a document that "appeared to be a text conversation between Jason Singleton and Christina Tompkins Marcum which had some threatening content towards Angela Frazier Singleton."

State police later obtained a warrant to seize the computer for closer examination.

The search warrant affidavits also indicate that state police were aware of a series of domestic disturbances at the Singleton house before Angela Singleton's death.

On Oct. 30, Jason Singleton's mother called the Richmond state police post to report "they were wanting to remove Christina Tompkin's items" from the home on Forest Hill Drive.

On Jan. 11, Jason Singleton called the Richmond post to report that a black Toyota Camry had pulled into his driveway and "someone had thrown a rock through his window. Christina Tompkins was a suspect."

On Jan. 14, Angela Singleton called the Richmond post to report that "Christina Tompkins had been threatening her."

Later that same day, Jason Singleton called the post to say that Angela Singleton was in his Forest Hill Drive home and refused to leave.

On Jan. 16, Angela Singleton told state police to report that Jason had told her "not to come home, and that he had changed the locks on the house" at Forest Hill Drive.

That same day, state police opened an investigation when Angela Singleton provided Trooper Toby Coyle with a counterfeit driver's license of Tyler Singleton, Jason's brother.

Angela Singleton told Coyle that "the computer systems" at Forest Hill Drive "were the ones used to make fake identification cards."

State police used that information to seize other computer components from the house in March. Madison County is not the only place where Christina Marcum is under indictment. In July, a Fayette County grand jury indicted Marcum on a charge of intimidating a witness. Marcum was accused of threatening Mariah Smith of Georgetown after learning that Smith had spoken with a state police detective about the murder investigation in Madison County.

A complaint says, among other allegations, that Marcum had stalked Smith; went to Smith's place of work and got into a verbal altercation with her; followed Smith's vehicle and yelled at Smith.

Jason Singleton pleaded guilty on Nov. 18 in Somerset to unlawful imprisonment and criminal mischief for events in Pulaski County on Jan. 20. His recommended sentence is 10 years. He will be sentenced Dec. 20.

Jason Singleton and Marcum are scheduled to be arraigned on the Madison County charges on Jan. 5 before Madison Circuit Judge William Clouse.

Herald-Leader staff writers Bill Estep and Josh Kegley contributed information to this story.

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