Jury hears recordings of statements in Christina Marcum murder trial

gkocher1@herald-leader.comMarch 19, 2014 

RICHMOND — A Madison County jury on Wednesday listened to recordings in which Christina Tompkins Marcum gave conflicting statements to Kentucky State Police about the 2011 murder of her ex-fiancé's wife, Angela Singleton.

A 2011 indictment said Marcum, 30, and Jason Singleton killed his 25-year-old wife, then "removed, destroyed, concealed and altered" her body. Jason Singleton, 37, is serving a 30-year sentence after pleading guilty last year to complicity to murder. Marcum is being tried on charges of murder, tampering with evidence, and hindering prosecution.

The dismembered remains of Angela Singleton were found on Jan. 19, 2011, in six black garbage bags in a field in northwestern Madison County. She is believed to have died three days earlier.

On Feb. 10, 2011, Marcum went to the state police post in Richmond to submit to a buccal swab, a way to collect DNA cells from the inside of a person's cheek. In a voluntary statement recorded by Detective Brian Reeder and played for the jury, Marcum indicated that she was present when Singleton was killed.

"I'm not saying that I'm perfect. I'm not by no means," Marcum told Reeder. "But I'm saying I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Absolutely the worst place at the wrong time. And I did what I could do to stop it from happening. And there was nothing I could do.

"You have seen Jason, correct?" Marcum continued, directing the question to Reeder. "He's what? Six foot (tall), 230, 240 (pounds)? I'm 5 foot, 130 pounds. He's a lot stronger than me. This is not something I thought him capable of. This is not something that had ever crossed my mind. I slept next to him for over two years, in the same bed with him every night. Do you know how easily it would have been for him to do that to me? And even as much as he threatened me, I did not think it was something he was capable of doing."

That statement conflicts with an earlier interview that state police recorded for 2½ hours on Jan. 20, 2011. That was the same day Jason Singleton was arrested in Somerset after holding a group of people hostage, and it was the day after Angela Singleton's remains were found in Madison County.

Marcum told Reeder, "I don't have anything to do with it (the murder)."

When she was asked directly, "Have you tried to cover any thing up here?" Marcum answered, "No."

"You're the only one who can answer the questions the family's asking us," Reeder told Marcum.

"I don't know any details," Marcum said later on the recording. And she said, "I just don't feel comfortable talking without an attorney."

She also answered "no" when asked, "Did you see him (Jason Singleton) do it or did he tell you he did it?"

But later, Marcum told detectives Reeder and Joie Peters: "He told me that he strangled her. ... I just freaked out. 'No, you didn't. You couldn't have.' ... I don't want to say anything else without an attorney."

As the interview concluded, Marcum begged the detectives not to share what she had told them with Jason Singleton. The defense has said Marcum was afraid she could be the next victim.

But Reeder noted that Marcum attended Jason Singleton's court appearance in Somerset and visited him six times at the Pulaski County jail. Reeder said subpoenaed cellphone records showed that there were 85 text messages between Marcum and Jason Singleton from 5:58 p.m. Jan. 16, 2011, the day that Angela Singleton is believed to have died, and 2 a.m. the next day.

No testimony will be heard Thursday because other matters are set on the court docket. The trial is to resume at 9 a.m. Friday.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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