Lead detective on the stand in fifth day of Marcum murder trial

gkocher1@herald-leader.com,By Greg KocherMarch 24, 2014 

RICHMOND — On the fifth day of Christina Marcum's murder trial, the defense continued to grill the lead detective into whether he had fully looked into other possible suspects and motives in the death of Angela Singleton in 2011.

Kentucky State Police detective Brian Reeder insisted that he investigated the case with an open mind and did not focus solely on Marcum.

"I didn't go into this with my mind made up," Reeder said.

Marcum, 30, of Georgetown is on trial for the killing of Angela Frazier Singleton, 25, of Richmond. Singleton's dismembered body was found in January 2011 in six garbage bags tossed into a field in rural Madison County, near the Kentucky River.

Angela Singleton's husband, Jason Singleton, 37, is serving a 30-year sentence after pleading guilty last year to complicity to murder. In addition to murder, Marcum is charged with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution. If convicted, she could face life in prison.

The prosecution has said that Marcum and Jason Singleton, who had lived together for two years before separating, acted "in complicity" with each other, and that it doesn't matter who delivered the fatal act against Angela Singleton. The defense, however, argues that it makes all the difference because Marcum took no part in the murder.

During cross-examination on Monday, defense attorney Steve Romines had Reeder read out loud from a list of evidence collected from Jason Singleton's house, including a knife and swabs taken of potential blood stains.

"None of those things link Christina Marcum to anything, do they?" Romines said.

"No," Reeder said.

Romines: "(Do) any of those items on that search-warrant return evidence that she killed Angela Singleton?"

Reeder: "There's no evidence to say that she killed her, no."

Romines: "Any evidence that she cut her up?"

Reeder: "No."

Romines: "Cleaned up the mess?"

Reeder: "Not at the residence, no."

Romines: "Dumped the body?"

Reeder: "No."

At another point, Romines noted that other witnesses had told Reeder that they had heard Jason and Angela Singleton speak about killing other people, cutting them up, putting the remains in garbage bags, putting rocks into the bags, and dumping the bags into a lake.

On the day she is thought to have been killed, Angela Singleton told state police that Jason Singleton was making fake Florida ID cards that were used to help funnel drugs from that state into Kentucky. Anyone who "ratted out" the fake ID scam would meet the fate of dismemberment, the witnesses told Reeder.

Romines contends that Angela Singleton was killed for telling police about the fake ID scam — which suggests other possible suspects — and not because she refused to leave the Singleton house after Jason wanted her out.

Romines: "Does it ever make you wonder, 'Huh, maybe this might be the reason?' ... That the reason might be Angie knew too much?"

Reeder: "That could have been a possibility, yes."

Romines: "Well, that's a reasonable doubt then, isn't it?"

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jennifer Smith objected, and Judge William Clouse sustained the objection.

The rest of the afternoon was punctuated by frequent objections from the prosecution and numerous bench conferences with the judge. Clouse repeatedly instructed Romines to allow Reeder to finish his answer.

At one point, an exasperated Reeder said to Romines, "What's the question you're answering for me?"

The trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Madison Circuit Court.

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

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