RICHMOND — A Madison County jury found Christina Tompkins Marcum, the Georgetown woman accused in the death and dismemberment of her ex-fiance's wife, guilty Thursday afternoon.
A jury of seven women and five men found Marcum, 30, guilty of complicity to murder, tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution. The jury began deliberations about 1:05 p.m. Thursday. The verdict was returned about 6:30 p.m.
The jury recommended 20 years for complicity to murder, five years on tampering, and five years on hindering prosecution to be served consecutively for a total of 30 years. Formal sentencing is scheduled for May 23 before Madison Circuit Judge William Clouse Jr.
Marcum was on trial in the death of Angela Frazier Singleton, 25, in January 2011. Singleton's dismembered body was found 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 his closing argument Thursday, co-defense attorney Steve Romines said he is sometimes asked how he can sleep at night representing people he knows are guilty.
His response is, "You can't sleep at night when you know they're innocent." And that's what he argued in this case, that Marcum is innocent.
Romines argued that Kentucky State Police "had an agenda to convict Christina Marcum."
"The evidence that points to the fact she didn't do this, they ignore," Romines told the jury. From the first interview with state police detectives on Jan. 20, 2011, "she cooperated with them on that day, and look what it got her," he said.
"You ever wonder why attorneys tell people not to talk to police when they're innocent, now you know," Romines added.
Madison County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jennifer Smith defended the investigation conducted by state police.
By Marcum's own admission to Detective Brian Reeder, "she was there when Angela dies," Smith said. Marcum told Reeder and a friend that she had tried to stop Jason Singleton from strangling Angela Singleton to death.
Marcum and Jason Singleton had been together for about two years and were engaged, but the relationship ended when he met Angela Frazier. Then, about a month after they were married in December 2010, Jason Singleton was back with Marcum and wanted Angela to leave their house in Richmond.
Smith said she doesn't think the murder was planned. But she called the murder "a crime of hate" and a crime of opportunity, in that Marcum hated Angela Singleton and used an opportunity when Angela Singleton had a high level of drugs in her system to kill her.
For that reason, Smith asked the jury to return a guilty verdict on murder, and not complicity to murder.
However, Smith also told the jury, "If you're not sure she was the actual strangler, find her guilty of complicity."
Smith said, "We're very satisfied with the jury's verdict."
Billy Roger Canada of Williamsburg, Angela Singleton's father, said he was happy with the verdict, noting that the recommended sentence "comes out to about the same amount of time" that Jason Singleton received for his role in the crime.