Commonwealth Journal

March 19, 2014

SPD officer testifies in Marcum trial

by Heather Tomlinson
Commonwealth Journal

Richmond, Ky. —

The murder trial of Christina Marcum — the former girlfriend of Jason Singleton, who in early 2011 held several people hostage at a local business and who would eventually plead guilty to his role in his wife’s death — continues this week, with testimony from a number of key witnesses, including a Somerset investigator. 
Marcum’s trial began on Monday in Madison Circuit Court. Marcum is facing murder and several other charges in connection with the 2011 death of Angela Frazier-Singleton, Jason Singleton’s wife.
According to reports from the Richmond Register, a sister paper to the Commonwealth Journal, the trial began Monday with prosecutors depicting Marcum as a manipulative killer, and her defense team painting her as a victim. 
And after testimony from family members, law enforcement officials, including SPD Officer Matthew Gates, and others, jurors have been left with a picture of three people — Jason and Angela-Frazier Singleton and Marcum — struggling with drug use, criminal activity and fighting.
The case has a connection to Somerset. Jason Singleton, who is serving a 30-year sentence in connection with the murder, was arrested in Pulaski County after a stand-off with police at Super Service, located off Ky. 914.
SPD on Jan. 20, 2011 responded to a report of a “suspicious” sight at the Somerset Mall on South U.S. 27. A man with a handgun was seen by several people. When patrol units and detectives arrived at the scene, it was learned that the suspect had already fled in an SUV stolen from Enterprise Drive behind the mall.
Officers tracked the suspect down near Super Service shortly there-after and Singleton still had the firearm with him. Singleton took four people hostage inside the building, and the stand-off lasted about 15 minutes before Singleton released them.
On Tuesday, Gates in his testimony described the hostage situation, according to the Register. 
Gates said he was one of six responding officers who pursued Singleton from the Somerset Mall to Super Service. Gates, who’d been trained in hostage negotiation, contacted Singleton and spoke with him. 
Gates said Jason Singleton asked him multiple times to call Marcum, so the officer said he did.
“At this point Singleton was in the surrendering process, and I remember (Marcum) telling me about a girlfriend who wouldn’t leave him alone and whose car was found on the interstate,” Gates said during his testimony as reported by the Register. 
When Gates was about to end the conversation, he said Marcum asked, “Am I going to be involved in this?”
“That stuck with me,” Gates said. “Why would you ask that if you’re not there (in Somerset)?”
Singleton was later named a “person of interest” in the death of Frazier-Singleton.
In December 2011, Singleton was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his offenses here in Pulaski County. Single-ton is serving the 10-year sentence concurrently, or at the same time as, the 30-year sentence handed down in the murder case. 
Singleton has stated he was on his back deck on Jan 18, 2011, smoking a cigarette, when Marcum strangled and then beat Frazier-Singleton to death. Singleton admitted through the written statement that he dismembered Frazier-Singleton’s body in an effort to cover up the crime, according to the Register. Her body was found the next day, on Jan. 19, 2011, in several trash bags by a road. 
Robert Kelley, the man who found Frazier-Singleton’s remains, testified he thought someone had gutted a deer and dumped it on the side of the road. When he finally got the bag opened, as Frazier-Singleton’s remains had been double-bagged, he found her severed head inside. 
“It was the cruelest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Kelley said in court, according to the Register. 
Victoria Graham, medical examiner, testified that Frazier-Singleton died from asphyxia caused by strangulation. 
Marcum’s trial is continuing today.