The Richmond Register

March 7, 2014

Prior 'bad acts' to be allowed in Marcum murder trial

Court notice details evidence of ‘bizarre love triangle’

By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — A Madison Circuit judge ruled Friday that prior “bad acts” of murder defendant Christina Marcum may be admitted during her upcoming trial.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith argued that “it is impossible to tell the story of how and why Angela Frazier was murdered without telling the full story of this bizarre ‘love’ triangle.”

Smith’s notice to the court included details of evidence she will present at trial this month that shows the alleged “obsessive and volatile nature of (Marcum’s) relationship with Jason Singleton,” including domestic violence, death threats, vandalism and “stalking-like behavior.”

Marcum is set to stand trial at 9 a.m. March 17. Her former co-defendant, Jason Singleton, pleaded guilty last year to complicity to murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Angela Frazier was married to Jason Singleton. He admitted in a written statement that he dismembered her body, which was found Jan. 19, 2011, in several trash bags at the end of Tattler Branch Road in the Valley View community.

However, Singleton alleged in his statement that Marcum actually attacked and killed his wife.

Volatile relationship

Courts generally cannot admit evidence of other prior crimes, wrongs or acts during a trial that aims to cast a person’s character in a “bad light.” However, the Madison County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office argued that Marcum’s history with Singleton and Frazier was proof of motive, intent, opportunity and participation in the woman’s murder, according to court documents.

In Smith’s notice, she outlined a pattern of escalating violent behavior by Marcum toward Jason Singleton, and later his wife, Angela Frazier.

Singleton and Marcum had been engaged, and they had lived together at 110 Forest Hill Drive in the Deacon Hills subdivision, according to the prosecutor’s notice.

There were several documented instances of domestic violence between the two, including:

• August or September 2010, a cookout where Marcum assaulted Singleton after she “thought he looked at another woman.”

• September 25, 2010, Singleton reported to police that Marcum had used a baseball bat to damage his property. He obtained an emergency protective order against her.

• Oct. 5, 2010, Singleton called 911 stating she was destroying his property, again.

• Oct. 22, 2010, Marcum was charged with assaulting Singleton by throwing a cellphone at him and causing injury to his head.

Marcum pleaded guilty to that assault and was sentenced to two days in jail. Immediately after her release, she moved in with her high school boyfriend, Nick Marcum, and they married two weeks later, according to the notice.

On Dec. 17, 2010, Singleton was introduced to Frazier, and three days later the two were married, the document states.

Jealousy and outrage

After Singleton and Frazier were married, the prosecution alleges that Christina Marcum expressed jealousy and outrage about the couple, and the fact that Angela was living in “what she considered her house with her belongings.”

From Dec. 17, 2010, when Frazier moved into the Forest Hill residence, and her murder Jan. 16, 2011, at least six 911 called involving the three were made, according to the prosecutor.

The calls included allegations that Christina had thrown rocks through two windows and later damaged Frazier’s car and threatened her.

Marcum is also alleged to have told her husband that she had urinated on the Forest Hill home’s door mat during one visit to the house.

The court document states Christina Marcum was heard by others threatening to physically harm and kill Angela on numerous occasions. She called the couple numerous times (up to 20 or 30) every day, Smith wrote in the notice.

At 3:30 a.m. Jan. 16, Frazier called 911 and told police that Singleton, Marcum and Singleton’s parents were attempting to remove her from the home. She was allowed to stay at the home, while Marcum and Singleton left with his parents, the document states.

The last contact anyone had with Frazier was at 9 a.m. Jan. 16 when she called a friend from the home, according to Smith.

Visits to the jail

Frazier was reported missing by her mother Jan. 17, 2011, and her body was found Jan. 19, 2011.

Singleton was arrested Jan. 20 in Pulaski County after holding several people hostage while armed with a gun. He was wearing clothing and in possession of a credit card belonging to Nick Marcum, Christina husband.

She admitted to police she had given Singleton those items to help him avoid apprehension, according to the prosecutor’s notice.

The notice goes on to state that Christina visited Singleton at the Pulaski County Detention Center and used a false name to put money into his jail account.

“She visited Jason at the jail and discussed certain strategies they could employ in avoiding responsibility in the case, including Christina’s idea to try to have sex with the lead detective in an attempt to influence his investigation,” the document stated.

Rebutting defense

In addition to providing evidence that proves a motive, the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office also asked the court to allow testimony about these events because of a proposed defense Marcum’s attorneys may be presenting to the jury.

Marcum’s lawyers have filed notice stating they will attempt to prove Marcum suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder because she endured domestic violence at the hands of Singleton.

“The above evidence negates the notion that Christina was a victim and an unwilling participant in Jason Singleton’s crime,” the prosecution’s notice states.

Clouse agreed that the events outlined in the notice could be used as evidence during the trial to rebut the defense’s allegation that Christina feared Singleton.

Also permitted during the trial will be testimony that Marcum threatened and followed a friend who made a statement to police during the murder investigation. Marcum was charged in Fayette County with intimidating a participant in the legal process.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.