The Richmond Register

Crime

March 24, 2014

Defense asks why Singleton’s brother not charged

Torn marriage certificate, blood smear questioned

RICHMOND — The cross-examination of Kentucky State Police Detective Brian Reeder continued Monday afternoon as the trial of Christina Marcum, charged with complicity to murder, tampering with a crime scene and hindering an investigation, resumed.

Defense Attorney Steve Romines drew special attention to both the marriage certificate between murder victim Angela Frazier Singleton and Jason Singleton, who pleaded guilty to complicity to murder and is serving a 30-year sentence, as well as the involvement of Jason’s brother, Tyler Singleton.

In previous testimony, Reeder said Marcum told him she searched Frazier Singleton’s car to find the bottom half of the certificate, which is supposed to be turned in to the county courthouse within 30 days of a marriage. Marcum told Reeder she searched the car after Singleton’s mother told her to do so, wanting to use the certificate as proof that the marriage was null.

According to KSP Sgt. Bill Collins, the bottom half of the certificate was found in Singleton’s house along with the owner’s manual and title to Frazier Singleton’s car when troopers searched the scene. Reeder told the jury that the top half of the certificate was located in Marcum’s home.

“If they (Marcum and Singleton) are going to kill her (Frazier Singleton) why prevent her from turning in the marriage certificate?” Romines asked.

Romines pointed out that Singleton’s two previous wives “knew how to get a divorce.”

Reeder said he didn’t know why the certificate was important to Singleton’s parents, but that Marcum had told him Frazier Singleton was murdered because “she wouldn’t leave.”

Romines then said that Frazier Singleton’s cousin, Vanessa Goodin, said she last talked to the victim the day she went missing, and Frazier Singleton had told her she would be “leaving for good” after she received money owed to her.

The money had been loaned to Tyler Singleton, Reeder said he learned in an interview. When initially investigating the case, Reeder said the brother was identified as a possible suspect because of the money he owed and the fact that Frazier Singleton had given police a copy of a fake ID he possessed.

Reeder said KSP investigated further into the fake IDs, but the only thing they could prove with physical evidence was that Tyler Singleton had one. He added that the case was low on his list of priorities because he was focused almost entirely on investigating the murder.

Romines then brought up evidence linking Tyler Singleton to the house where Frazier Singleton was believed to have been murdered. A bloody mark on a light switch matched Tyler Singleton’s DNA, according to test results, Romines said.

Reeder said the blood places Tyler Singleton at the house, but it does not offer any indication of when he was there. In a transcript of an interview between Reeder and Tyler Singleton, the brother told the detective he was rarely at the house. He also said that although the blood on the light switch was his, it was caused by a scratch from a dog. Reeder added that there were dogs at the Jason Singleton’s house.

At that point in the investigation, Reeder said he told Tyler Singleton only Marcum had told him anything about the murder, saying she witnessed the murder but could not stop it.

According to the transcript, when Reeder asked for more information, Tyler Singleton said “Chris,” then stopped and refused to say anything else.

Romines asked Reeder why Tyler Singleton, who was present in the audience, was not on trial while Marcum, who spoke to detectives, was. Reeder said he brought evidence involving Tyler Singleton to the grand jury, including the blood smear and the debt owed to Frazier Singleton, but grand jurors determined it was not enough for an indictment.

“If he had been indicted, I would have arrested him,” Reeder said.

Romines continued with the sometimes tense cross-examination, addressing phone records, witness statements, the location where Frazier Singleton’s remain were found and even suggesting a narrow-minded investigation on the part of the KSP.

During the questioning, Judge William Clouse sustained numerous objections against Romines for not following proper procedure. The number of objections eventually became humorous to the jury, and they caused Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith to proclaim, “I have no more objections to give,” as the day’s proceedings drew to a close.

The trial will resume Tuesday at 9 a.m., Clouse said.

Madison Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith told reporters the prosecution likely would not reset it case until about midday Wednesday.

Seth Littrell can be reached at slittrell@richmondregister.com or 624-6623.

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