The Richmond Register

December 3, 2011

Death penalty not an option in Singleton murder

By Ronica Shannon
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — A story in Friday’s Richmond Register incorrectly reported that Jason Singleton and Christina Tompkins Marcum are eligible for the death penalty for the murder and dismemberment of Angela Frazier Singleton.

Singleton, 35, and Marcum, 29, were indicted Wednesday by a Madison grand jury on charges of capital murder.

Marcum’s body was found in trash bags Jan. 19 at the end of Tattler’s Branch Road in the Valley View community.

The couple also was indicted with tampering with physical evidence. Singleton was indicted for third-degree arson and abuse of a corpse, and Marcum was indicted for first-degree hindering apprehension or prosecution.

The two “... committed the offense of murder by beating and strangling Angela Frazier Singleton, causing her death,” according to the indictment issued Wednesday. “Between Jan. 16 and Jan. 20 ... (Singleton and Marcum) committed the offense of tampering with physical evidence by removing, destroying, concealing and altering the body of Angela Frazier Singleton, the car belonging to (Angela) and other evidence including body fluids, flooring, clothing and the implements used to dismember Ms. Singleton.”

Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Jennifer Smith explained Friday why the couple is not eligible for the death penalty.

“The murder statute reads murder is a capital offense,” Smith said. “That means that if there are aggravating circumstances, then it can be death (penalty) eligible.”

In this case, murder is a capital offense, but none of the statute’s eight requirements are met in order for Singleton and Marcum to be eligible for the death penalty.

According to KRS 532.025, the death penalty can only be sought in Kentucky if a case meets certain requirements, which are: A murder committed by a person who has a prior conviction for a capital offense, or who has a substantial history of serious assault convictions; a murder occurring during one of the following crimes: first-degree arson, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, first-degree rape or first-degree sodomy; a murder occurring as a result of a destructive device, weapon or other device which normally would be hazardous to more than one person; a murder committed for money or profit; a murder of an on-duty prison guard; an intentional murder of more than one person; an intentional murder of a state or local public official, police officer, sheriff or deputy sheriff; and the murder of a victim while the victim was protected from the murderer by an emergency protective order, domestic violence order or any other order designed to protect the victim.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@ richmondregister.com .