The Richmond Register

December 11, 2012

Suppression hearing in Singleton murder case pushed back

Statements one defendant made to police at issue

By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Madison Circuit Court Judge William Clouse has delayed the hearing on whether statements made by a defendant in the Angela Frazier-Singleton murder case will be admissible at trial.

Christina Marcum, 29, and Jason Singleton, 36, appeared Tuesday morning in Madison Circuit Court. Marcum’s attorney, Steven R. Romines, filed a motion earlier this year asking that statements Marcum made to the Kentucky State Police during the homicide investigation be suppressed, claiming several of her constitutional rights were violated during those interviews.

Singleton’s attorney, Jim Baechtold, also has filed a motion asking that the two defendants’ trials be “severed,” meaning Marcum and Singleton would be tried separately.

On Jan. 19, 2011, 24-year-old Angela Frazier-Singleton’s dismembered body was found in trash bags at the end of Tattler Branch Road in the Valley View community. Jason Singleton was arrested the next day after an armed standoff with police in Somerset, during which he held four hostages at gunpoint.

After he was captured, Singleton told Kentucky State Police detectives “he would be willing to tell them everything” if they would give “Christina Thompkins (Marcum) a deal where she would not be arrested,” according to a search warrant affidavit for Singleton’s home.

Marcum was interviewed Jan. 20, 2011, by KSP detectives. She told them that Singleton had “strangled Angela on Tuesday (Jan. 18),” according to the same affidavit.

Marcum was indicted on a charge of murder in December 2011 along with Jason Singleton. They both are accused of beating and strangling Frazier-Singleton to death, according to the indictment document.

At question during the Tuesday morning motion hour was whether the defense needed to provide more information about why they believed Marcum’s statements would be inadmissible at trial.

Romines argued that the burden of proof rested solely on the prosecution to prove Marcum’s statements were legally obtained.

“We don’t have to give (the prosecution) what our defense is going to be, unless it’s a mental (health) defense,” Romines said.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith said she was not trying to deny Marcum’s right to a hearing, however she said the motion required more specificity about the alleged constitutional violations.

“We have hours of interviews. To not narrow this … then it’s a fishing expedition,” Smith said.

Clouse agreed with the prosecution, reciting the rule of criminal procedure that requires the defense to state “with particularity” the grounds for a statement suppression hearing.

Marcum’s other attorney, Theodore Shouse, finally said the grounds of the motion involved three issues: whether Marcum was in custody and properly advised of her rights, whether she was given the right to counsel and whether her statements were voluntary because she was may have been under duress.

“We’re alleging all three possible violations on all three statements,” Shouse said.

Closue accepted the oral clarification of the motion and set the suppression hearing for 9 a.m. Dec. 27.

The motion to sever the defendants may also be heard at that date, depending on what Clouse rules on the statement suppression.

After the hearing, Marcum was heard in the hallway outside the courtroom cursing loudly and expressing anger that the suppression hearing had been pushed back.

Marcum and Singleton are set for trial 9 a.m. March 11.

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