By Seth Littrell
Register News Writer
Two very different opening statements marked the beginning of Christina Marcum’s trial in the 2011 murder of Angela Frazier Singleton.
Marcum is charged with complicity to murder, along with Jason Singleton, Angela’s husband who pleaded guilty to complicity in May and is serving a 30-year sentence.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith opened the case for the prosecution, describing Marcum as a “masterful manipulator” and “magnificent liar.”
In the prosecution’s theory, Marcum and Singleton together conspired to commit the murder and destroy and discard the evidence. Marcum was motivated by jealousy toward Frazier Singleton, who married the ex-boyfriend for whom she still had feelings.
“Hell hath no fury like Christina Marcum jealous,” Smith said in her opening statement.
Smith cited as evidence, records and testimony from friends and family describing Marcum’s jealous behavior, as well as detailing her hostile interactions with Frazier Singleton.
In one documented instance, Smith said, a drunk Marcum asked a friend to drive her to the Singleton home, where she threw a softball through a garage window and urinated on the doorstep.
When Marcum was initially questioned by state police after Frazier Singleton’s remains were found Jan. 19, 2011, Smith said the suspect withheld information until learning what Jason Singleton, who was arrested the following day in Somerset, had said about her involvement. She also repeatedly asked police to make a deal with her, Smith added.
All the while, Marcum was trying to help Singleton get out of his predicament, Smith further alleged. The prosecutors stated there was evidence from Pulaski County Jail records indicating the couple had conspired after Singleton’s arrest. In one such instance, Marcum even suggested sleeping with a KSP detective as a way to influence the investigaton, Smith said.
Steve Romines and Ted Shouse, the attorneys defending Marcum, say the story is entirely different and that their client not only is not guilty, but may have wound up another victim.
“There is proof of two things here,” Romines said of Marcum’s charges. “One, Christina Marcum fell in love with the wrong guy. Two, Christina can be a bitch.”
Romines said the evidence points to Singleton acting alone in the murder, motivated by his wife telling KSP troopers he was forging IDs and payroll checks. Marcum was trying to reconnect to the man she loved to help him kick the methamphetamine habit he shared with Frazier Singleton, he claimed.
While Romines acknowledged that the two women fought, he said nobody was ever hurt until Frazier Singleton turned her husband in to the police. Unfortunately for Marcum, she entered the house while Singleton was murdering his wife and witnessed the crime. She did not go to the police out of fear she would be targeted next.
Romines criticized the prosecution as well as law enforcement officials, saying their focus on the interaction between Marcum and Frazier Singleton ignores facts in favor of a “Jerry Springer story, which makes no sense whatsoever,” he said.
According to the defense, Marcum was hesitant to speak with police because she was afraid of what would happen to her if Singleton was released on bail and knew she had incriminated him.
Romines also detailed accounts from two women who lived at the Singleton home and took care of Frazier Singleton’s two daughters, who now live with a grandmother. Romines said the two women told police Singleton and his wife spent all their money on drugs while neglecting the children. One of the women also said Singleton and his wife had plotted the murder of Frazier Singleton’s family members.
Following the opening statements, the jury began to hear witness testimony before day’s end.
Testimony resumes today at 9 a.m., according to Judge William Clouse.
Seth Littrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6623.