The Richmond Register

Local News

March 21, 2014

Communications between Marcum, Singleton established

Cross-examination gets heated

RICHMOND — After a two-hour delay Friday morning, the prosecution in Christina Marcum’s murder trial resumed its case about 11 a.m. by playing a recorded conversation between Marcum and Jason Singleton.

He has already pleaded guilty to complicity in the 2011 murder of his wife, Angela Frazier Singleton, and is serving a 30-year sentence.

The Feb. 1, 2011, conversation was recorded at the Pulaski County Detention Center where Singleton was held after his arrest in Somerset. His voice was removed from the recording played to jurors, who heard only Marcum’s side of the conversation.

Hearing aids were distributed to jury members so they could better understand what was said in the low-quality recording. Without devices to assist hearing, much of the conversation was unintelligible. However, some of Marcum’s statements could be heard clearly. Marcum told Singleton “my whole life’s miserable,” and “I feel so bad for you.” She also laughs multiple times throughout the recording.

Marcum and Singleton had dated and lived together for at least two years prior to his December 2010 marriage to Frazier Singleton.

Kentucky State Police Detective Brian Reeder, who led the investigation of Angela Frazier Singleton’s murder, told the court he acquired the recording after seeing Marcum on television attending one of Jason’s pretrial hearings in 201l on charges associated with a hostage situation in Somerset.

Further investigation showed that Marcum visited Singleton several times at both the Pulaski County jail and at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center, Reeder said. She also left money in his jail commissary, he said. The commissary allows prisoners to purchase things while in custody, the detective explained.

Reeder said Marcum talked with him about the same time she was meeting with Singleton, telling the detective she was frightened of Singleton. She kept requesting a deal before she would give her full testimony, he said.

In addition, Reeder told the court he had what he believed to be evidence of Marcum communicating to Singleton via written notes when they met at the jail. The detective said he suspected they were communicating partly in silence because one would respond to the other  after gaps in the recordings.

Marcum and Singleton’s cell phone records were subpoenaed, and a comparison showed the possibility of more communication between the two suspects than KSP originally believed, Reeder said.

According to the records, Singleton and Marcum’s phones stayed in regular communication Jan. 16, the day Reeder said he believes Frazier Singleton was killed. Marcum, who told Reeder she witnessed the murder, said she left Singleton’s house about 3 p.m. that day. However, her phone records show text messages and calls were made to and from Singleton’s phone until about 11 p.m. that night.

Communication continued the four days after Frazier Singleton’s disappearance, up until Singleton’s arrest in Somerset. Reeder said Marcum’s phone made several calls to Singleton’s about 1:35 p.m. Jan 20, while Singleton was involved in the hostage situation.

Reeder described the records as a “roadmap” of the week of the murder, and he said the information added to inconsistencies he was beginning to see in Marcum’s interviews as well as statements from other witnesses.

When defense attorney Steve Romines began cross-examining Reeder, he questioned the detective’s motives when he interviewed Marcum. He pointed to the Jan. 30 interview between the two where Reeder said, “I’ve told you all along that I don’t think you’re the person who killed her (Frazier Singleton)” and told her she had every right to be afraid of Singleton coming after her.

Romines asked if Reeder was genuinely concerned for Marcum’s safety, or if he was just lying to her to “play” her and keep her thinking a deal for her testimony was a possibility.

Reeder responded that at the time of the first interview he had no idea what Marcum’s role in the murder was, and he was concerned about her well-being. His concern that she could be the next victim faded only after he began seeing red flags and evidence against her, such as when she told him she witnessed the killing after previously saying Singleton only told her about it.

He also said a deal was never out of the question, but it was out of his hands because she obtained an attorney and any deal would be up to Madison Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith.

Romines asked why the detective thought a witness to a crime hiring a lawyer was a red flag.

“I’ve been doing this for going on 14 years,” Reeder said. ”It’s very, very seldom a witness says ‘I want an attorney.’”

Romines then asked Reeder why he did not try several possible passwords Marcum had given him to get into Singleton’s locked cell phone. The detective said Singleton used a Blackberry given to him by his employer, Affiliated Computer Services.

“A Blackberry is the most secure type of phone you can get,” Reeder said.

If the wrong password is entered too many times, the detective said, the phone will automatically wipe its memory clean. When Marcum gave him the passwords, he didn’t trust her enough to risk losing possible evidence on the phone, Reeder said. Singleton’s phone was sent to the FBI for investigation, but after his employment was terminated, ACS sent a signal that deleted its memory, the detective said. Only a picture of Marcum was recovered from the phone, he added.

Romines argued that someone’s presence at a crime scene doesn’t make them a criminal, and although Marcum could have been only a witness, she was treated as a suspect. He repeatedly asked the detective what evidence he had Feb. 24, 2011, that Marcum was involved in the murder.

Reeder said evidence and the testimony of others supported his suspicion. He also said Marcum was not charged until November 2011, after more evidence was obtained.

The defense’s cross-examination will resume 1 p.m. Monday.

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

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