RICHMOND, Ky (WKYT) - The trial of a Madison County woman, accused in the murder of another woman, got underway Monday.
A Madison County Circuit Court judge, prosecutors, and defense attorneys spent Monday morning questioning a courtroom full of potential jurors in the Christina Marcum murder case. The jurors were asked about their attitudes toward the case, if they have any reason to be biased, and if the disturbing nature of the case would prevent them from serving if they're selected to be a member of the jury. The prosecutor said, in 20 years of doing this work, she'd never seen a more gruesome case.
Christina Marcum faces charges of murder, tampering with physical evidence, and hindering prosecution in the death of Angela Singleton. Police say Singleton was killed in 2011. Investigators say they later found her dismembered remains in a field in Madison County.
Singleton's husband, Jason Singleton, pleaded guilty to charges of complicity to murder, tampering with evidence, and abuse of a corpse. In court he blamed Marcum for the crime. She was Singleton's ex-girlfriend. He says Marcum killed Angela Singleton and asked him to help hide her remains. Jason Singleton is now serving a 30 year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to complicity to murder last year.
Thirty one people were called into court Monday morning to make up the jury pool. By around Noon, a jury had been seated and just two hours later, opening arguments got underway.
Prosecutors say Marcum was jealous of Angela Singleton's relationship with Jason Singleton. Prosecutors say Marcum admitted to watching Singleton murder his wife, then covered for him by disposing of the remains. Prosecutors also say Marcum stalked the Singleton Couple, and at some point, convinced Jason to leave his wife and be with her.
"The evidence in this case will show you that she is the difference between an abrupt divorce and a murder," the Prosecution said in their opening statements.
The Defense, on the other hand, claims Marcum had nothing to do with the murder and that Marcum was afraid of Singleton.
"You will hear no witnesses that Christina Marcum committed this crime," the Defense claimed in their opening statements, "you will have no physical evidence that she committed the crime. The motive that they just have you, you will see by the time I'm done, and for sure by the time the proof is done, is ridiculous."
Angela Singleton's mother, Nancy Canada, took the stand and told prosecutors about threats she had heard Marcum made to her daughter.
"I was told that she went by Angela's house and she threw a rock through the window and she threatened Angela," Canada said.
Canada began crying when she was asked about the day she found out Angela's body had been discovered. She told prosecutors she told her granddaughter that her mother was gone.
The man who found Singelton's body also testified. Robert Lee Kelly said at first he thought the bags contained a deer, until he opened them.
"I went to my knees and I went back to my trailer and I called the officers," he said. "They told me it could be a mannequin and I said I wish it was."