Whitesburg KY
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Death penalty being asked

Commonwealth’s Attorney Edison G. Banks II recently filed motions seeking the death penalty for two of the three people charged with beating an elderly Fleming-Neon man to death in April.

Banks will seek the death penalty for John William Pigg Jr., 37, and Christina Collins, 31, of Millstone, for their roles in the murder of 70- year-old Ralph Marcum.

Banks listed the reason for his motion in Letcher Circuit Court to be because the “murder of Ralph Marcum occurred during the course of commission of the offense of the first-degree robbery of Ralph Marcum.”

The motions stated that Pigg and Collins committed murder for them selves or for another person for the purpose of receiving money or anything else of monetary value.

Banks has not filed a motion to seek the death penalty for Lloyd Steven Pigg, 37, of 178 B&O Hill in Jenkins, who is also charged with murdering Marcum. Banks said he is waiting on test results of evidence in the case to make a final decision as whether to seek the death penalty for Lloyd Pigg, who is John Pigg’s cousin.

In indictments handed up in May to Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright, the grand jury charged John Pigg, Lloyd Pigg, and Collins with complicity to murder, first-degree robbery, and four other charges in connection with the April 12 murder.

Authorities say Marcum was beaten to death with a hammer in a small home resembling a tool shed where Lloyd Pigg was living next to his mother in Jenkins. Collins told police that John Pigg hit Marcum with a hammer after Marcum refused to give the trio a ride to buy more beer.

In addition to capital murder, a crime punishable by a penalty ranging from death by lethal injection to a prison term of not less than 20 years, Collins and the two Piggs face charges of complicity to theft of more than $300, tampering with physical evidence, second-degree burglary, and complicity to theft of a controlled substance.

The grand jury charges that after the trio “conspired” to rob Marcum of his personal property, they then “assisted or conspired” with each other to murder him by “repeatedly beating and striking” him in the head. The trio committed theft, the jury says, when they “took control” of Marcum’s 1991 Toyota automobile and used it to move Marcum’s body to rural Pike County – an action that also led to them being indicted on the tampering with physical evidence charge.

The indictments say Collins and the two Piggs committed second-degree burglary when they broke into Marcum’s apartment at Goose Creek, where they “took possession of controlled substances” that had belonged to Marcum.

Collins and the two Piggs were arraigned July 10 and bond is set at $1 million for each. A pretrial conference is set for the trio on October 22.

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