The third person charged in the murder of a 70-year-old Jenkins man has pleaded guilty in Letcher Circuit Court.
Christina Hall Collins, 35, admitted to moving the body of Ralph Marcum after he was beaten to death with a hammer by John Pigg on April 12, 2008.
Collins also admitted to driving Marcum’s car to an isolated road in Pike County where she helped John Pigg throw the body over an embankment. She admitted to going to Marcum’s apartment with John Pigg and removing non-narcotic prescription drugs and a telephone from Marcum’s apartment.
Collins pleaded guilty to the amended charges of abuse of a corpse, first-degree criminal facility to robbery and third-degree criminal complicity to burglary. She also pleaded guilty to complicity to theft by unlawful taking, complicity to tampering with physical evidence, complicity to theft of a controlled substance and alcohol intoxication in a public place.
If Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright follows recommendations in the plea deal, Collins could be sentenced to 15 years in prison. Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney Edison G. Banks II has recommended that Collins serve 365 days in jail for an amended charge of abuse of a corpse. The original charge was complicity to murder, but Banks said he could not prove that Collins committed murder or robbery.
Banks also recommends that Collins serve five years imprisonment each for first-degree criminal facility to robbery, complicity to theft by unlawful taking, complicity to tampering with physical evidence, third-degree criminal complicity to burglary and complicity to theft of a controlled substance. Banks recommends that Collins serve 90 days in the county jail for alcohol intoxication.
The charges of abuse of a corpse and alcohol intoxication are to be served concurrently. First-degree criminal facilitation to robbery, complicity to theft by unlawful taking and complicity to tampering with physical evidence are to be served concurrently. Third-degree criminal complicity to burglary and complicity to theft of a controlled substance are to served consecutively to one another.
The plea agreement is entered with the expressed approval of Marcum’s daughter.
Banks said 20 years in prison is the maximum amount allowed with the amended charges. Banks said with the sentence of 15 years, Collins will receive seven or eight months less with parole eligibility than she would if she is sentenced to 20 years.
Banks said he tried for several years to come up with a motive for the murder and said it wasn’t until he obtained John Pigg’s sworn statement in late 2011 that the role of Collins was outlined and could be corroborated with the statements previously provided by Collins and Lloyd Pigg, who is the third person charged in Marcum’s murder.
John Pigg, 40, of Thornton, pleaded guilty to murdering Marcum in September of 2011, but hasn’t been sentenced. As part of his plea agreement, John Pigg could be sentenced to 50 years in prison.
The plea agreement, which was also approved by Marcum’s daughter, calls for Pigg to be sentenced to 50 years for murder, 20 years for complicity to first-degree robbery, five years for complicity to theft by unlawful taking, five years for complicity to tampering with physical evidence and 10 years for complicity to seconddegree burglary. All sentences are to be served concurrently.
Pigg was not subject to the death penalty, meaning that a 50- year sentence is the maximum that could be imposed in his case short of life in prison without parole. He would be eligible for parole in about 20 years from his arrest date of April 12, 2008.
Lloyd Pigg, John Pigg’s cousin, pleaded guilty earlier in 2011 to complicity to tampering with physical evidence in connection with Marcum’s death. Judge Wright accepted the plea by Lloyd Pigg and sentenced him to five years in prison. Lloyd Pigg, 40, of Jenkins, received credit for 806 days he had already served in jail.
Collins admitted telephoning Marcum on April 12, 2008, which resulted in Marcum going to Lloyd Pigg’s residence where the Piggs had gathered to drink alcohol.
Marcum was killed in the small home resembling a tool shed where Lloyd Pigg was living next to his mother at B&O Hill in Jenkins. Marcum’s body was placed in his own 1991 Toyota automobile, driven to Myra in Pike County and dumped over an embankment.