Whitesburg KY

Woman says man was killed because he refused beer run

Was Ralph Marcum murdered because he refused to go on a beer run? Or was the 70-year-old man from Fleming-Neon killed after a round of “play wrestling” got out of hand?

The answer depends on which of two murder suspects you believe.

Testifying during the preliminary hearing for the two men and one woman charged with killing Marcum, Kentucky State Police Detective Clayton Stamper said one of the suspects, 31-year-old Christina Collins, told him John W. Pigg Jr. hit Marcum in the head with a hammer because Marcum refused to drive Collins, John Pigg and Lloyd Pigg to a store to buy more beer. Stamper said Lloyd Pigg, who is John Pigg’s cousin, told him John Pigg hit Marcum in the head while Pigg’s small home at Jenkins.

“Christina Collins stated she had telephoned Mr. Marcum from Lloyd Pigg’s phone,” Stamper told Special Letcher District Judge Daniel K. Sparks. “She stated that the reason that Mr. Marcum was called to come there was to transport them to get more beer. She stated that Mr. Marcum, after he got there, was not going to take them and John became upset and struck Mr. Marcum in the head.”

Stamper said Lloyd Pigg, 37, told police he really didn’t know why Marcum came to his residence at 178 B&O Hill in Jenkins around 11 p.m. on April 11.

“He stated that at first John and Mr. Marcum were play wrestling around,” Stamper testified. “(He said) John had Mr. Marcum in a headlock and it escalated from there. Lloyd stated that John picked up a hammer off of a table that’s beside the couch and began striking Mr. Marcum in the head.”

Stamper testified that Collins told him that Lloyd Pigg told her he also hit Marcum in the head with a hammer, but that she didn’t.

“It was just what Lloyd had told her,” said Stamper, adding that Lloyd Pigg has denied the charge.

Stamper said although there are discrepancies in the statements Collins and Lloyd Pigg gave to police, both said they witnessed the murder of Marcum.

“Both statements indicated that John Pigg had struck Ralph Marcum in the head with a hammer in Lloyd Stephen Pigg’s residence,” said Stamper. “Both statements indicate that John Pigg and Christina Collins had carried Mr. Marcum’s body out and placed it in the trunk of Marcum’s vehicle (and that Marcum) had driven himself to Lloyd Stephen Pigg’s residence.”

John Pigg has refused to make any statements to police, Stamper said.

After John Pigg killed Marcum, he apparently directed Collins and Lloyd Pigg how to remove Marcum’s body and where to dispose of it.

“(Lloyd) said they both picked up the body of Ralph Marcum and carried him outside,” said Stamper. “He stated that then John Pigg came back in and told him that he needed to leave with them. He went out of his house and got in the back seat of Mr. Marcum’s vehicle and they left B&O Hill.”

Stamper said Collins told police she drove Marcum’s 1991 Toyota Camry.

“Christina Collins stated that she was directed by John Pigg on which way to go at the bottom of B&O Hill,” said Stamper. “At that point that is when they traveled in the direction of Pike County where the body was dropped.”

According to Stamper, Collins said the three suspects went to a remote area in Pike County, where John Pigg got out of the vehicle and removed the body from the trunk by himself. Stamper said Lloyd Pigg’s version of the events that occurred after the murder differ somewhat.

“Lloyd’s statement indicated that Christina and John got out of the vehicle and opened the trunk. He said he didn’t directly see it, but they both (disposed of the body),” said Stamper.

“Christina Collins took us to the location in the Dorton area of Pike County where Mr. Ralph Marcum’s body was discovered on a creekbank,” said Stamper. “I believe it is Allen Branch in Dorton, which is off of KY 610.”

“At this location there was a trail of bloody gravel and over the creekbank was Mr. Marcum’s body,” Stamper added. “If you were driving on KY 610 or if you were driving on Allen Lane you could not have seen it. But if you got out and looked over the creekbank it was obvious. It was easy to see. The body had actually been entangled in some weeds or it would have tumbled over into an area that would have been harder to find.”

Stamper testified that both Collins and Lloyd Pigg said they went to Marcum’s apartment at Goose Creek after Marcum was killed.

“They had the key to the apartment,” said Stamper. “It was on the key ring to the vehicle. Some items were removed from Mr. Marcum’s apartment.”

Stamper said Collins told him a blanket and some pillows were taken from Marcum’s apartment.

“She stated that the purpose for this was when Lloyd Pigg left the residence he was dressed in just shorts, no shirt on, and she stated that he made the comment that he was cold so they got the blanket,” said Stamper. “Christina Collins also stated that they had taken the telephone out of Ralph Marcum’s apartment. This is one of the items that had later been thrown over the hill in the Buck Lick area of Pike County.”

Stamper said Collins didn’t know why the phone was taken. He said the blankets and pillows were found inside Marcum’s vehicle.

Collins said the three suspects made several stops after Marcum’s apartment was burglarized.

“They stopped throughout the night,” said Stamper. “They stopped at a Bentley residence in the Virgie area of Pike County on two different occasions. They made a stop at the Neon BP, at the Deane Texaco and she also stated that at one point they were just driving around and they stopped at a location near the Floyd/Maggofin county line before returning to Letcher County.”

One of the locations Collins drove to was a residence of a longtime friend she hadn’t spoken to in awhile. Stamper said Collins had called Stephanie Bentley before they stopped at her house on Long Fork.

“Stephanie stated that Christina had told her about everything that had happened – that she had just seen a man die and they had dumped the body,” said Stamper. “Stephanie Bentley said Christina was wanting to speak with Jimmy (Stephanie’s husband) to basically get advice on what she should do. Stephanie stated that she didn’t know whether or not to believe Christina.”

Stamper said Stephanie Bentley told police that Lloyd Pigg stayed in the car while Collins and John Pigg came into her house.

“She stated she saw blood on both of them,” said Stamper. “They went into the bathroom and cleaned themselves up and used a towel.”

Stamper said Collins stopped by the Bentley residence a second time while driving around with the Pigg cousins. She came in alone and spoke with Jimmy Bentley who had just gotten home from work.

“Christina asked him what to do and he said that if that really happened that she needed to go to the police,” said Stamper.

Collins, John Pigg and Lloyd Pigg also made two stops at the residence of John Pigg’s mother, Barbara Lee.

“She stated that Christina, Lloyd and John had all three stopped by her house Saturday,” said Lee. “They left, approximately 30 minutes later they returned. This time it was just John and Lloyd and that time Lloyd got out of the car and stayed at her house and John left alone.”

Stamper said Collins told police she drove everywhere they went that night until she got out of the vehicle and began walking.

Stamper was notified around 9:30 a.m. on April 12 of a call received from Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard from Lloyd Pigg’s mother, Margaret Bentley, saying that she had found a large amount of blood in an outbuilding where her son lives.

Stamper said Lloyd Pigg’s residence is a small one-room building located on his mother’s property at Jenkins. Stamper said when he arrived at Lloyd Pigg’s house, there was a padlock on the door but it wasn’t locked.

“The building itself is approximately 8×16. There’s a wheelchair ramp that leads up to the front door,” said Stamper. “Standing at the front door looking in, there’s a couch directly in front of you. To the left is a bed. There’s a small table between the couch and the bed. To the right of the couch, looking in from the front door, Lloyd’s motorized wheelchair would have been sitting by the couch and basically there is a shelving area on the right side that had a computer, stereo and things like that. There’s a potty I guess because of Lloyd’s medical condition. Electricity but no running water.”

Stamper said when he went inside Lloyd Pigg’s residence he found a large amount of blood on the floor.

“I observed a hammer on the floor that also had a large amount of blood on it,” said Stamper.

Stamper said two hammers were taken into evidence.

“The first hammer was a claw hammer with a red handle that obviously had what appeared to be blood on it,” said Stamper. “The second hammer was a smaller hammer with a brown wooden handle, and I couldn’t see anything that appeared to be blood.”

Stamper said the smaller hammer is used for finishing metal. “I believe it had two flat ends,” he said.

Stamper said KSP Trooper Joey King showed him wallet he had found in the couch at Lloyd Pigg’s residence that had Ralph Marcum’s driver’s license in it.

“Christina Collins stated that $17 was taken out of Mr. Marcum’s wallet. I believe she stated that John took it,” Stamper said.

While police were still at Lloyd Pigg’s home in Jenkins on April 12, a dispatcher at KSP Post 13 in Hazard received a 911 hang-up call from the residence of Wendy Pigg, who is John Pigg’s wife. Stamper said the dispatcher traced the call back and spoke with a woman who was not Wendy Pigg.

“She had stated that John Pigg was at this residence and had assaulted Wendy Pigg and that he also made a statement to her that he would be going to jail for murder,” said Stamper. “The caller also stated that there was blood on John Pigg’s clothing. Units were dispatched to go to Wendy Pigg’s residence.”

Stamper said that while on the way to Wendy Pigg’s residence at Thornton, KSP Sgt. Barry Engle passed a female who was walking along KY 327, between Neon and Long Fork.

“I believe he stopped and made contact with the female who turned out to be Christina Collins,” said Stamper. “Christina was arrested for alcohol intoxication.”

Collins was transported to the Jenkins Police Department while Engle and Jenkins Police Chief Jim Stevens drove on toward Wendy Pigg’s residence. He said the two officers soon spotted Ralph Marcum’s vehicle.

“Sgt. Engle recognized John Pigg as being the driver,” said Stamper. “Sgt. Engle turned on this vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. Mr. Pigg failed to stop for Sgt. Engle and began fleeing from Sgt. Engle at this time. This pursuit ended in an accident in the Payne Gap area of Letcher County. (John Pigg) was arrested at this time.”

Stamper said when he saw Collins for the first time she had on a pair of white K-Swiss tennis shoes that had “spots of what appeared to be blood” on them.

“She also had on a pair of blue jeans that also had what appeared to be blood,” said Stamper. “She had on a dark colored T-shirt. No blood was noticeable to me on that. She had on a Dale Earnhardt hat that had a spot on the side that appeared to be blood.”

Police don’t know what time Collins and John Pigg arrived at Lloyd Pigg’s residence the night Marcum was murdered, or why Collins was even there.

“According to Christina, she had met John walking on B&O Hill and they went to Lloyd’s,” said Stamper. “Lloyd stated that John had been there all day, maybe even parts of the previous day, may have spent the previous night with Lloyd.”

Stamper said Margaret Bentley and neighbors heard noises coming from Lloyd Pigg’s home on the night Marcum was murdered.

“Around 11 or midnight (Bentley) heard a thumping noise but didn’t look outside to see what it was,” said Stamper. “(Neighbors) stated that they had heard some noises but stated that it wasn’t uncommon to hear banging noises coming from that area and they didn’t go outside to investigate it.”

Stamper said Collins, John Pigg and Lloyd Pigg had been drinking beer while at the home. He said some of the beer cans were taken as evidence.

Stamper said he did not find any prescription bottles in Lloyd Pigg’s house, but he did find prescription medication at Marcum’s apartment.

“There were numerous, numerous medications that had been prescribed to him and his wife,” said Stamper.

Stamper said pills found on Collins matched a medicine prescribed to Marcum.

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