Wednesday, April 25, 2012

St. Augustine, FL: St. Augustine man charged in wife's stabbing death


A 47-year-old St. Augustine man is being held without bail after making his first appearance in court Wednesday morning in connection with his wife's stabbing death.

Stephanie Singleton-Gilliam, 44, was killed early Tuesday morning in her home in the 200 block of Duval Street.

Frederick Gilliam was arrested Tuesday evening and booked into the St. Johns County Jail on a charge of second-degree murder.

Deputies responded to the couple's home shortly after 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. Gilliam called the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office and reported an alleged home invasion in which he and his wife sustained stab wounds by two suspects who reportedly fled the home, deputies said.

Singleton-Gilliam (pictured right, photo courtesy of St. Augustine Record via Facebook) was found dead inside the home from stab wounds to the neck. Gilliam had minor injuries and was transported to Flagler Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Deputies said when they arrived at the home, they found Gilliam on the front porch with blood on his hands and holding a knife.

Gilliam was brought back to the Sheriff's Office after being released from the hospital, and he was questioned by robbery and homicide detectives before his arrest.

"He answered multiple questions with robbery homicide detectives," Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cpl. Catherine Payne said. "Those answers to the questions that were asked were very inconsistent with the evidence."

Singleton-Gilliam was a mother of three and grandmother of one.

"There were other people in the home at the time," Payne said. "The children were home, but they did not witness the event."

The official cause of death will be determined by the District Medical Examiner following an autopsy.

Singleton-Gilliam was the supervisor of the family law division for the St. Johns County Clerk of Courts, where grief counselors were sent to meet with employees Wednesday.

She worked there for more than 14 years and was promoted to supervisor about a year and a half ago, overseeing more than 20 employees who deal with restraining orders, child support and other family law matters.

"The employees are still in shock, as you can well imagine," said St. Johns County Clerk of Courts Cheryl Strickland. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family -- she has children -- her friends, and the community."

Gilliam coached youth sports in West Augustine and worked at the National Guard Armory for Military Affairs.

Singleton-Gilliam was very active in her church and was also the secretary for the West Augustine Improvement Association and the Athletic Association.

Employees at the courthouse held a prayer service for Singleton-Gilliam and her family Tuesday evening.

"She was very well-respected, very well-loved by all the employees," Strickland said. "It's a big loss to our family here at the clerk's office. She was well-liked by the judges, the attorneys, all the agencies that dealt with our office."

Frederick Gilliam worked in military affairs at the Florida National Guard armory. Channel 4 was told he coached youth sports teams in the West Augustine area.

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