LMPD: Custody battle may have led to murder of cook outside Irish Hill restaurant
"I don't love her. No, I didn't kill her (expletive) ex," over custody of the child, Timothy Singer told police. "You're barking up the wrong tree."
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A cook stabbed to death during a smoke break outside an Irish Hill restaurant in February was murdered by a man who lived with the victim's ex-girlfriend, newly released court records claim.
And a Louisville Metro Police detective indicated that the slaying of Nicholas Morris was perhaps prompted by an ongoing child custody battle with his ex-girlfriend, the records show.
In an interview released Friday, police continually question murder defendant Timothy Singer about his relationship with the woman, who had a young daughter with Morris.
On Feb. 17, Morris, an employee of Ciao Bistro & Bar, was taking a break outside the restaurant when a man stabbed him repeatedly and ran away. Singer, 23, is charged with complicity to murder, meaning police believe someone else helped him in the slaying.
A detailed map drawn of Morris' house was found in Singer's room, according to evidence released in the murder case on Friday. While Singer lived with the woman, it is unclear if they were romantically involved.
The woman admitted drawing the map for Singer but said she "didn't do it for any reason," according to a video of a police interview with her. She later told Det. Chris Rutherford that Singer "asked me to" draw the map.
"It's a piece of paper," she said. "Nothing happened with this piece of paper."
Rutherford asked the woman repeatedly whether the custody battle with Morris had anything to do with the murder. She denied any involvement in the slaying.
WDRB is not naming the woman because she has not been charged with a crime.
Singer has pleaded not guilty to murder and tampering with physical evidence, for allegedly disposing of the knife and his clothing. He is lodged in Metro Corrections.
In addition to the map, Rutherford told Singer a surveillance photo showed him wearing clothing appearing to be the same as clothing witnesses say the killer was wearing. The clothing is missing, Rutherford said in the video of his interview with Singer.
And witnesses identified Morris as being near the restaurant at the time of the murder, Rutherford said in both interviews.
Singer maintained he had no reason to hurt Morris and was not asked to do so by the woman.
"I don't love her. No, I didn't kill her (expletive) ex," over custody of the child, Singer told police. "You're barking up the wrong tree."
Singer said he believed the map was "planted" in his room.
During much of a two-hour interview with LMPD, Singer rambled off-topic, telling a detective he was not a normal person and at times had trouble telling the difference between right and wrong.
The detective told Singer he believed Morris' ex-girlfriend was worried he was going to get custody of their child.
"I'm worried you got manipulated into doing something you didn't want to do," Rutherford said to Singer.
Singer said he knew nothing about the relationship between Morris and his ex-girlfriend.
"I had and know nothing about Nick and his murder," he said. "I don't know this dude."
Singer was also asked about scratches on his hand. He said they were from working at a restaurant.
"I'm an innocent man," he said loudly at one point.
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