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Monday, June 12, 2017

The Crystal Mangum Murder Case

      In 2006, 27-year-old Crystal Mangum claimed that three Duke University lacrosse players gang-raped her at a team party. The students had hired her as a stripper. The case grabbed national headlines because the accused were privileged young white men and the victim was working-class black.

     When it became obvious that Mangum had fabricated her story of rape, North Carolina's attorney general declared the three Duke students innocent. The case ruined the career of Mike Nifong, the politically ambitious Durham County prosecutor who had championed Mangum's false allegations. The  state bar association disbarred Nifong for his bad faith and overzealous prosecution of the innocent college students. The Duke Lacrosse case represented what can happen when politics and race override the pursuit of justice.

     Another Durham County prosecutor, in February 2010, charged Crystal Mangum with attempted murder in connection with a row she had with her live-in boyfriend. According to the victim, she trashed his car then set fire to a pile of his clothes. At the time of the fire, children were in the apartment.

     Just before the trial, the prosecutor replaced the attempted murder charge with felony-arson and contributing to the abuse of minors. In December 2010, a jury found Mangum guilty of the child abuse charge after failing to reach a consensus on the felony-arson count. The judge sentenced Mangum to the amount of time she had served in jail awaiting trial.

   A 911 operator in Durham, North Carolina, on April 3, 2011, received an emergency call from the nephew of a 46-year-old man named Reginald Daye. Mr. Daye, another Mangum boyfriend, shared an apartment with her. The 911 caller said, "It's Crystal Mangum. The Crystal Mangum! I told him [Daye] she was trouble from the damn beginning!"

    According to this 911 caller, Mr. Daye needed emergency medical assistance. Crystal Mangum had stabbed him with a kitchen knife.

     Paramedics rushed Reginald Daye to Duke University Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to repair the knife wound. Police officers arrested Mangum that day at a nearby apartment. Charged with assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill, the police booked Mangum into the Durham County Jail. The magistrate set her bond at $300,000.

     Ten days after his surgery Reginald Daye died from the knife attack. The prosecutor immediately upgraded the charge against Mangum to first-degree murder.

     In February 2013, Mangum gained temporary freedom after someone posted her bond. Acting as her own attorney, she claimed she had killed Reginald Daye in self defense.

     By the time the Mangum murder case went to trial on November 11, 2013, the accused had acquired the services of two defense attorneys. Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks, in her opening remarks before the jury, said that the defendant, armed with a kitchen knife, had chased the victim down. Ten days later he died from his wounds.

     According to the defense version of the case, Mangum, to protect herself against an enraged and jealous boyfriend, locked herself in the bathroom. When Daye kicked down the door and started beating her, she used the kitchen knife to "poke him in the side." According to the defense, Daye had died not from the stabbing but from complications arising from his surgery.

     On November 22, 2013, the jury, after a six-hour deliberation, rejected Mangum's version of the events leading up to Reginald Daye's violent death. The panel found the defendant guilty of second-degree murder. The judge sentenced Mangum to a minimum 14 years in prison. At maximum, she could spend 18 years behind bars.

     If Crystal Mangum is released after serving her minimum sentence, she will walk out of prison at age 48. If she conducts herself behind bars like she has lived her life on the outside, she's in for a difficult 14 years.

     

1 comment:

  1. The Crystal Mangum case realizes the worst fears of women who bring sexual assault claims against men in positions of power and privilege... fears that they will not be believed, and fears of retribution by their assailants.

    Although Mangum has always maintained that she was sexually assaulted at the 2006 beer-guzzling/stripper-ogling party hosted by the Duke Lacrosse team, the media, without proof, declared as fact that Mangum lied about being sexually assaulted... based soley on A.G. Roy Cooper's promulgation of April 11, 2007 that the three Duke Lacrosse defendants were innocent. The media has presented no proof to support that Mangum lied.

    Retaliation by the powers-that-be had to settle for the 18-year maximum sentence on the second degree murder conviction rather than the life-sentence sought for the first degree murder indictment. Fact is that the charges against Mangum were trumped up and without substantiation. The stab wound Mangum inflicted was nonfatal and successfully treated by Duke University Hospital trauma surgeons. There was no complications from the surgery or the knife wound which had a postoperative prognosis for a complete recovery.

    Reginald Daye's death was due to an errant esophageal intubation while treating his delirium tremens... which led to his brain-death. After a week, Daye was electively removed from life-support and he died.

    Not only that, but Durham Police Officer Marianne Bond gave perjured testimony before the grand jury while NC Medical Examiner Dr. Clay Nichols gave perjured testimony at trial, in addition to producing a fraudulent autopsy report containing fabricated findings and containing no medical nexus between the stab wound and Daye's brain death or actual death.

    Mangum was assured that she would not be acquitted when her turncoat defense attorney Daniel Meier allowed three jurors to be seated with close ties to Duke University and its hospital... two as employees, and the third a wife of a surgeon at the very hospital where the medical malpractice had been committed in Daye's death.

    The mainstream media has been aware of the truths of Mangum's case, in large measure because I have informed them. I know the truths of her case because Crystal Mangum gave me a copy of the prosecution discovery which contained Daye's medical and hospital records. Even the talk shows and news programs have mistreated Mangum by leaving her out of the conversation regarding the Duke Lacrosse case. The politics of the case are too overwhelming.

    Mangum should be lauded for breaking the silence long before Time Magazine decided upon its 2017 Person of the Year. Also, Mike Nifong should be recognized for his courageous stand to challenge the tolerated environment of male privilege to sexually abuse/assault/harass females with impunity. Instead, the mainstream media vilified both Mangum and Nifong and suppressed from the public the truths of the case which would have exonerated them.

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