Lacrosse accuser deemed competent for murder trial
Posted November 1, 2011
Durham, N.C. — The Durham woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape in 2006 is competent to stand trial for murder, but a judge refused Tuesday to lower her bond before the trial.
Crystal Mangum, 32, is charged in the death of Reginald Daye, who was stabbed with a kitchen knife during an April 3 argument at his Durham apartment, police said.
Mangum's attorneys sought a mental evaluation in September to determine if she is competent to stand trial, and defense attorney Chris Shella said Tuesday that psychiatrists found that she was competent.
Shella asked that Mangum's bond be cut from $200,000 to $50,000, noting that her family and friends could put together that much to get her out of jail. Shella said Mangum could remain confined to a friend's home until trial.
Getting Mangum out of jail is the only way for her to see her children, Shella said. A court order in a child custody case ruled that the children couldn't be brought to the Durham County jail.
Prosecutors objected to lowering the bond, saying it was already smaller than those set in manslaughter cases, much less a murder case.
Shella tried to portray Mangum as the victim in the April argument, saying she had bruises when she was arrested. Prosecutors noted that Daye was stabbed in the chest.
Daye, 46, and Mangum had been dating for about a month at the time of his death, but his family members said they weren't a couple. They said Daye was only trying to help Mangum get back on her feet and had provided her a place to stay.
Mangum's bond was cut in June from $500,000 to $200,000, and Superior Court Judge Carl Fox said he was concerned that the bond is now low for a murder charge. So, he declined to reduce it further.
No trial date has been set, but Fox said the bond issue should be revisited in January.
In March 2006, Mangum claimed three white players on the Duke lacrosse team trapped her inside a bathroom at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., where she was performing as a stripper at a team party, and raped and sexually assaulted her.
Her story about the incident was so inconsistent that state officials later declared the players innocent, saying there was no credible evidence against them.
Last December, she was convicted on several charges stemming from a domestic dispute with a former boyfriend.