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Jury finds former Duke lacrosse accuser guilty in domestic dispute

Posted December 17, 2010

— A jury on Friday convicted Crystal Mangum, the Durham woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape in 2006, on most charges related to a February domestic dispute.

Meanwhile, Superior Court Judge Abraham Jones declared a mistrial on an arson charge against Mangum – the most serious charge she faced – when jurors deadlocked and said they couldn't reach a unanimous verdict after hours of deliberations.

The jury foreperson, Shauna Mitchell, said the jury was split 9-3 not guilty on the arson charge. Mitchell said she thought the charges were excessive given the evidence.

Mangum was found guilty of three counts of child abuse, injury to personal property and resisting a public officer. Jones sentenced her to 88 days in jail, which she has already served while awaiting trial.

"I'm the only parent my children have ever known," she told the judge before sentencing, asking that she be able to see the children while prosecutors decide whether to retry the arson case.

The charges stemmed from a Feb. 18 incident in which police said she assaulted her boyfriend, Milton Walker, threatened to stab him and set some of his clothes on fire.

Mangum maintained that the pair had an argument and that he hit her, prompting one of her three children to call 911. In September, Walker backed up her story, saying he was responsible for the burned clothes and damage to their home, but he wasn't called as a witness during the trial.

Mangum declined to comment after the case.

As the jury deliberated and asked questions about the law, someone in the courtroom muttered "this is ridiculous," prompting Jones to hold an impromptu contempt hearing.

Deputies in the courtroom fingered Jackie Wagstaff for the statement. She is a former member of the Durham County Board of Education and the Durham City Council, and she is a Mangum supporter.

Deputies said Wagstaff and other Mangum supporters were disruptive throughout the two-week trial.

Although Wagstaff told Jones that her comment wasn't directed at Jones or the courtroom proceedings and apologized for any misunderstanding, Jones found her in contempt. He ordered her jailed for 10 days and fined her $200.

11 Comments

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  • dmccall Dec 17, 7:06 p.m.

    She's probably complaining that the trial "wasn't fair" and that there was "bias" that gave her "no chance of winning the case".

  • RB-1 Dec 17, 6:59 p.m.

    "I'm the only parent my children have ever known," she told the judge before sentencing, asking that she be able to see the children while prosecutors decide whether to retry the arson case."

    Then she needs to consider them before she behaves badly.

    88 days for child abuse and endangerment is a joke. Her bad behavior affected THREE children who will probably grow up to be just like her.

    So we'll be seeing that name in the news again one day, if not sooner.

  • ccacrabbitdog Dec 17, 6:42 p.m.

    i bet wagstaff doesn't think it is ridiculous now.....just saying

  • Vietnam Vet Dec 17, 6:33 p.m.

    'Bout time she is held accountable for her actions, however I feel that an 88 day sentence is not appropriate in this case. Three counts of child abuse should garner a much longer sentence with mandatory jail time!

  • itsmyownopinion Dec 17, 6:15 p.m.

    That young woman has cost the state quite a bit, but you're willing to give her a pass.

  • Keyboard Toughy Dec 17, 6:06 p.m.

    I would think that one count of child abuse would constitute more than 88 days. In NC one misdemeanor charge can result in a maximum 2 year sentencing. I'm not saying she should have been sentanced to 10 years, but 88 days already served... Judge Abraham just assured further abuse/neglect on those poor children.

  • boogerntcsmom Dec 17, 6:04 p.m.

    Why do we even care about this case? The woman was found to have falsely accusing the Lacrosse players but that has no bearing on this case. There must have been enough evidence for the jury to find her guilty on the charges with the exception of the arson. Let's move on. Hopefully she will get the help she needs so that she can move forward with her children in a more positive way. I can only pray that they all learn something from all of this.

  • rdmcswai Dec 17, 5:55 p.m.

    I feel so much pity for her three children.

  • OpenM1nd Dec 17, 5:49 p.m.

    "He ordered her jailed for 10 days and fined her $200."

    That's a bit harsh for telling his honor the truth!

  • joycie58 Dec 17, 5:44 p.m.

    when are you people going to be satisfied when harrassing that young lady and it all stems from the false accusations she made about those Duke Lacrosse players.If you could count the times a female has made false rape allegations against any male (black or white)and that person was not pinpointed to be picked on everytime he or she threw a punch at their significant other
    or jaywalked.Give the young lady a break,she's had her 5 years of fame.It's over now -let her get on with the rest of her life....

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