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Opinions on Duke lacrosse case affect jury selection in Durham trial

Posted November 12, 2013
Updated November 13, 2013

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— Jury selection began Tuesday in the murder trial of Crystal Mangum, who is charged in the April 2011 death of her 46-year-old boyfriend. 

According to investigators, Mangum stabbed Reginald Daye with a kitchen knife during an argument at his Durham apartment. He died several days later.

Mangum claims she stabbed Daye in self defense and alleges it was a case of domestic violence. The couple had been dating for about a month at the time of his death.

Defense attorney Daniel Meier asked that the trial be delayed until a state investigation into former deputy chief medical examiner Dr. Clay Nichols is completed, but Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway denied the motion.

Nichols, who performed the autopsy on Daye, was fired last week amid a State Bureau of Investigation review of his work. Authorities received a tip in September that Nichols mishandled evidence in another 2011 autopsy.

"The subject matter of that investigation does not relate in anyway to this case," Ridgeway said. "I've requested both the SBI agent and the (Orange County) district attorney provide me with any updates that their opinion in that changes."

Mangum made national headlines in March 2006 when she claimed that three players on the Duke University 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 Attorney General Roy Cooper later declared the players innocent, saying there was no credible evidence against them.

Crystal Mangum in court Some excused from jury because of Duke lacrosse case opinions

Ridgeway included questions about the 2006 allegations in a questionnaire for potential jurors to determine whether they have been exposed to the Duke lacrosse case and whether they could put aside any personal opinions about Mangum to weigh the evidence in the murder trial fairly.

Seven jurors were seated Tuesday, but more than twice as many, 15, were excused from the jury pool after saying that their opinions about Mangum and the Duke lacrosse case would prevent them from giving her a fair trial.

Irving Joyner, a law professor at North Carolina Central University, said he doubts Mangum will get a fair trial, but he said it all comes down to who is picked for the jury.

"It's going to be impossible, I think, to have a jury where people don't know her or know anything about her," Joyner said. "(They need) someone who is able to put that aside and look at the evidence that's presented and weigh it out."

During the trial, prosecutors will be prohibited from mentioning the Duke lacrosse case, with the possible exception of challenging Mangum's credibility as a witness, Ridgeway has ruled.

57 Comments

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  • westernwake1 Nov 13, 2013

    "I hope those Duke Lacrosse players take a front row seat for at least a couple of hours during Mangum's trial just to rub a little salt into the wound."

    She probably wouldn't recognize them over 7 years later since she couldn't even identify them the next day.

    kikinc

    'Excellent Point!!!'

    They could all wear Duke sweatshirts with large letters... DUKE

  • ConservativeVoter Nov 13, 2013

    This trial will be Karma for Crystal Mangum.

    She's going to get hers.

  • Ex-Republican Nov 13, 2013

    "I hope those Duke Lacrosse players take a front row seat for at least a couple of hours during Mangum's trial just to rub a little salt into the wound."

    She probably wouldn't recognize them over 7 years later since she couldn't even identify them the next day.

    kikinc

    Excellent Point!!!

  • westernwake1 Nov 13, 2013

    How about they put all the Duke players that Mangum falsely accused on the jury - then we will see justice.

  • Justic4All Nov 13, 2013

    bill0 and sandim50 - while what both of you say is true a great lawyer will create doubt regarding the ability to keep an open mind.

    As far as I am concerned, I don't want to hear about it on the evening news for months. The DA should allow the venue of this circus to be moved far far away. Please have mercy on the RDU area and not make us live through another 3 ring trial circus! She is just another woman who thinks she can away with murder. This entire ordeal has nothing to do with Duke. It bears no interest to any intelligent person. PLEASE spare us!!!

  • sandim50 Nov 13, 2013

    billo......great comment! I feel that I can be objective in this case, even though the media shoved it down our throats. From the time of the original charge, until AG Cooper made his decision.
    I would be sitting in judgement of this case only. The 2/sides would have to convince me based upon the evidence or lack of evidence guilty or not guilty. I am not a robot. I am intelligent, and I can make my mind up on this case only.

  • bill0 Nov 13, 2013

    "I think they're going to have a hard time finding an objective jury - and what spider holes will they have to look in to find people who have never heard of her and the Duke case? '

    All a juror has to do is keep an open mind about the current charges. Sure, everyone knows she lied in the previous trial and has all sorts of other issues, but that doesn't mean she couldn't be a victim of domestic violence. In fact, crazy people often invite other crazy people into their lives. I mean, this guy was pretty nutty too. He knew all about her past and still wanted to get involved with her. It certainly wouldn't be the first time a relationship between 2 disfunctional people turned violent.

  • Justic4All Nov 13, 2013

    seankelly age 15 - if she were a real Pro she would have handled the crowd and not been locked in a bathroom and then screaming rape.

    Grow up.

  • kikinc Nov 13, 2013

    "I hope those Duke Lacrosse players take a front row seat for at least a couple of hours during Mangum's trial just to rub a little salt into the wound."

    She probably wouldn't recognize them over 7 years later since she couldn't even identify them the next day.

  • seankelly15 Nov 13, 2013

    Justic4All - " It's obvious what they wanted from the woman they hired to attend their testosterone fueled party. They should have hired and paid an accommodating professional instead of where ever they found this woman."

    Are you really that ignorant? She WAS A PRO; do you think that it was her pastor who drove her to the party?

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