Local News

Lawyer: Lacrosse accuser didn't file motions in murder case

Posted April 5, 2012 12:04 p.m. EDT
Updated April 10, 2012 1:35 p.m. EDT

— Three motions in a pending murder case against the Durham woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape in 2006 were filed Thursday without her knowledge or consent, her lawyer said.

Crystal Mangum, 32, is charged in the death of Reginald Daye, 46, who was stabbed with a kitchen knife during an April 3, 2011, argument at his Durham apartment, police said. They had been dating for about a month at the time of his death.

The motions state that Mangum isn't happy with the work of her court-appointed lawyer, Chris Shella, and that she was filing them herself with the assistance of a supporter who isn't an attorney.

A dismissal motion alleges that Mangum was defending herself against a drunken Daye when the stabbing occurred. It also alleges that the stab wound didn't kill Daye, who died more than a week later at Duke University Hospital, suggesting instead that he suffered a heart attack in the hospital and was prematurely pulled off life support.

A second motion asks that Superior Court Judge Osmond Smith remove himself from the case, citing his involvement in the Duke lacrosse case and alleging that his rulings show bias against her.

In March 2006, Mangum claimed three white players on the 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.

A third motion is seeking to move the murder case from Durham County because the extensive coverage of the Duke lacrosse case makes it impossible to find an impartial jury.

Shella said Mangum didn't authorize the motions, and the supporter filed them on his own.

The North Carolina State Bar said its Authorized Practice Committee would look into whether the man overstepped his bounds by filing the motions on Mangum's behalf.

Mangum is being held in the Durham County jail under a $200,000 bond.