Mangum's fate in jury's hands
Jurors deliberated for more than three hours Thursday afternoon without reaching a verdict in a Durham murder trial that has attracted nationwide attention because of the defendant's notorious history.Posted — Updated
Crystal Mangum, 34, is charged with murder in the April 3, 2011, stabbing of Reginald Daye. She has claimed she was defending herself from domestic violence. Daye, 46, died 10 days later of complications at Duke University Hospital.
Deliberations are set to resume Friday morning.
Mangum made national headlines in March 2006 when she claimed that three players on the Duke University lacrosse team trapped her inside a bathroom when 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.
The Duke case was barely mentioned during the trial. Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway prohibited prosecutors from mentioning the case, aside from trying to impeach Mangum's credibility, but Durham County Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks made only a passing reference to the case during her cross-examination of Mangum on Wednesday.
Mangum tearfully described how Daye flew into a jealous rage when she started talking to a police officer she knew as the couple returned to their Durham apartment after a party.
She said he cursed her, hit her and choked her, then kicked open a bathroom door as she tried to hide and dragged her out by her hair.
"I tried to push him off, but he was too strong," she testified. "I grabbed a knife and poked him in the side.
"I was just trying to survive. I felt like Reginald was trying to kill me."
A police investigator who interviewed Daye in the hospital before he died testified Tuesday that he told her he had ordered Mangum out of the apartment because he was tired of her bringing other men over. He acknowledged kicking open the bathroom door and dragging her by her hair, but he said he was was trying to get away from her during the argument when she stabbed him.
Defense attorney Daniel Meier noted during his closing argument Thursday that Mangum had a history of abusive relationships, and there was no disagreement that Daye kicked the bathroom door and dragged her by her hair that night.
"For us, this case is about Crystal Mangum and the evening of April 3. For the state, this case is about THE Crystal Mangum and everything that comes along with that," Meier told the seven-man, five-woman jury.
Franks countered by telling jurors that Mangum was the abuser in the relationship with Daye, much like she had threatened a previous boyfriend with a knife 14 months before Daye was killed.
"The defendant is a killer," Franks said. "You've got to look at all of her conduct as a whole."
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