Local News

Mangum victim told police he was trying to escape when stabbed

Posted November 19, 2013 10:20 a.m. EST
Updated November 19, 2013 5:23 p.m. EST

— Before he died two years ago, a Durham man told police that he was trying to leave the apartment he shared with Crystal Mangum following an argument when she stabbed him, an investigator said Tuesday.

Mangum, 34, is charged with murder in the April 3, 2011, stabbing of Reginald Daye. He died 10 days later of complications at Duke University Hospital.

She maintains the stabbing was a case of self-defense.

Prosecutors wrapped up their case Tuesday afternoon. Defense attorney Daniel Meier said he plans to present some evidence, starting Wednesday morning, but no decision was announced as to whether Mangum will testify.

Jurors spent much of Tuesday watching a police video of Mangum after her arrest in the stabbing and examining the evidence presented by prosecutors over four days of testimony.

Lt. Marianne Bond, a domestic violence investigator for the Durham Police Department, testified that she interviewed Daye twice in the hospital in the days after the stabbing. He had a black eye and several cuts and bruises, she said.

Daye told Bond that he was tired of Mangum bringing other men to the apartment and ordered her to leave, but he demanded that she give him back two money orders he had obtained and given to her to hold until the rent was due.

"You don't know those men out there," Daye had told Mangum, according to Bond.

Bond said he acknowledged that he kicked open a bathroom door when she locked herself inside and pulled her out by her hair.

"Was she scared?" Bond asked him.

"A little, but not really," Daye replied.

He told Bond that he never hit Mangum and then let her go when she demanded, "Turn me loose."

The argument continued, but Daye told Bond he decided to head for the door when it appeared Mangum was searching for a knife in the kitchen. He said he was trying to get out when she stabbed him, Bond testified.

"I didn't think she was going to use the knife. She was acting crazy," he told Bond.

Other witnesses have testified to seeing and hearing the couple argue, and police said they found several knives strewn about the apartment, including four where the blades were broken off the handles.

Two money orders, totaling $700 and made out to the apartment complex, were later found in a nearby apartment where police arrested Mangum after the stabbing, Bond said.

Dr. Clayton Nichols, a former deputy chief medical examiner for the state, testified that the stab wound punctured Daye's left lung, his stomach, his left kidney, his spleen and his large intestine. During the autopsy, he said, he found that Daye also had defensive wounds on his left arm.

Meier noted on cross-examination that the hospital records don't show wounds to any organs other than Daye's intestine and that Daye appeared to be recovering in the hospital until his condition suddenly worsened after several days.

Daye likely contracted an infection in the hospital, Nichols said. But it was linked to the stab wound, he said, so the stabbing was the cause of death.

"As a result of him being stabbed is the reason we have a homicide manner of death as well as the cause of death being listed as complications of a stab wound to the chest," Nichols said.

Nichols was fired two weeks ago amid a State Bureau of Investigation review of his work in two unrelated autopsies. Authorities found no criminal wrongdoing in those cases.

"In general, after the surgical intervention, could he have survived this stab wound but for those complications?" Meier asked him.

"Yes," Nichols replied.

Mangum's supporters have long contended that Daye died as a result of poor care at Duke and not because of the stabbing.

Meier made that argument to Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway late Tuesday in hopes of getting him to dismiss the murder charge, but Ridgeway said it was a matter for the jury to decide.

The judge likewise rejected the defense's attempt to have a larceny charge against Mangum dismissed.

Meier argued that Daye gave Mangum the two money orders, so she couldn't have stolen them. Durham County Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks said Mangum refused to give the money orders back when asked and took them away with her after the stabbing.

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.

Prosecutors have been prohibited from mentioning the Duke lacrosse case during the trial.