Local News

Man's death will likely add to Duke lacrosse accuser's charges

Posted April 14, 2011 1:10 p.m. EDT
Updated April 14, 2011 6:29 p.m. EDT

— More charges are likely against the Durham woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape in 2006 after her boyfriend died following a recent stabbing, police said Thursday.

Crystal Mangum, 32, was charged last week with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. Her court-appointed attorney, Woody Vann, said Thursday that she would plead not guilty to the charge.

Reginald Daye, 46, died late Wednesday from injuries he suffered in an April 3 stabbing in his apartment, at 3507 Century Oaks Drive. Police said Daye was stabbed in the torso with a kitchen knife during an argument.

A man who said he was Daye's nephew called 911 to report the stabbing, saying it occurred while Daye and his girlfriend were arguing about rent money.

When asked for a description of the girlfriend, the caller said, "It's Crystal Mangum. THE Crystal Mangum."

He then added, "I told him she was trouble from the beginning."

Daye and Mangum had been dating for about a month, but they weren't a couple, his aunt, Marie Ettson, said Thursday. She described Daye as a gentleman who worked as a painter, enjoyed fishing and believed in second chances.

Ettson said Daye was trying to help Mangum get back on her feet, and she said she is praying for Mangum.

"I hate what she did, but I don't hate her," Ettson said.

Mangum was being held in the Durham County jail on a $300,000 bond.

"(This is) a tragic situation all the way around," said Jackie Wagstaff, a former member of the Durham City Council and the Durham County Board of Education and a long-time supporter of Mangum.

"My heart goes out to the family of (Daye)," Wagstaff said, adding that she worries that Mangum will be tried based on her past. "Her fate has been sealed in the court of public opinion because of Duke lacrosse."

In March 2006, Mangum claimed three white players on the Duke 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 state officials later declared the players innocent, saying there was no credible evidence against them.

"I just want people to wait and don’t jump to any conclusions. There are always two sides to the story,” Vincent Clark, who wrote a book with Mangum about her experience in the lacrosse case, said Thursday after hearing of Daye's death.

In February 2010, police arrested Mangum after an altercation between her and a different boyfriend. In that incident, she was accused of assaulting the man in front of her children and setting some of his clothes on fire.

She was convicted in December of child abuse, injury to personal property and resisting a public officer in the case, but prosecutors dismissed an arson charge after a jury couldn't reach a verdict.

Jury forewoman Shauna Mitchell said Thursday that she and her fellow jurors followed the law in determining there wasn't enough evidence to convict Mangum of arson, which was the most serious charge in the case.

"I think that it’s very unfortunate that it happened," Mitchell said of Daye's death. "It still doesn’t change the verdict we came up with."