Families of accused killer, victim scuffle at Durham courthouse
Posted July 19, 2011 12:13 p.m. EDT
Updated July 27, 2011 10:37 a.m. EDT
Durham, N.C. — The family of a Durham man charged with killing his wife late Sunday and her family scuffled outside a Durham courtroom Tuesday morning.
Kenya Domon Mangum, 29, was indicted Monday on a murder charge in the stabbing death of Amanda Mangum, 23.
Police said Kenya Mangum attacked his wife in the parking lot of a KFC/Taco Bell at 1804 S. Miami Blvd. late Sunday and then drove off in a van with three of the couple's four children, ages 8, 4 and 2.
"We tried to tell her to get away, but it's easier said than done when you are a woman in fear with four children. It's hard," said Wendy Rigsbee, who lives with Amanda Mangum's brother, Robert Magruder.
Magruder said the family knew his sister was having problems with Kenya Mangum but didn't know the extent of the alleged abuse until after her death.
"All of her friends tried to get her to go to a women's shelter, but she wouldn't go," he said.
Amanda Mangum began dating Kenya Mangum when she was 13, her family said. She took out a restraining order against him in December 2007, but it expired after a year, according to Durham County court records.
Upon hearing her family discuss abuse allegations Tuesday morning, Kenya Mangum's relatives became upset, and a confrontation occurred in the Durham County Courthouse.
"Y'all are wrong," one man shouted at Amanda Mangum's family as deputies moved in to separate the two sides.
Rigsbee said Amanda Mangum showed up to her home on Sunday.
"She wanted a ride to go get the kids. The cops were there," Rigsbee said.
Amanda Mangum then went to a friend's house, and Kenya Mangum showed up at Rigsbee's home a short time later looking for his wife, Rigsbee said.
Neighbors said that they heard the couple arguing Sunday night and saw Amanda Mangum leaving the house at 1820 S. Miami Blvd. Her husband followed her in their van with the children inside, the neighbors said.
They said they were unsure what the argument was about but noted that Amanda Mangum was holding an envelope and asked Kenya Mangum to give her the van so she could take the children somewhere.
The Durham County Sheriff's Office was called to the Mangum home at about 8 p.m. Sunday, but no one was home when a deputy arrived. The deputy then saw a woman later identified as Amanda Mangum walking along U.S. Highway 70, and he stopped to check on her, authorities said.
The sheriff's office has declined to provide more information about that encounter for fear of jeopardizing the investigation of Amanda Mangum's death.
Police found the couple's children unharmed when they arrested Kenya Mangum, and they have all been put in the custody of family members.