Local News

Slain Durham mom: Husband was 'trying to hurt me'

Posted July 27, 2011 10:36 a.m. EDT
Updated July 27, 2011 4:08 p.m. EDT

— A Durham mother told 911 dispatchers that her husband wanted to hurt her about five hours before she was stabbed to death in a restaurant parking lot, according a call released Wednesday.

Amanda Mangum, 23, called 911 at 5:48 p.m. on July 17 and told a dispatcher with the Durham Police Department that her husband, Kenya Domon Mangum, had threatened her in their 1820 S. Miami Blvd. home.

"My husband, he was trying to hurt me. And my kids," said Amanda Mangum, her voice becoming frantic. (Her voice has been altered in the 911 call.)

"Is anybody injured?" the dispatcher asked.

"Not yet," she said.

The police dispatcher transferred her to a dispatcher for the Durham County Sheriff's Office, which has jurisdiction over the address she gave.

When asked if her husband had any weapons, Amanda Mangum told the Durham County dispatcher that there are knives in the house. She said she had walked away from the house, and Kenya Mangum was following her.

"I'm walking because he's following me. He left the kids by themselves, and he's following me," she said. "Please hurry, and send somebody before he hurts my babies."

The sheriff's office was called to the Mangum home at about 8 p.m., 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.

Kenya Mangum is accused of attacking his wife outside a KFC/Taco Bell at 1804 S. Miami Blvd. around 10:30 p.m., then driving off in a van with three of their four children, ages 8, 4 and 2. Police found the couple's children unharmed when they arrested Kenya Mangum, and they were all put in the custody of their grandmother who lives in Maryland.

Wendy Rigsbee, who lives with Amanda Mangum's brother, Robert Magruder, said that she came to their house with police earlier that day and asked for a ride to get her children. She 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 in the hours before Amanda Mangum's death, and when she left the house, her husband followed her in their van with the children inside.

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.

Amanda Mangum began dating Kenya Mangum when she was 13 and had her first child at age 15, her family said. In December 2007, she took out a restraining order against Kenya Mangum, which expired after a year, according to Durham County court records.

Magruder said said he wishes authorities could have done something more for his sister, since she had called for help. He 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.

"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," Rigsbee said.