DURHAM — Durham police have charged Crystal Gail Mangum, 31, with attempting to kill her boyfriend early this morning. Mangum is the woman who wrongly accused three Duke lacrosse players of rape in 2006.
A judge this morning ordered that she remain in jail on a $1 million bond. Wearing a white jail jumpsuit, Mangum kept her head down during her court appearance today and said nothing as the charges from this mornings incident were read.
According to authorities, Mangum, 31, and her boyfriend, Milton Walker, were fighting in their apartment at 2220 Lincoln St. She then set fire to Walkers clothing inside a bathtub, located in a bathroom in the middle of the apartment, police said. She tried to start another fire after officers arrived, according to an arrest warrant read during her court appearance.
Police said Mangum also threatened to stab Walker.
Walker, as well as Mangums three children, ages 10, 9 and 3, were not injured.
Police charged Mangum with attempted first-degree murder; five counts of arson; simple assault; identity theft for providing a false name to police after she was arrested; communicating threats; damage to property; resisting, delay and obstruction; and three counts of child endangerment.
In March 2006, Mangum accused three men of sexually assaulting her at a Duke lacrosse party. State Attorney General Roy Cooper said in April 2007 that there was no evidence of an assault of any kind at the party and dismissed the case against the lacrosse players. A few months later, Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong resigned after the State Bar charged him with 20 ethics violations.
The Durham police and fire departments have given several different times when today's incident occurred. A Durham police spokesman said it occurred at 11:55 p.m., and according to jail records, Mangum was brought in at 4:52 a.m. But police said in a news release earlier today that the incident occurred at 12:55 p.m. on Wednesday, while the fire department wrote in a news release that they responded to the call this morning at 4:56 a.m.
In a news release from Durham police sent this morning, the attempted murder charge was not listed. But the Durham County Sheriff's Office Web site lists it as one of the charges against Mangum.
Mangums next scheduled court appearance is Feb. 22. She was ordered to stay away from Walker and her three children.