Mangum's ex-boyfriend says he set clothes on fire

Staff writerSeptember 27, 2010 

Crystal Gail Mangum confers with her attorney Friday Aug. 27, 2010, during a recess in her hearing for allegedly violating her bond conditions. Mangum is jailed under $150,000 bond after court officials accused her of sharing a home with her children in violation of a pretrial release order. A pretrial services officer testified Thursday that Mangum had received subsidized child care because her three children were in her custody. But bond conditions set in July limited her contact with the children to 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday because they are allegedly her victims.

CHUCK LIDDY - CLIDDY@NEWSOBSERVER.COM — CHUCK LIDDY - cliddy@newsobserver.com

— Crystal Mangum's ex boyfriend went to the Durham County district attorney's office Monday, trying to take responsibility for a February incident that left Mangum charged with arson for allegedly setting a pile of clothes on fire.

Milton Walker, the ex-boyfriend, says he set his own clothes on fire and damaged his own house and vehicle.

"At that time I wasn't on my medication," Walker wrote in a notarized handwritten note. 'The breakup of my relationship aggravated my symptoms and I acted out on the voices I was hearing."

Mangum is charged with arson, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, injury to personal property and resisting an officer. Police say she set Walker's clothes on fire in a bathtub while her children, ages 3, 9 and 11, were present and police officers were in the home responding to a domestic violence call. In 2006 Mangum's accusations of rape caused Duke University lacrosse players to be charged; months later, the charges were dropped.

On Monday Friends of Crystal Mangum spokesman Steven Matherly tried to deliver Walker's note to District Attorney Tracey Cline. But Cline refused it.

"We cannot accept anything in this case," Cline's assistant, Sheila Eason, said. "It needs to go directly to her attorney."

Walker said he had never made such a confession to the Durham police.

"I've talked to the police, but I haven't told them anything about this," he said.

After a brief interview with a reporter, Walker declined to speak anymore at Matherly's advice.

In April, a grand jury found enough evidence to indict Mangum on charges of first-degree arson, three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, injury to personal property and resisting an officer.

Her three children, ex-boyfriend Milton Walker and the officers are named as victims in the case.

jesse.deconto@newsobserver.com or 812-5097

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