Crystal Mangum says she met the man she is charged with murdering when she stepped out of the shower at a friends house, where she was living.
Reginald Daye was painting a room in the house, she says. He saw me ... going into that one little room I was living in with all of the boxes stacked up to the ceiling, Mangum said in an interview Monday at the Durham County jail. He was like Sweetheart, is this where you live?
About a month later, Mangum moved in with Daye. About four months later, she was charged with killing him.
Now Mangum, the accuser in the dropped Duke Lacrosse case, is returning to a national spotlight.
In June, Mangum, 33, was interviewed for Wives with Knives, a new television series set to premiere Nov. 23 on Investigation Discovery, part of the Discovery Communications family of television networks.
Wives with Knives profiles women who are pushed to the brink, and their only response is an act of violence, according to information provided by network representative Debbie Gottschalk.
Mangum and her supporters say she stabbed Daye, 46, in self-defense but that she is being persecuted because she accused three members of the Duke University lacrosse team of sexually assaulting her six years ago while she was working as a stripper at a bachelor party.
I feel like assumptions are being made just because I am involved, Mangum said.
Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed the rape charges against the three players and said they were innocent.
Members of Dayes family and Durham Assistant District Attorney Charlene Coggins-Franks declined to comment on the pending murder case.
In December 2010, a judge sentenced Mangum to 88 days in jail, time she had already served, when a jury found her guilty of three misdemeanor charges.
Mangum and her three children moved in with the friend, but the home got crowded as others moved in, she said.
Mangum said she responded to Dayes question with, Where do you live?
Daye told her he had a two-bedroom apartment.
I am like, OK, do you need a roommate? she said. But I am just joking.
Daye later said he needed a roommate because he was behind on his bills. Mangum, who didnt have a job, and her three children moved in with him in February 2011. She paid for two months rent, she said.
I have some male friends that were helping me out, Mangum said.
At first just friends, Mangum and Daye started sleeping together two weeks into the arrangement, she said.
Mangum said Daye cooked, kept the house neat and rubbed her feet.
Honestly, it was the best relationship I had ever been in, she said.
Daye, however, was overprotective, she said, and started keeping tabs on her and asked her not to see her male friends.
The couple attended a family birthday party April 2, 2011, where Mangum was to meet Dayes family for the first time.
Mangum said she had two Jell-O shots and a shot of vodka, but Daye had a lot more to drink.
After the party, Dayes cousin dropped them off near their apartment, and they got in a fight after Mangum started talking to a police officer parked near their unit on an unrelated call.
In February 2010, police accused Mangum of slashing the vehicle tires of her then-boyfriend, Milton Walker, smashing the windshield with a vacuum cleaner and setting fire to a pile of his clothes in a bathtub while the police and her three children were in her apartment.
Mangum was convicted of child abuse, vandalism and resisting an officer (all misdemeanors), but not the more severe felony arson charge.
Mangum said Walker, her high school sweetheart, had started hitting her during an argument. She chased him out of the apartment with a step-ladder, she said, and was so angry she put his clothes in the bathtub and lit them on fire. She planned to put the fire out, she said, but the police arrived and handcuffed her. Mangum said Walker damaged his own car.
Walker, who didnt testify in the trial, said Mangum damaged his car after she chased him with a knife and he left the apartment.
She doesnt use common sense too well, Walker said. Other than that, she is a good person. I dont think she means to harm anybody.
I grabbed a knife
When Daye got upset with Mangum in front of their unit after the April 2011 party, the officer told the couple to take it inside, Mangum said.
Inside, Daye started yelling at her and punching her, asking if shed had sex with the officer, Mangum said.
Mangum locked herself in the bathroom, she said, but Daye knocked the door down and pulled her by the hair to the bedroom, she said. He threw kitchen knives at her, she said, and eventually started choking her.
I felt like I was going to pass out, so I grabbed the knife and stabbed him with it, she said.
Daye sat down beside her and said, You [expletive], Mangum said.
Mangum ran to the apartment of a friend, who was watching her three children. Daye was taken to Duke University Hospital, where he died 10 days later. Mangum was taken to jail.
Sidney Harr, a Mangum supporter and a retired physician, contends Daye did not die from complications from the stab wound, as listed in autopsy report but from a mistake made by Duke staff. Medical Examiner Clay Nichols said he stands by his report.
Mangums defense attorney could be building a case on that theory; a judge approved, in June, funding for expert witness Dr. Christena L. Roberts, a former assistant chief medical examiner in Roanoke, Va.