Judge denies request to lower Crystal Mangum's bail

CorrespondentSeptember 18, 2012 

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Crystal Gail Mangum appeared at a news conference to promote a book about her life. She continued to say that she was assaulted in March 2006 at a lacrosse team party where she had been hired to dance. "I am still claiming that a sexual assault happened," she said. But she declined to go into detail, and she brushed aside a question about what she would say to the players.STAFF PHOTO BY CHUCK LIDDY/THE NEWS & OBSERVER

CHUCK LIDDY — CHUCK LIDDY

— A judge denied a request to reduce accused murderer Crystal Mangum’s bail from $200,000 to $50,000 Tuesday.

Mangum, a 34-year-old mother of three, has been in jail for 17 months, charged with killing boyfriend Reginald Daye, 46. Police found Daye with a stab wound in the torso April 3, 2011, after a fight in the couple’s apartment.

Mangum, the woman who was at the center of the Duke University lacrosse scandal, was charged with murder after Daye died 10 days later.

Mangum’s attorney Woody Vann argued that his client’s bail was excessive because Mangum, a Durham native, isn’t a flight risk and she was defending herself against an intoxicated Daye.

Vann also said there are questions about whether Daye died as a result of his treatment at Duke Hospital.

“We contend a $50,000 bond is reasonable, is something she can make and allow her to go back to her children,” Vann said.

Assistant District Attorney Charlene Coggins-Franks, however, contended Mangum and Daye argued over two money orders she wouldn’t return to him, and that he eventually asked her to leave.

“When she would not leave, he decided to leave,” Coggins-Franks said. “As he was walking down toward the front door – that is when he gets stabbed by her.”

Coggins-Franks also argued that Mangum’s $200,000 bail is lower than Durham County’s guidelines, which recommend no bail on a murder charge and $600,000 on a second-degree murder charge.

Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan agreed, and noted that Mangum’s bond had already been reduced twice.

Meanwhile, Sidney Harr, a Mangum supporter, will once again be scrutinized by the N.C. State Bar for the unauthorized practice of law.

In July the State Bar’s Authorized Practice Committee asked the retired physician and co-founder of the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong to refrain from drafting legal documents. Harr, who had drafted court filings for Mangum, said at the time he didn’t realize it was inappropriate and that he would stop.

In August, Harr drafted two more motions asking the court to require the district attorney to dismiss the charges again Magnum and order Mangum’s attorney to share evidence with her. The State Bar then sent a second letter to Harr asking about the August filings. The committee plans to discuss the matter Oct. 24, according to David Johnson, deputy counsel for the State Bar.

I a response to the State Bar, Harr said the filings were intended to address concerns he had about attorneys involved in the prosecution of an “innocent mother of three.”

“The consequences of my court filings are inconsequential, as the court will not act on them, but rather simply ignore them,” he wrote. “I recommend you do the same.”

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