Crystal Mangum wants to represent herself on murder charge

CorrespondentOctober 8, 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 — cliddy@newsobserver.com

— Crystal Mangum wants to represent herself on a 2011 charge that she murdered her boyfriend, according to documents and interviews.

Mangum attorney Woody Vann said he plans to file a motion to withdraw from the case after his client sent him a notice indicating that she wants to represent herself.

“It is never good for someone to represent themselves,” Vann said. “I hope that is something she will quickly realize, and if not me, get another attorney to take on her matter.”

Mangum, 34, is charged with murdering Reginald Daye, 46, who died at Duke University Hospital 10 days after Mangum stabbed him in April 2011. Mangum contends she stabbed Daye in self-defense.

Mangum gained national notoriety after accusing three Duke lacrosse players of rape in 2006. The charges were discredited in a high-profile saga that cost then Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong his law career.

Mangum advocate Sidney Harr said he thinks Mangum representing herself is a “wonderful idea.” Harr, who has received two letters from the N.C. State Bar warning him to refrain from practicing law, said Mangum made the decision to represent herself because Vann wouldn’t share documents with her pertaining to her case.

Vann said he doesn’t care what Harr thinks and the media should stop listening to him.

This isn’t the first time that Mangum supporters, who refer to themselves as the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong, have criticized the revolving cast of Mangum attorneys. They also criticized attorneys who represented Mangum on a 2010 arson charge, ON which she was found not guilty, and Chris Shella, who resigned from the murder case in May.

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