Crystal Mangum wants to keep Duke lacrosse case out of murder trial

CorrespondentNovember 6, 2013 

— Crystal Mangum doesn’t want jurors in her murder trial to know about her involvement in the Duke lacrosse case or accusations she previously threatened to kill a boyfriend with a knife.

Mangum’s attorney, Daniel Meier, filed several motions asking Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway to limit discussion about her past when her trial begins next week. Mangum is charged with murder in the death of her live-in boyfriend, Reginald Daye, 46.

Mangum stabbed Daye at his apartment April 3, 2011, according to police. He died at Duke Hospital on April 13, 2011.

Some of the pre-trial motions Meier filed on Mangum’s behalf involved her notoriety from the Duke lacrosse case, in which she accused members of the Duke lacrosse team of raping her at a party in 2006 after they had hired her to perform as a stripper. After an investigation into the allegations, the charges against the players were dropped, and the North Carolina attorney general declared the Duke lacrosse players innocent.

In the motions, Meier wanted to make sure potential jurors were not influenced or educated during the jury selection process about Mangum’s history in the case.

“She’s fairly unique in that the attorney general of the state has publicly called her noncredible, called her a liar,” Meier said.

Ridgeway, Meier and Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks agreed to put together a short paper questionnaire to give to potential jurors asking them whether they had seen, heard or read or had personal knowledge about the Duke lacrosse case or about Mangum’s role in it.

Ridgeway said those who answer yes can be questioned further, while most of the other potential jurors are waiting in the jury lounge. That would prevent the other members of the jury pool from being influenced by what they hear during jury selection.

Meier also wanted to limit prosecutors from bringing up the Duke lacrosse case during the presentation of evidence, and Franks said she did not plan to question witnesses or present evidence about the case unless the defense opens the door by bringing it up or talking about Mangum’s credibility.

Fire in bathtub

Meier also filed a motion to keep witnesses from testifying about an incident in 2010 in which Mangum threw her then-boyfriend’s clothes in the bathtub and set them on fire while her children and two police officers were in the home.

She was charged with arson and other lesser crimes, but a jury could not reach a verdict on the arson charge, which was the most serious of the charges. It did, however, find her guilty of some of the lesser charges associated with the case.

Franks said she does plan to introduce evidence from that incident during the murder trial.

“She came running down the hallway screaming, ‘I’m going to stab you! I’m going to kill you!’” Franks said. “She practically bulldozed an officer and had to be taken down.”

What happened in that case is substantially similar to the Daye case, Franks said.

Ridgeway said he will consider it during the trial and asked Franks to alert him so it can be discussed first outside the jury’s presence.

Meier also made a motion for the jury to see the inside of the apartment where Daye was stabbed.

Meier claimed Daye kept Mangum from leaving the apartment that night, and when she went into the bathroom to get away from him, he kicked the door in and dragged her out by the hair.

Jurors might wonder why she didn’t just run out of the apartment, he said.

“We think the jury needs to see how cramped this apartment was,” Meier said.

Franks objected, saying the apartment complex has been sold and someone else is living in the apartment now. Sketches and photographs of the scene are sufficient, she said.

Ridgeway denied that motion but told Meier he could bring it up again during the trial if he believes the photos and sketches are insufficient.

Jury selection is slated to begin Tuesday and is expected to take a couple of weeks.

Velliquette: bavelliquette@gmail.com

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