Crystal Mangum murder trial opens with conflict

CorrespondentNovember 14, 2013 

— Crystal Mangum stabbed Reginald Daye after he broke down the bathroom door and dragged her out by her hair, Mangum’s attorney told the jury during his opening statement Thursday.

Attorney Daniel Meier said that’s not Mangum’s story of what happened on April 3, 2010. That’s Daye’s version, and the jurors will hear it during the trial.

Mangum is on trial for murder in the death of her boyfriend, Daye, 46, who died at Duke Hospital on April 13, 2011.

Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks said in her opening statement that Mangum killed Daye.

“You will hear that he had surgery, and 10 days later, from that knife wound and complications from that knife wound, he died,” Franks said.

Daye’s cause of death could become an issue during the trial. Some of Mangum’s supporters claim Daye was recovering from the stab wound but died from a medical mistake at Duke University Hospital.

The opening statements of both attorneys were very short, taking just a few minutes each. Meier emphasized that Mangum acted in self-defense, saying Daye’s own statements will show that.

One of the first witnesses for the state was Daye’s nephew, Carlos Wilson Sr., who testified he lived at the Country Scene apartment complex off East Cornwallis Road in an apartment about 30 feet from Daye’s apartment.

Wilson met Mangum when she moved in with Daye a short time after they met, but he didn’t like her, he said. His uncle and Mangum seemed to get along, often cuddling, flirting and joking together, Wilson testified.

Wilson testified that about 2:30 or 3 a.m., on the morning of April 3, 2011, he was sleeping when he heard a knock on his door, looked out the peephole and saw his uncle standing there without a shirt or shoes.

When he opened the door, he saw Daye was bleeding from stab wounds on his back and one deeper and longer wound along his rib cage.

“He said, ‘Crystal stabbed me,’” Wilson said.

Daye was on his feet, excited, panicked and in pain, Wilson said.

Wilson said he called 911 and put pressure on the wound until paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital.

Other witnesses, however, including police officers who came to the scene, testified that Daye had walked away from Wilson’s apartment and returned to his own apartment. They found him in his own apartment standing in the bedroom.

When they entered the apartment, they saw a knife stuck into a couch, and the handle of another knife that had been broken off was on the couch. Broken glass was on the living room floor, they said.

One officer testified he saw that the bathroom door had been broken down.

Mangum had left the scene, and officers testified they found her lying on the living room floor of her aunt’s apartment, a short distance away.

One officer testified she appeared to be intoxicated. They handcuffed her and took her to police headquarters, where she tried to wriggle out of her handcuffs, one officer said.

A 911 dispatcher also was called to the stand, and he played several 911 calls that came in that night, with the first one coming from Wilson, who reported that Crystal Mangum had stabbed his uncle.

“The Crystal Mangum?” the dispatcher asked.

“The Crystal Mangum,” Wilson replied.

Another call sounded like a woman, who said her boyfriend had been beating her up and that she stabbed him. The woman sounded upset and then hung up.

Another 911 call was from a child, reported to be Mangum’s son, who told the dispatcher, “My mom was trying to defend herself, and she stabbed him. Can you please hurry up and get here?”

Jury selection and testimony appears to be moving along more quickly than anticipated, and on Thursday, court adjourned early for the day because Franks did not have any more witnesses lined up to testify in the afternoon.


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