Crystal Mangum makes her case for malicious prosecution
Crystal Gail Mangum walked into the Durham County courtroom wearing a dark sweater, skirt and handcuffs and shackles.
“I shouldn’t be here today filing for summary judgment or the malicious prosecution complaint because the charge should have never reached the jury for deliberation,” Mangum told Superior Court Judge Carolyn J. Thompson.
Mangum, 40, who is representing herself, has filed various motions in Durham County Civil Court. She alleges malicious prosecution by the Police Department, Officer Marianne Bond and the District Attorney’s Office related to a 2013 second-degree murder conviction of her then roommate, with whom she had an romantic relationship.
On Wednesday, her 72-year-old mother along with a half-a-dozen other supporters sat in the courtroom. To her right were attorneys representing the city and the District Attorney’s Office who successfully argued that Mangum’s motions should not only be dismissed, but she should be barred from filing them again with the help of an non-attorney advocate who has been sanctioned by the N.C. State Bar.
Thompson dismissed Mangum’s filings after Kimberly Rehberg, senior assistant city attorney, argued that the three-year statute of limitations had expired, and Kathryn Shields, an assistant attorney general representing the DA’s office, argued that Mangum didn’t properly notify the agency of the lawsuit.
Mangum argued for an exception to the statute of limitations.
“I was under legal counsel for the three-year time frame ... I depended on my attorneys to represent me at that time. they did not. they were not acting in my best interest,” she said.
Mangum gained national attention after she accused a group of Duke University lacrosse players of raping her at a 2006 off-campus team party. Then N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper ultimately dropped all charges against the players and declared them innocent after an investigation by one of his special prosecutors.
District Attorney Mike Nifong was forced to resign and later lost his law license because of his actions in the case.
In an unrelated criminal case, a jury convicted Mangum in November 2013, of murdering Reginald Daye, who died days after she stabbed him on April 3, 2011. Daye told police before he died that Mangum had attacked him. Mangum testified that she stabbed Daye in self-defense.
Mangum was sentenced to 13 to 18 years in prison. She is currently in the Neuse Correction Institution in Goldsboro. Her projected release date is February 2026.
The recent filings contend that Bond intimidated one of the witnesses in her murder trial and raise other concerns, some of which resurrect previous arguments outlined by Mangum and her advocates, including Sidney Harr, a retired physician and a co-founding member of the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong.
In February 2013, a Wake County Superior Court judge issued a permanent injunction against Harr preventing him from engaging in or aiding with “acts and activities constituting the practice of law.”
The injunction came after the N.C. State Bar filed a complaint about Harr preparing or assisting Mangum with legal motions.
Mangum’s recent filings argue that Mangum should have never been charged with two counts of “larceny of chose in action,” a charge that relates to two money orders from Daye that were found in her possession.
Mangum contends Daye gave her the money orders to pay rent. She contends Daye told Bond that he gave her the money orders, but Bond moved forward with seeking the two charges anyway.
Rehberg pointed out that Daye made conflicting statements, saying he gave her the money but also saying she stole money from him.
Mangum was convicted of second-degree murder, but not the larceny of chose in action crimes.
Harr says he is trying to protect Mangum, who still contends she was sexually assaulted at the Duke party, from a corrupt judicial system that is punishing her for accusing three Duke lacrosse players of rape.
The 2018 filings also attempted to connect Mangum’s situation to high-profile accusations of sexual assault and harassment in 2017, including dozens of women’s claims against movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
Harr, who wasn’t able to speak at the hearing, said afterward that he helped Mangum because no one else will and that the work of her past attorneys has resulted in a “miscarriage of justice.”
“I will continue to do whatever I can to help her,” he said.
In 2015, an attorney appealed Mangum’s 2013 conviction, arguing that testimony at her trial about a dispute she and another man had in February 2010 should not have been allowed in the case.
Harr said he and Mangum filed grievances against the attorney who prepared that filing along with others who represented Mangum in the 2011 stabbing case.
The state bar took no action on the grievances, Harr said.