Mangum convicted of murder

Sentenced to 14-18 years in prison
Nov. 22, 2013 @ 06:37 PM

Crystal Mangum was convicted Friday of second-degree murder in the death of boyfriend Reginald Daye and sentenced to 14-18 years in prison.

After the verdict, members of Daye’s family wept, but most said they were satisfied.

Mangum was charged with first-degree murder in the April 2011 stabbing death of Daye, and could have drawn a life sentence if convicted of that charge.

The jury of five women and seven men also could have convicted her of manslaughter.

Security was heavy as the verdict was read about 12:30 p.m. to a packed, hushed courtroom.

Durham County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway sentenced Mangum about 15 minutes later.

Mangum's attorney, Daniel Meier, said an appeal was filed Friday.

“That's the jury's vote,” Meier said. “At least it wasn’t first-degree. I still thought it was self-defense or, in the worst case, manslaughter. But the jury must have found malice.”

Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks said the prosecution was satisfied with the verdict.

“It's up to the jury, and we're satisfied with what the jury did,” she said. “They felt that justice was required in this case.”

Daye’s family from Durham, Winston-Salem and Philadelphia showed up every day for the two-week trial, sitting quietly in two front rows.

His cousin, Ashley Evans, struggled to compose herself as she recalled how much Daye had meant to her.

When the verdict came in, she said, “I felt like we buried Reggie all over again. I’m glad that justice was served.”

Evans said Daye “never met a stranger and helped everybody. When he saw a child who was without, his main focus was to make sure he gave them something.”

Daye’s older sister, Cynthia Wilson, said her brother “loved people.”

“He was an outgoing person,” she said. “He loved to fish, and would fish at nighttime or five in the morning. And he loved his Budweiser.”

Wilson said Daye was a painter on the maintenance crew at N.C. Central University and “a hard worker.”

She said Friday's verdict, though not a first-degree murder conviction, has given the family a measure of peace.

“We’re just glad justice was served for Reginald and his family and friends,” she said. “I believe in the justice system and in God. He made a way for [Mangum] to get some time. We can't always get what we want, but we got some justice. Now, there is some peace for our family and for Reginald.”

Mangum drew national headlines in 2006 when she falsely accused three members of the Duke University lacrosse team of raping her at a party near East Campus.

Four years later, she was in court on an arson charge, accused of setting fire to her boyfriend’s clothes in a bathtub. A jury deadlocked on the arson charge, but convicted her of related misdemeanors.

At the murder trial, Mangum claimed self-defense, testifying she stabbed Daye as he held her down and choked her on their apartment floor.

But Daye, who died 10 days after the April 3, 2011, stabbing, was interviewed by police at Duke University Hospital, and said Mangum stabbed him as he tried to leave their apartment after an argument.

The jury found Mangum not guilty Friday on two related larceny charges. She was accused of stealing two cashier’s rent checks from Daye totaling $700.