Mangum murder trial still set to begin Tuesday

Nov. 07, 2013 @ 06:49 PM

The attorney for Crystal Mangum said her murder trial is still set to begin Tuesday following a closed-door meeting Thursday with the judge and prosecutor.

Published reports said attorney Daniel Meier planned to file a motion to delay the trial so the defense can challenge the medical examiner's report in the 2011 stabbing death of Mangum’s boyfriend, Reginald Daye.

“We're full steam ahead and set to start picking a jury Tuesday morning,” Meier said after the meeting at the Durham County Courthouse. “It's not that we want to delay it, but we want to fully explore and investigate issues that may be there, to make sure that Ms. Mangum gets a fair trial.”

One issue concerns Dr. Clay Nichols, the state's deputy chief medical examiner, who did the autopsy on Daye and is expected to testify. The State Bureau of Investigation has opened a review of Nichols related to work he did on another case.

“We're ready to go, but we'll probably still re-address this issue,” Meier said.

He said a motion to delay the trial is still possible.

“I haven't ruled that out,” Meier said.

Mangum, 34, is accused of stabbing Daye with a kitchen knife during an argument at his Durham apartment. Mangum claims self-defense, saying she was a victim of domestic violence.

Mangum falsely accused Duke University lacrosse players of rape in 2006, drawing nationwide publicity.

In a pre-trial hearing Wednesday, Judge Paul Ridgeway asked that a questionnaire be prepared for prospective jurors asking if they've heard of the lacrosse case, and if so, whether they could serve impartially.