Mangum's third attorney withdraws
Crystal Magnum's latest attorney, Scott Holmes, was allowed to withdraw from representing her Friday because of a conflict of interest.
Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway said he will not allow the latest issue involving Magnum's attorneys to delay Magnum's first-degree murder trial scheduled for Nov. 3, except for a constitutional issue.
Holmes was Magnum's third attorney since she was charged with first-degree murder for allegedly stabbing and killing Reginald Daye, 46, at his apartment. Magnum moved in with Daye about a month before the incident on April 3, 2011. Daye died at Duke Hospital on April 13, 2011.
Holmes asked to withdraw because a professor at N.C. Central University, where Holmes recently took a position as an assistant professor, represents someone in an adverse position to Magnum, which creates a conflict of interest.
Assistant District Attorney Charlene Franks told Ridgeway about Magnum's history with her attorneys and how she was essentially allowed to select Holmes as her court-appointed attorney through a series of legal maneuvers.
"Why is Ms. Magnum different than every other defendant in Durham and allowed to pick her attorney?" Franks said.
Franks pointed to members of Daye's family in the gallery and said they have come to court for every issue that Magnum has brought forward. It's gone on long enough, Franks said.
Franks suggested that Ridgeway should appoint Woody Vann, who represented Magnum twice before on the case and who was her standby attorney when she wanted to serve as her own attorney.
Ridgeway said he would recommend that Vann be appointed to represent Magnum but said it would be up to the Capital Defender's Office to make the appointment.
"It's up to them, but they should receive this message loud and clear that this case is scheduled for trial and I intend to try it," Ridgeway said.
Magnum told Ridgeway that she didn't want Vann to be her attorney.
"You have the right to counsel," Ridgeway said. "You do not have the right to choose your counsel. You will be appointed competent counsel."