Mangum allowed to attend meeting
Crystal Mangum will be allowed to leave the jail to attend a meeting next Monday with attorneys and a doctor who has reviewed the autopsy report of Reginald Daye.
That was the only concession Mangum received during a brief hearing Friday morning in Durham County Criminal Superior Court.
Mangum, who is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Daye, fought to represent herself in the murder case, but it became apparent during the hearing that it is difficult for her to get things done from her jail cell.
Daye died on April 13, 2011, 10 days after Mangum allegedly stabbed him during a fight at his apartment.
Mangum’s supporters have insisted that Daye died from a medical mistake while he was hospitalized, not from the stab wound. Mangum has been seeking a written review about Daye’s autopsy from a doctor that her former attorney, Woody Vann, hired.
Vann initially did not ask for a written report from the doctor because that would have required him to turn it over to prosecutors during the discovery process, but Mangum insists she wants the doctor to produce a written report and send it to her.
At the direction of the judge last week, Vann, who now serves as Mangum’s standby attorney, called the doctor and asked her to send Mangum a written report, but Mangum told the judge she has not received the report.
Vann told the judge that the doctor arranged to meet with the Capital Defender’s Office, which is located just down the street from the courthouse, on Monday to talk to them about what to do because she worries that she may violate medical privacy rules by producing a written report and giving it to Mangum, Vann said.
The meeting was news to Mangum.
“This is my first time hearing about it,” Mangum told Superior Court Judge Michael O’Foghludha.
She then requested to be present at the meeting, and O’Foghludha said she could attend the meeting under the supervision of the Durham County Sheriff’s Office on the condition that only Vann, an attorney from the Capital Defender’s Office, the doctor, Mangum and a deputy attend it.
Mangum had filed a motion that she hoped would be heard Friday. It was to dismiss two charges known by the unusual name of larceny of chose in action, which means to steal, take or carry away any bank note, check or other order of payment that is the property of another person or corporation.
Those charges were filed against Mangum along with the murder charge because she allegedly stole two cashier’s checks from Daye. Her supporters claim Daye gave her the checks to pay the rent and she had them in her purse when she left the apartment after stabbing Daye and that she never tried to cash them.
Mangum’s supporters claim the larceny charge is bogus and was brought because it elevates the charge to first-degree murder under the felony murder rule, which states that a person can be found guilty of first-degree murder if the murder occurred while the person was committing another felony with a weapon.
Although the state is not seeking the death penalty in Mangum’s case, she would be sentenced to life in prison under the felony murder rule if convicted.
Mangum said her motion to dismiss was filed on Nov. 30, but Durham County District Attorney Charlene Coggins-Franks said that she only received a copy of it last night after 5 p.m., so the judge continued the hearing until after New Year’s.
Mangum also began to tell the judge that she needed more freedom to work on her case. She told him that she would like to find, hire and pay for her own expert witness but that it is difficult to do that from jail.
She asked the judge to reduce her bond to $100,000 secured or unsecure her $200,000 bond and put her on electronic house arrest.
“I’m not a flight risk,” she said. “My children are in West Virginia with my husband, and I don’t intend to leave them at all.”
The judge asked her if she had filed a motion for a bond hearing, and when she said no, he told her she would have to file a motion before he could hold a hearing.
The judge set her next court date for Jan. 22.