Note: At end of blog is link to Mangum’s motions
In the January 29, 2012 issue of The Durham News, I contributed a guest column titled “Autopsy reports don’t add up.” It expressed why I felt that the April 13 and 14, 2011 autopsy reports on Reginald Daye were flawed. Mr. Daye was the man who was stabbed on April 3, 2011 by Duke Lacrosse victim/accuser Crystal Mangum, and who, three days following this incident and emergency surgery, lapsed into an unexplained coma at Duke University Hospital. After an unpublicized week in a deep comatose state, Mr. Daye was electively removed from life support and died. Shortly thereafter Ms. Mangum was charged in his death with first degree murder.
Recently I have had the fortune to examine many of Daye’s medical records, including his operative report, EMS reports, and physical examinations. To support the veracity of the facts presented and conclusions drawn, I have presented redacted and highlighted copies, with notations, of key medical records about Reginald Daye to some of the mainstream media-types.
It should be remembered that the April 13 and 14, 2011 autopsy reports concluded that Reginald Daye’s death was due to “complications secondary to a stab wound to the chest.” Both reports were vague, incomplete, misleading, factually incorrect, and gave no real inkling as to the true cause of Daye’s coma and death. My review of Daye’s hospitalization has removed from my mind the shroud of mystery covering Daye’s demise, and I will forthwith explain with 99.9% certainty the most likely scenario of what led to Reginald Daye’s comatose state and death.
The morning of April 3, 2011, within hours after being stabbed by Ms. Mangum, Mr. Daye had been transported to Duke University Hospital where he was evaluated and found to have a blood alcohol of 296 mg/dL… a stupor causing level in an average non-alcoholic individual. In order to deal with alcohol withdrawal complications, upon admission Daye was immediately begun on a sedative drug regimen to keep delirium tremens at bay. His condition was stable enough to permit the luxury of performing a preoperative radiological examination regarding his wound to the left torso which confirmed a lesion in the colon (large intestine). Daye underwent emergency abdominal surgery during which only a lesion to the splenic flexure of the colon and a minor lesion to the spleen were identified and repaired.
In the evening of April 4, 2011, the third postoperative day, Daye began experiencing respiratory problems and doctors ordered a diagnostic procedure requiring contrast dye. A tube was placed in his stomach through his nose, and the contrast agent was introduced through it. The contrast agent in the stomach most likely induced vomiting, and healthcare staff concern about possible aspiration and need for protecting the airway led to the decision to intubate him. The 8.0 mm diameter endotracheal tube, which was supposed to be inserted into the trachea to allow oxygen to flow into the lungs, was mispositioned, and instead of oxygen-enriched air gushing into his lungs, his lungs were being deprived of oxygen. Lack of oxygen to the lungs meant that the blood was being deprived of oxygen as well. The brain cells, which are extremely oxygen sensitive, die within a relatively short time once being starved of oxygen. Heart muscle cells are hardier than ones in the brain, but they, too, require oxygen. After a critical point, the heart muscles, working without sufficient oxygen, began to dysfunction, which led to a cardiac arrest. CPR was instituted which included the removal of the misplaced endotracheal tube and the reinsertion of a 7.5mm diameter endotracheal tube which was properly positioned and allowed effective ventilation of the lungs. With restoration of oxygen to the lungs, the blood, and eventually the tissues, the heart muscles received much needed oxygen and were able to recover. However, the brain cells had been without oxygen too long and could not be revived... thus accounting for his coma. Daye’s irreversible comatose state, as determined by the neurological specialists, led to the eventual decision to electively remove Daye, with his family’s consent, from life support… the proximate cause of his death.
Discrepancies exist between the April 13 and 14 Daye autopsy reports themselves and Daye’s medical records. The operative report specifically stated, “The stomach, pancreas was without injury.” This contradicts the autopsy report of April 14, 2011 that documented a lesion to the “fundus of the stomach.” In addition, no where in the operative report is there mention of any lesion or repair to the left lung or diaphragm which further contravenes the April 14th report. The left kidney and its immediate environs were found to be intact and without lesions according to the operative report. One inch gauze used to pack the incision wound at the time of surgery would help explain its post-mortem appearance of being open. Daye’s operative report coincides and validates in the April 14, 2011 autopsy examination report only the lesions to the splenic flexure of the colon and the spleen. The operative report rules out lesions to the left lung, diaphragm, left kidney, and fundus of the stomach as averred in the April 14th autopsy document.
The 14th report also reads: “.. multiple minor scabbed over lesions and minor contusions which may represent defensive injuries are found running from essentially the left biceps to the left wrist. These measuring up to 5 inches in greatest [length].” A Durham County EMS Patient care report on Daye of April 3, 2011 relates different findings, reading, “Left Arm/Hand: Assessed with No Abnormalities.” Also at odds with the April 14, 2011 autopsy report’s declaration of left upper extremity wounds is the consultation report of April 3, 2011 by orthopedic surgeon Christopher R. Jones which states under physical examination: “There are no appreciable lacerations or skin breaks in the visualized areas of his four extremities.”
Discrepancies in the autopsy reports, in conjunction with the convenient omission in Daye’s discharge summary and the April 13, 2011 autopsy investigative report that entubation followed emesis but preceded cardiac arrest is troublesome and would lead a reasonable person with knowledge of pertinent facts to conclude that the autopsy reports were bogus and used solely to support the prosecutor’s charge.
Medical examiners should be independent and objective in their autopsy examinations and should not be a part of the prosecution team, as it definitely is in the case against Crystal Mangum. Dr. Clayton Nichols, the author of the phony autopsy examination report, should not be held liable for the substandard and false document for two specific reasons. First, he did not take it upon himself to produce a false and misleading document for no reason whatsoever. Undoubtedly he received instructions from higher up to produce a document that would enable the prosecutor to charge Crystal Mangum with murder. Second, Dr. Nichols felt compelled to “go along with the plan” after seeing what happened to Duke Lacrosse prosecutor Mike Nifong. Dr. Nichols learned well from the example the state made of Mr. Nifong, and not wanting to put his personal and professional life at risk, producing the desired deceptive document was a no-brainer.
Unfortunately in the twenty-first century, the mainstream media is not as independent and objective as it should be. But the media’s actions and attitudes are often based on financial incentives. For example, Duke University, which harbors unbounded animosity and misdirected hostility toward Mike Nifong, Crystal Mangum, and Nifong supporters, is one of the state’s largest conglomerations. Duke University and its healthcare system advertise heavily in print and broadcast media… this cannot help but make an influence on how the media covers stories, who it demonizes, and who it places on pedestals. You can bet that when a story involves Duke University, the media, in bringing it before the public treads with the most extreme care.
In short, the media is trying to keep hidden from the public the following facts:
(1) Reginald Daye’s brain death was due to the misplacement of an endotracheal tube by Duke University Hospital staff;
(2) Reginald Daye was electively removed from life support by Duke University Hospital staff with the consent of Daye’s family;
(3) Crystal Mangum had nothing to due with events that transpired in Duke University Hospital and she is therefore not responsible for Daye’s death;
(4) the Autopsy Reports of April 13 and 14, 2011 are totally bogus and purposely reach the false conclusion that Daye’s death was “due to complications of a stab wound to the chest;”
(5) the Autopsy Reports of April 13 and 14, 2011 made their false conclusion for the purpose of making a foundation upon which to build a murder case against Crystal Mangum;
(6) Crystal Mangum sustained physical injuries at the hands of Daye and there is additional evidence to support her self-defense claim in the stabbing; and
(7) prosecutors lack any credible evidence to support the two counts of larceny against Crystal Mangum.
That the authors of the Autopsy Reports are working with the prosecution is evident. However, what is most troubling is that the media is heavily involved in this conspiracy as can be seen by its selective and skewed reporting about Mangum, Daye, and others involved in the case.
LINK to Mangum’s Motions: