Click the link below to view the interactive flog:
Flog 18: Crystal Mangum – corruption, conspiracy, and cover-up
Word count: 3,109
In the beginning of March 2011, Reginald Daye, a man in his mid-forties, was back on the job after having been recently laid off work as a painter. Mr. Daye had seemed to have turned his life around from his earlier days of misdemeanor crimes. A couple of the crimes for which he was charged included assault… one assault on a female.
In addition to traffic violations and petty crimes, Reginald Daye had a history of drug use which he managed to kick over time… however, his addiction to alcohol was one which he had not been able to beat. According to Crystal Mangum, the Duke Lacrosse victim/accuser, he would consume a case of beer on weekdays and down a gallon of whiskey on weekends.
These drinking habits of Daye were observed by Crystal Mangum because around the beginning of March 2011, she and her three young children moved into Reginald Daye’s apartment at his invitation. Months prior to their cohabitation, Daye, attracted by Mangum’s notorious celebrity, sought a relationship with her, and around the middle of January 2011 he introduced himself to her.
After living together during the month of March 2011, their platonic relationship became an intimate one. According to Ms. Mangum, she brought some clothes along with a washing machine and dryer to the arrangement, and helped pay the rent.
It was after she had moved in with Daye that Crystal noticed his jealous nature as he confiscated her cell phone to monitor who she communicated with and for his own personal use.
Crystal Mangum noted that Reginald Daye had a pair of brass knuckles, and he admitted to her that he owned a gun, although she states that she never saw it. Daye also acknowledged to her that in the past he had been physically abusive with his girlfriends, but up until the morning of April 3, 2011, he never laid a hand on her.
On March 25, 2011, Reginald Daye purchased a cashier’s check for $300, and on April 1, 2011, he purchased a cashier’s check for $400, both checks totaling $700 to cover the rent. On both checks the payee was listed as the apartment’s owner and Reginald Daye’s name was down as the remitter.
On the days they were purchased, March 25th and April 1, 2011, Mr. Daye gave both cashier’s checks to Crystal. Because he was scheduled to be at work during the apartment office hours on Monday, April 4, 2011, he instructed Crystal to visit the office and deliver the April rent in the form of the two cashier’s checks. Crystal placed both checks in her purse for safekeeping at the time she received them.
In the late evening of Saturday, April 2, 2011, Reginald and Crystal attended a birthday party. Daye drank prior to their arrival at the party at 11:00 pm, and imbibed alcohol while at the party. Ms. Mangum’s alcoholic consumption consisted of two Jell-o shots (Jell-o made using gin), and a drink containing gin. After an hour or so, the two left the party and returned to the apartment they shared.
At the apartment, Crystal Mangum saw a police officer she knew who was on the apartment grounds. They greeted each other and began to chitchat. Reginald Daye became angry with the attention Mangum was giving the officer and began demanding that she leave and accompany him into the apartment. When Mangum stalled, Daye became enraged, and proceeded to engage her in a heated argument.
Crystal became frightened and concerned about Daye’s behavior and went to the officer and asked him to drive her to her aunt’s house. The officer refused and told Mangum and Daye to take their argument inside of their apartment.
While Daye was forcibly dragging Mangum up the stairs, she sustained a cut on her right knee.
Once inside the apartment, the terror for Crystal Mangum would begin and last approximately an hour, from around two to three in the morning. In the living room, he punched her in the face and spit on her. When she ran to the master bedroom, he pursued; tackling her with the two of them on the bed. Mangum clung tight to the mattress as Daye lifted her and it up and deposited them on the floor.
After Crystal managed to free herself from Daye she ran to the bathroom in the master bedroom and locked the door behind her. Daye proceeded to kick in the door knocking it off its hinges, and he grabbed Crystal by her hair and drug her back into the bedroom… clumps of her hair being deposited by the bathroom door and on the mattress.
Mangum tried to grab her purse in order to flee, but Daye blocked her. Sometime thereafter he demanded that Crystal get up and leave the apartment. Anxious to comply, Daye held her down and told her, “You’re not going anywhere.”
After a period of time, Daye went to another part of the apartment momentarily leaving her alone in the bedroom. He later returned with a pot of boiling water and then left again. When Daye returned minutes later, he had a set of steak knives and began to throw them at her as she tried to shield herself with the mattress.
Crystal stated that Reginald Daye then began eerily having a conversation with himself discussing whether or not to kill her and finally concluding to do so.
With steak knives strewn around the bedroom, Daye got on top of Crystal and he gouged at her left eye with his fingernails, leaving small lacerations. She tried to push him off but to no avail. He then put both of his hands around her neck and began to choke her.
Crystal’s head throbbing with the strangulation, she grabbed a steak knife that was lying about and stabbed Daye once in the left side of his torso. Daye then got up and yelled, “You stabbed me, Bitch!”
Crystal got up grabbed her purse, which contained the two cashier’s checks, and fled the apartment. Daye gave pursuit as Crystal ran for her life into the woods nearby the housing complex. She did not know exactly when Daye gave up the chase. Once free of imminent danger, Crystal Mangum began walking to her aunt’s residence.
Reginald Daye went to the apartment in the same complex in which Carlos Wilson, his nephew, lived and told him that Crystal had stabbed him. Evidently they both told police and investigators that Crystal took his money, then stabbed him and fled … the only version presented by the mainstream media.
Daye, who was walking around his apartment when EMS arrived, was instructed to sit down while the paramedics administered to his wound.
Meanwhile, Ms. Mangum arrived at her aunt’s house at 4:00 a.m., and according to her aunt’s statement to police, upon opening the door Crystal was crying and said, “He beat me.”
Police were directed to Crystal’s aunt’s house by Reginald Daye’s nephew as a place at which Ms. Mangum may have fled. Officers found Crystal lying on the floor and in enough distress to request their assistance in helping her stand up. Crystal was then arrested and taken to headquarters.
According to police notes, Crystal Mangum was cooperative in signing a consent to photograph her injuries and wanted to give a statement to police. However, after she was told that she was under arrest for assaulting Daye and read her Miranda Rights, and without any legal counsel present, Ms. Mangum wisely refused to say anything to the officer.
In other words, Ms. Mangum was placed under arrest before any investigating officer or police even took a statement from her about what had transpired. She was arrested without having a chance to give her side of the story, and placed under a $300,000 bail.
Two days later, on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, a police officer went to the apartment of Crystal’s aunt and retrieved from her the two cashier’s checks that Crystal had carried in her purse.
Confiscation of these two cashier’s checks would become the basis for the two count charge of larceny against Ms. Mangum.
After Reginald Daye’s arrival at the hospital by ambulance on Sunday, April 3, 2011, he was assessed to be stable enough for an abdominal CAT scan prior to rushing him into surgery. Contrast confirmed a perforation in the colon at the splenic flexure. A chest x-ray showed no sign of a pneumothorax or other lesion to the left lung.
In his preoperative orthopedic consultation, the doctor found that all four extremities were normal without any breaks in the skin or lacerations.
Reginald Daye underwent an emergency abdominal laparotomy the morning of April 3, 2011, during which a laceration to the colon was noted and repaired with sutures while a minor lesion to the spleen was observed and repaired with electrocautery and surgi-cel.
The operative report specifically states that the stomach was normal and that there was no bleeding or lesions in the left kidney bed. There was no mention of the diaphragm or left lung in the surgical report.
In addition to the stab wound, Daye was also noted to have an extremely high blood alcohol level of 296 mg/dL… which would put a non-alcoholic adult male in a stupor. To ward off any signs or complications of delirium tremens, Daye was begun on a regimen of benzodiazepine sedatives soon after his admission to the hospital.
Surgery for the stab wound was uneventful and Daye was expected to make a full recovery.
During the days immediately following surgery, Daye was noted to have episodes of agitation, which were attributed to his withdrawal from alcohol, and he received sedatives to treat them.
On Wednesday, April 6, 2011, Daye was noted to have some respiratory distress and a diagnostic procedure was ordered which required oral contrast. The contrast agent was introduced through a tube from the nose leading into the stomach and sometime thereafter, it triggered emesis.
Concern about protecting the airway and providing high concentrations of oxygen led to the decision to intubate. Daye was then intubated with an 8 mm diameter tube, however the confirmatory EtCO2 test for its proper placement was negative. This resulted in a visual inspection of the tube’s placement, which was deemed to be properly positioned, and the tube was left in place.
In actuality the tube was not in the trachea and the lungs were deprived of oxygen. Subsequently, the blood cells were unable to carry life-requiring oxygen to the cells of the body.
Cells of the brain are the most sensitive to oxygen deprivation, and they died relatively quickly. When the muscles and tissues of the heart were denied oxygen, a cardiac arrest ensued.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was begun at this time and the endotracheal tube that had been mis-positioned was removed, and a smaller 7.5 mm tube inserted. This time the confirmatory EtCO2 test for placement was positive. With oxygenated blood flow restored, most of the cells throughout the body began to recover, and as a result the heart was resuscitated. Unfortunately, the brain cells had been without oxygen too long… the outcome being that Daye was brain dead with a grim prognosis that he would never awaken from a comatose state.
Reginald Daye was placed on life support and kept alive for a week, during which time the media remained silent about his condition… never informing the public that Daye had lost consciousness and had been in a coma since April 6, 2011.
On Wednesday, April 13, 2011, after seven days of monitoring his comatose condition while on life support, the family of Reginald Daye consented to have him electively removed from procedures which had sustained his life for a week, and shortly thereafter he expired.
The media coverage of Daye’s death was vague, superficial, and did not go into specifics. Only one source even mentioned that his removal from life support preceded his death. In addition, the media lacked any curiosity about the nuts and bolts of Daye’s death.
Lacking an official autopsy report specifying the exact cause of death, Durham prosecutor Kelly Gauger got a grand jury to indict Crystal Mangum for the first degree murder of Reginald Daye. Mangum was also indicted on two counts of larceny, one for each of the two cashier’s checks that Daye had given to her and were in her possession following the incident of April 3, 2011… cashier’s checks which she could not have possibly converted to money for her own use.
Her bail was increased from $300,000 to $500,000 with the upgraded charge of murder. However, in June 2011, Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson reduced Mangum’s bail from half a million dollars to $200,000 after reasonably questioning whether the stab wound actually caused Daye’s death.
Although the single mother of three, Crystal Mangum was the victim of domestic violence, unlawful imprisonment by Daye, and a victim of malicious prosecution by the Durham prosecutor, the mainstream media portrayed her as a villain who was incapable of telling the truth, was mentally unstable, and preyed upon men, especially boyfriends.
Without exception, media accounts related to the April 3, 2011 incident devoted significant portions of their reports to the rehashing the Duke Lacrosse case and making false and misleading statements about the Duke Lacrosse defendants being exonerated and claiming as fact that Ms. Mangum lied about being sexually assaulted at the Duke Lacrosse beer-guzzling, stripper-ogling bacchanal.
Approximately four month later, in early August 2011, the autopsy report was released to the public which included findings not supported by the operative report and other medical records. For example, the Autopsy Examination Report of April 14, 2011 falsely stated that the stab wound inflicted by Mangum punctured Daye’s left lung, diaphragm, left kidney, and the stomach. This is all fabrication, as the only internal injuries sustained by the stab wound were to the colon and a minor wound to the spleen. In addition, the autopsy report noted old wounds to the left upper extremity which were suspicious of being “defensive wounds,” however a preoperative examination by an orthopedic surgeon during a consultation reported “no appreciable lacerations or skin breaks in the visualized areas of his four extremities.”
The Autopsy Examination Report of April 14, 2011 is false and misleading in concluding that Reginald Daye’s death was due to “complications of stab wound to chest.” There is no nexus established between the stab wound, which was successfully treated at surgery, and Daye’s brain death and removal from life support. This report fails to mention that Daye was comatose, was on life support, and that he died after being electively removed from life support.
The Investigative Autopsy Report of April 13, 2011 also came to a false and misleading conclusion attributing Daye’s death to “stab wound to chest” and declaring it was a homicide. This document is notable for its omissions in that it failed to mention that Daye was intubated prior to having a cardiac arrest, and it failed to mention that Daye passed away after being removed from life support.
Despite the fact that the prosecution’s case against Mangum for the murder and larceny charges was baseless, her attorney Chris Shella never filed a motion to dismiss the charges. After successfully getting bail reduced to $200,000 in June 2011, Mr. Shella attempted to get bail further reduced to $100,000 in November 2011, and again in March 2012.
The March 2012 bail reduction hearing was before Judge Osmond Smith III who was the judge in the Duke Lacrosse case and made what a reasonable person with full knowledge of the facts could be construed as a malicious ruling when he ordered Ms. Mangum to present Duke Lacrosse defense attorneys with results of a paternity test of her newborn after it had been ruled out by DNA and history that none of the Duke Lacrosse defendants could have possibly sired the baby. Despite this history, Judge Smith made no effort to recuse himself.
Having also sentenced former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong to 24 hours in jail in 2007, Judge Smith quickly denied Shella’s request for a reduced bail to $100,000 at the March hearing.
As the one year anniversary of her incarceration rolled around with no sign of any action by her attorney, Ms. Mangum sought help from Sidney B. Harr. A retired physician, Harr recognized serious problems and inaccuracies with the autopsy report and agreed to help Ms. Mangum draft some motions that she could file Pro Se.
Having no legal training and not being a lawyer, Harr was not aware that by assisting Mangum with the drafting of the motions that he would be in violation of North Carolina statutes.
He agreed to help Ms. Mangum because she had no access to the internet or a law library. In order to draft the motions he requested some of the prosecution’s discovery documents, including police reports and medical records. She sent the documents to Harr, and after he drafted the motion, she signed them. Because she was incarcerated, Harr physically took the motions to the Criminal Clerk of Court in Durham where they were filed.
With knowledge that the mainstream media had concealed true events of the case from the masses and made misleading statements putting Ms. Mangum in a negative light, Harr published some pertinent discovery documents online so that the public could get a more balance picture of events that transpired related to the April 3, 2011 self-defense stabbing incident.
Upon learning that his client had shared discovery with Harr, Attorney Shella asked the Court to release him from representing Crystal Mangum… a request which was granted.
Defense attorney Woody Vann has since been appointed to represent Ms. Mangum against the two charges now pending of first degree murder and larceny.
On Tuesday, May 22, 2012, Attorney Vann received from Mangum’s prior attorney Chris Shella, approximately seven or eight disks containing the prosecution’s discovery. He immediately recognized the discrepancies between the medical records and the autopsy report, and he is making it his top priority to obtain a consultation with a forensic pathologist to review the autopsy findings of the county medical examiner.
This action should have been executed by the defense attorney on day one… or shortly thereafter. Findings by the forensic pathologist will substantiate my assertion that the autopsy report, upon which the prosecution is basing its murder charge, is fraudulent and is totally lacking in credibility.
The forthcoming truth, as will be contained in the pathologist’s report, is one key to opening the jail doors and setting Crystal Mangum free. The report should be available in a matter of weeks…