Word count: 1,180
For the past few weeks I have been out of contact with Crystal Mangum, as her visitation privileges had been temporarily revoked over what I feel to be a small matter of inconsequence. Revocation of visitation privileges for an inmate, who has been incarcerated for more than five hundred days, however is no trifling thing… as deprivation of weekly visits from a trusted and concerned friend can be demoralizing and devastating. So, although I cannot personally confirm what I heard from a reliable source, I do believe that it is accurate, and if so, is promising.
What I understand is that recently, during the lengthy period when Crystal was without her visitation privileges, she received a rare visit from her attorney Woody Vann. From what I was told, Mr. Vann suggested during his visit with Ms. Mangum that she accept a plea deal from the prosecution. The exact terms of the plea deal were not known by my source, but my source stated that if accepted by Mangum, they would be in exchange for a sentence of “time served,” and she could be released from custody. My source also related that Mr. Vann told Ms. Mangum that she had a “weak case.”
The aforementioned revelations from my source do not surprise me, and in fact I have been anticipating and predicting for some time that the prosecution would go for a plea deal for time served. Durham prosecutors really have no other option as they have absolutely no case against Mangum for either the murder charge or the larceny of chose in action charge. Taking this flimsy case to trial is totally out of the question, and the prosecutors could not expect to get a special prosecutor to even think about taking it. Even if Mangum was to be represented by the most incompetent turncoat defense attorney in the state, the prosecution could not hope to win a conviction. Actually, the prosecution would be laughed out of the courtroom with any so-called evidence that they would even dare to make public.
With the murder case, the prosecutors have no explanation for the appearance of the crime scene with steak knives strewn about, and a bathroom door kicked off its hinges. The prosecution has no explanation for the clumps of Crystal’s hair deposited at two places in the apartment. The prosecution has no motive for the stabbing by Mangum, and to suggest that the two were arguing over two cashier’s checks that had been filled out is ludicrous. Furthermore, the prosecution has the arduously impossible task of trying to somehow link a stab wound that was successfully repaired during emergency surgery with Daye’s brain death… and they would have to do so without mentioning the fact that Daye underwent a botched intubation by Duke University Hospital staff that resulted in his comatose state that lasted for a week before life-support was removed, resulting in his death. Then, there’s all of the discrepancies between the autopsy report of April 14, 2011 and the operative report and other medical records. This would bring serious scrutiny and questions about the credibility of the entire Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Problems with the larceny of chose in action charge that prosecutors face are that they are unable to produce any credible evidence that the cashier’s checks were taken by Ms. Mangum and not given to her by Reginald Daye. Furthermore they lack credible evidence that Ms. Mangum altered or had the intent to illegally convert the cashier’s checks to her own benefit or an unintended purpose. What is also problematic about the larceny of chose in action charge is that it was filed more than two weeks after the alleged criminal event. The fact that the larceny charge was filed along with the murder charge makes it evident that its function was to promote the first degree part of the murder charge through use of the felony-murder rule.
Prosecutors may initially have planned to eventually take Mangum to trial under a cloak of media secrecy in an attempt to have her convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole, however, now they are trying to save face with any plea deal for time served. The prosecution will not risk damaging Duke University Hospital reputation by bringing attention to its medical malpractice in a courtroom trial. With the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong directing attention to the case online, prosecutors are hoping to mitigate any civil liability from Crystal Mangum for malicious prosecution and wrongful incarceration. Therefore, prosecutions’ best case scenario is for Ms. Mangum to accept a plea deal for some lesser crime that she did not commit in exchange for a sentence of time served. And that is the exact deal that Mangum’s defense attorney, Woody Vann, is trying to get her to accept. (This was the strategy successfully used by prosecutors to resolve the James Arthur Johnson case wherein he was wrongfully incarcerated for thirty-nine months and ended up accepting a plea deal for a crime he did not commit in exchange for time-served.)
Mr. Vann was initially selected to represent Ms. Mangum for a reason… to carry out the prosecutions’ agenda. The fact that he has kept important prosecution discovery from Crystal Mangum, including photographs and the report by Dr. Roberts, strongly supports the fact that his interests do not lie with his client. His inaction and unavailability to his client show that Mr. Vann does not have her best interests at heart… on the case for more than four months, he did not file a single motion on her behalf. At least Mangum’s previous attorney made several attempts to have her bail reduced. Finally, to try and convince her that she has a weak case when the exact opposite is true, and to suggest that she consider a plea deal clearly spells out the fact that Mr. Vann’s allegiance lies with the prosecution in protecting Duke University Hospital’s reputation and removing legal liability from those who have grievously wronged her.
The Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong, and Mangum’s friends and supporters are responsible for thwarting the prosecutors’ plans to seriously convict Mangum on trumped up charges that are totally baseless. (Politicians, civil rights leaders and organizations and the mainstream media have joined in the conspiracy against Mangum by concealing the injustices or by turning their heads and ignoring them.)
It is time for Durham prosecutors to cut their losses and unconditionally dismiss all criminal charges against Crystal Mangum… forget about saving face. After all, the mainstream media will go easy on the prosecutors of Crystal Mangum, without doubt. It is also time for Woody Vann to step down as Crystal Mangum’s attorney as it is conclusively apparent that he is trying to broker a deal that is best for the prosecution at the expense of his court appointed client… a client for which he has invested very little time, energy, resource, and commitment.
Plea deal for time served is what the prosecution is now aiming for, but you had better believe that it is pie-in-the-sky. Mentality that should be adopted by the prosecutors now is to do the right thing by dismissing all criminal charges against Ms. Mangum, and damn the consequences. With the plea deal for time served not realistically being in play, it is the vendetta-driven prosecutions’ only option.