The notorious North Carolina stripper who admitted to being a false accuser in a case involving a group of Duke lacrosse players of raping her is headed to prison after being convicted in the 2011 stabbing death of her boyfriend.
Crystal Gail Mangum, 34, was sentenced to a minimum of 14 years in prison on the second-degree murder charge, crying as the jury came back Friday with a unanimous verdict after six hours of deliberations.
Mangum stabbed Reginald Daye, 46, on April 3, 2011, as the couple fought. She claimed the stabbing was in self-defense and that he was beating her when she snatched the kitchen knife and “poked him in the side.”
“He straddled me, hit me, and then he started choking me,” she said in court, WTVD-TV reported. “I couldn’t breathe. My head hurt real bad.”
“I was just trying to survive and I felt like Reginald was trying to kill me,” she added during her testimony.
The 2011 stabbing in Durham, N.C., came five years after Mangum falsely accused members of the Duke lacrosse team of raping her at a party where she’d been hired to perform as a stripper.
The case became one of the most racially charged trials in recent memory before the prosecutor was ultimately disbarred, and the three accused men were declared innocent.
Prosecutors in the murder case pointed to another incident, in 2010, when Mangum was found guilty of contributing to the abuse of minors in an episode where she trashed Daye’s car and set fire to his clothes.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a more serious arson charge, and she was sentenced to time served.
Her relationship with Daye appears to have been trouble from day one. When Daye’s nephew called 911 the day he was stabbed, the man immediately referred to her notoriety.
“It’s Crystal Mangum. THE Crystal Mangum,” he told the emergency operator. “I told him she was trouble from the damn beginning.”
Daye died in the hospital 10 days later.