The N.C. Court of Appeals today issued an opinion affirming Crystal Mangum's conviction for the second-degree murder of her boyfriend following a 2013 trial.
Mangum gained notoriety in 2006 for falsely accusing members of Duke University's lacrosse team of rape, after she was hired to strip during a fraternity party.
Mangum and her boyfriend, Reginald Daye, were living in a Durham apartment together in 2011. One night, after an argument over money, Mangum stabbed Daye in the side of his chest. Daye died a few days later after a failed emergency surgery. Mangum later claimed self-defense.
During the trial and outside the presence of the jury, the state announced its intention to offer witness testimony regarding a previous altercation between Mangum and another former boyfriend, Milton Walker. The witnesses were prepared to testify about an incident, 14 months beforehand, in which Mangum was alleged to have attacked Walker and threatened to stab him.
Mangum objected to the introduction of that witness testimony, arguing that the incident with Walker and the incident with Daye were not sufficiently similar, and the former incident was too remote.
The judge disagreed, declaring that the Walker incident was probative of motive, intent and plan. In its ruling today, the Court of Appeals agreed, reasoning that the two incidents were "substantially similar." The judges cited several reasons: each incident involved a male Mangum was romantically involved with; the escalation of an argument that ended in the use of force; restraint on behalf of the boyfriends; the escalation of violence; and statements Mangum made about the use of a knife or stabbing.
Mangum was sentenced to 14 to 18 years in prison.