Man charged with murdering wife, taking three kids

29-year-old Kenya Mangum
July 18, 2011 8:05:06 PM PDT
Authorities in Durham have arrested a man for allegedly stabbing his wife and taking their three children.Amanda Mangum was stabbed several times around 8 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of a KFC/Taco Bell on South Miami Boulevard.

The 23-year-old was taken to Duke University Hospital where she later died.

After the incident, an Amber Alert was issued for Mangum's three children, an 8-year-old girl, 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, who were believed to be with Mangum's husband, 29-year-old Kenya Domon Mangum.

Shortly before 5 a.m. Monday, the children were found unharmed inside an apartment on Thames Avenue.

Their father was arrested and charged with Amanda Mangum's murder.

A man living near the apartment told ABC11 Monday morning that he heard a loud noise around 4 a.m., and several men inside the apartment were also arrested.

"I heard a loud bang, came outside and saw all the police out here," neighbor Kelly Riley said. " "Found out later about the Amber Alert. Didn't know the involved suspect, I just worried about my neighbors."

ABC11 has learned that Amanda asked for help in the past.

Damita Chambers of InterAct says a woman will try and leave an abusive situation a total of seven times before being able to break free.

"Sometimes leaving takes place a bunch of times before leaving for good," Chambers said.

According to court records, Amanda had tried to leave her husband in 2007. She filed a restraining order saying Kenya choked her, kneed her in the stomach and then threatened to kill her and promised to buy a gun.

The protective order was dismissed, most likely because Amanda dropped the charges or didn't show up in court to testify against her husband, according to court officials.

"There are a variety of reasons why someone might stay in a relationship -- finances, resources, children, support system," Chambers added.

Deanna Manley of the Durham Crisis Response Center says crisis experts see what happened with Amanda happen a lot.

"A lot of people in the community get frustrated with that but they have to understand just what these women are up against," Manley added.

She says children are often caught in the crossfire.

The Mangums' children are with relatives after spending the night at police headquarters.

Now, they must cope with a tragedy some experts say can often be prevented if abuse victims or anyone who witnesses abuse finds the strength and courage to get help.

"Get them to see that they need help and the violence will probably escalate," Manley said. "It may be just verbal abuse but it'll likely just increase to physical abuse."

Kenya Mangum is no stranger to the law. He was charged with drug possession in Durham and a statutory sexual offense in Maine in 2002.

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