Former Duke Lacrosse accuser's lawyer off case

Crystal Mangum at the magistrate's office in Durham, February 18, 2010
May 1, 2012 1:39:00 PM PDT
The attorney for former Duke Lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum filed a motion Tuesday asking to withdraw from the murder case against her. The motion was granted by a judge Tuesday afternoon.

In the motion, Chris Shella wrote:

"Ms. Mangum has provided documents and information that I have directed her must be kept confidential to individuals who are not covered by attorney-client privilege. By doing this, she has compromised the ability of her attorney to adequately represent her in this case. Moreover, these individuals have disclosed these documents to the general public along with the potential defense theory of the case. I cannot based on these actions adequately represent Ms. Mangum if confidential documents and discussion of her case are released to people that can be compelled to testify."

Police say Mangum stabbed Reginald Daye, 46, in the chest during an argument at the apartment the couple shared in the 3000 block of Century Oaks Drive on April 3, 2011.

Daye was later taken off life support and died on April 6.

Mangum remains behind bars at the Durham County Jail under a $200,000 bond.

Shella's motion appeared to be in reference to the actions of the group "Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong," which held a news conference Tuesday morning calling for Mangum's release.

It maintains she's innocent and stabbed Daye in self-defense.

Mangum supporter Sid Harr told reporters Daye was intoxicated and assaulted Mangum before she stabbed him.

"This took about approximately one hour and during this period of time she was, experienced sheer terror," Harr alleged.

"We don't want to beat up on Mr. Daye, but it has to be made clear the public that Mr. Daye had a history of violence on women," offered another Mangum supporter, Victoria Peterson.

Mangum's supporters also said the autopsy report on Daye - showing the single stab wound penetrating his lung, diaphragm, stomach, colon, kidney and spleen - was fabricated. They claimed those injuries were not noted in a report by doctors who performed surgery on him. They went on to claim Mangum can't get a break because she has been vilified by the media.

"She's considered the villain, but Crystal is the ultimate victim in this whole scenario. She is the victim of vendetta justice," Harr claimed.

It's the second time an attorney has asked to be removed from a criminal case involving Mangum.

In 2010, Mangum was arrested by Durham police following a domestic incident involving then-boyfriend Milton Walker.

Investigators accused her of making threats and setting fire to Walker's clothes in a bathtub.

Public defender Clayton Jones asked to be removed  from that case - also citing Mangum's behavior.

Mangum was later convicted of child abuse, vandalism and resisting an officer. A felony arson charge was dismissed.

At a hearing on Shella's motion to withdraw Tuesday, Mangum said she didn't understand why Shella couldn't continue to represent her and said it wasn't her fault her supporters shared the confidential information to the media.

She was assigned a new attorney.

In 2006, Mangum alleged members of the Duke Lacrosse team sexually assaulted her while she worked as a stripper at a party. The accusations were later found to be false, and Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed the charges.

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