Former Duke Lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum testifies in own defense in Durham murder trial


» Click here to watch Mangum's full testimony «

Mangum is accused of attacking her boyfriend Reginald Daye with a kitchen knife during an argument in April 2011. Daye died 10 days later. Mangum claims self defense, saying Daye attacked her.

On the witness stand Wednesday, Mangum told jurors Daye was angry with her because she had "disrespected" him by talking with another man.

She said Daye hit her and knocked her to the floor. She said he told her he was going to make it so other men wouldn't want her by threatening to put hot water on her face. She said he went to the kitchen and returned with a knife that he threw at her.

Mangum said she locked herself in the bathroom, but Daye kicked down the door and grabbed her by the hair, before pulling her into the bedroom.

"He straddled me, hit me, and then he started choking me," she said. "I couldn't breathe. My head hurt real bad."

Mangum said she was afraid.

"I was just trying to survive and I felt like Reginald was trying to kill me," said Mangum.

She testified that she didn't intend to kill him and she misses him.

"He was a good person," she testified.

On cross examination, the prosecution challenged Mangum's credibility. They pointed out disparities between Mangum's account and other witnesses.

Mangum said Daye was drinking liquor, but other witnesses have said he only drank beer. Police said no liquor bottles were found in the apartment.

Mangum testified that Daye repeatedly hit her in the face, but photos taken of her later at the police department showed she had a slight injury under her left eye, a swollen lip. Prosecutors asked Mangum why - if she was hit so many times - that there was not more swelling or injury. She said she didn't know.

Prosecutors also pointed out that if Mangum was choked, there was no sign of injury to her neck afterwards.

Prosecutors also took Mangum back to an incident with a previous boyfriend in which police said they witnessed her threaten to stab him. They asked if she was a serial abuser and that she was always in control in her relationships with men.

Mangum said she was not.

"If anything, I love men," said Mangum.

When asked if she was flirting and laughing with police officers and EMS workers after the stabbing, Mangum replied "probably."

Mangum is charged with first-degree murder. She previously made national headlines in 2006 when she accused a group of Duke University lacrosse players of sexually assaulting her while she worked as a stripper at a party. The accusations were later found to be false, and Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed all charges filed against the students.

However, the Duke lacrosse case never came up in the trial, but Daye's reputation did. The last witness, an ex-girlfriend of 11 years passionately defended Daye calling him generous, but never violent.

"Reggie never hit me, never raised his hand to me. Never," said Mary Outterbridge.

When the jury gets the case, they'll have to choose between first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or not guilty. Closing arguments are set for Thursday.

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