Former Duke Lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum speaks to ABC11 from behind bars


A lot has happened in the months since Mangum was hauled off to the North Carolina Correctional Institution For Women.

Mangum sat down with ABC11 to talk about the conviction, her children, and where she'd like to go from here.

Mangum thought her legal troubles were over.

"She said on the count of second-degree murder -- guilty. I couldn't believe it," she said. "I thought about everything that happened during the trial that went wrong."

"You really wholeheartedly believed that jury would believe you," asked the I-Team's Tamara Gibbs.

"I did. I did," she said.

Mangum still maintains she was fighting for her life during a heated argument with Daye. However, prosecutors convinced the jury she stabbed him in a fit of rage. He would later die at the hospital days later.

"The autopsy was flawed," said Mangum. "How could a one centimeter stab wound cause someone to die ten days later, go into a coma, heart attack. It just doesn't add up."

Mangum also points to the state medical examiner fired just days before her trial. She and her attorney were at odds in court over whether to introduce an independent review of the autopsy.

"That report would've told the inconsistencies of Dr. Nichol's report," said Mangum. "My attorney argued with me and pretty much threatened me."

Mangum claims she was pressured and powerless -- calling it the perfect storm for a conviction -- payback for her role in the infamous Duke Lacrosse case.

"I feel like I've made some enemies with some pretty powerful people and to no fault of my own, I'm paying the consequences," she said.

The jury also heard about another violent fight with a former boyfriend that landed Mangum in jail.

"Are you unlucky? Or are these experiences your own doing? Your own creation," asked Gibbs.

"Believe it or not, domestic violence is very common," said Mangum.

Mangum will spend at least 14 years in prison for Daye's death, but she tells us she'll fight that conviction, launching an aggressive appeal.

"That's my main purpose for doing his interview today -- is to get that point across," said Mangum. "I want a full investigation into the autopsy and death of Reginald Daye."

Meanwhile, Mangum waits to see her three children.

ABC11 was her first official visit since she arrived at the Raleigh facility.

She denies she courts the firestorm of criticism and the bright lights of news cameras.

"If anything, I want to go on with my life, live with my children. Live a normal life," she said. "I'm not gaining anything from this."

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