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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Scandal: Crystal Gail Mangum - 'Missy Misdemeanor'

updated: June 10, 2006

altered photo of Crystal Gail Mangum leaving 610 N. Buchanan Blvd. on March 14th

Crystal Gail Mangum led police on a drunken, stolen-car, high-speed chase in June 2002. She smashed into a patrol car and made an officer jump so that he wouldn't be run over.

After her drunken 2002 crime spree Ms. Mangum ended up at the emergency room at Duke University Hospital. That is where she ended up again on March 14, 2006, described by one officer as "passed out drunk" and later claiming she was gang raped by three Duke lacrosse players.

How did Ms. Mangum get four felonies and numerous other traffic violations stemming from her drunken 2002 crime spree plea-bargained down to four misdemeanors and receiving only probation instead of jail time?

That's the question that defense attorneys for the Duke lacrosse players want answered?

Durham District Attorney, Mike Nifong, said he had nothing to do with the 2002 plea deal, and he didn't know which local prosecutor negotiated it.

The Herald-Sun reports:

Defense lawyers suggested Wednesday that the District Attorney's Office may have shown favoritism as early as 2002 to an exotic dancer who claimed she was gang raped during a Duke University lacrosse party in March.

The Herald-Sun provided more details from Ms. Mangum's 2002 crime spree:
a Durham County Sheriff's Office report -- reviewed four years ago by Sgt. T.H. McCrae and recently obtained by The Herald-Sun -- provides details of the 2002 car chase involving the alleged rape victim.

The incident began at a topless dance club while the woman was performing for a taxi driver, McCrae wrote.

"As she was feeling him up and putting her hands in his pockets she removed the keys to his taxi cab, without him knowing," the officer said. "He [the cabbie] told her he would drive her home but needed to go to the restroom first. While in the restroom he was advised that she was driving off in his taxi cab."

McCrae said he chased the woman at speeds up to 70 mph in a 55-mph zone until she finally stopped.

"As I began to approach the vehicle she put it in drive and drove towards me," McCrae added. "I jumped out of the way to the right and she missed me. The suspect then struck the right rear quarter of my patrol vehicle."

Another chase ensued, but the woman finally was apprehended after having a flat tire, according to McCrae.

The officer said she registered a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.19 on a portable sensing device -- more than double North Carolina's 0.08 legal threshold for impairment.

And while being questioned, the dancer "passed out and was unresponsive," McCrae said.

She was taken to the emergency room at Duke University Hospital, McCrae's report indicated.

From Defense Motion:
The reasons Crystal Mangum received such a favorable plea bargin arrangement for her criminal charges arising out of a high-speed flight from law enforcement officers after committing a felony on or about June 21, 2002: Felonious Assault with a Deadly Weapon on Police Officer, O2-CRS-49961; Felonious Larceny and Felonious Possession of Stolen Vehicle charges, 02-CRS-49955; Felonious Speeding to Elude Arrest, Driving while Impaired (.19 Blood Alcohol Content) and Driving while License Revoked, 02-CRS-49956; Driving Left of Center, 02-CR-49958; Failure to Heed Blue Light and Siren and Reckless Driving in Wanton Disregard to Rights or Safety of Others, 02-CR-49959, Driving the Wrong Way on Dual Lane Highway and Open Container After Consuming Alcohol, 02-CR-49960, two counts of Injury to Personal Property, 02-CR-49962-63, and Resisting a Public Officer, 02-CR-49964.

Lawyers question dancer's plea deal in '02 [Herald-Sun.com, May 17, 2006]

Duke Rape Accuser: Crystal Gail Mangum [TJN, April 21, 2006]
Duke Lawyer seeks Mangum's Records [TJN, April 24, 2006]

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