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Duke lacrosse accuser can be tried on murder charges

December 8, 2011 |  7:45 am

Duke

Crystal Mangum, the former stripper who falsely accused members of the Duke University lacrosse team of sexually assaulting her in 2006, is competent to stand trial on murder charges in the death of her boyfriend, a Durham judge ruled Wednesday.

The ruling is the latest troubling news for Mangum, 33, in the wake of her role at the center the Duke lacrosse scandal.

Mangum, an African American, accused three white lacrosse players at the prestigious private university of raping her at a house party.

But Mangum's story did not hold up under scrutiny, and by April 2007, Roy Cooper, the state attorney general, declared the young men innocent, saying they had been caught up in a "tragic rush to accuse" in a case that quickly took on racial overtones. Prosecutor Mike Nifong was eventually disbarred for his role in the case.

Mangum was accused in February 2010 of "slashing the vehicle tires of her then-boyfriend Milton Walker, smashing the windshield with a vacuum cleaner, and setting fire to a pile of his clothes in a bathtub while the police and her three children were in her apartment, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

A felony arson charge was dismissed, but Mangum was sentenced to time served -- totaling 88 days in jail -- for misdemeanor convictions for child abuse, resisting police and vandalism, the Durham Herald-Sun reported.

Police now accuse Mangum of fatally stabbing boyfriend Reginald Daye during an argument in April. Mangum was deemed competent to stand trial after a mental evaluation at a local hospital.

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-- Richard Fausset

Photo: In a 2007 photo, a wristband displays the uniform numbers of the three Duke players falsely accused of sexual assault. Credit: Sara D. Davis / Associated Press

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