Bail Reduction Denied for Durham Homicide Suspect

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After 17 months in jail, a 34-year-old woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend failed this week to convince a Wake County judge to reduce her bail. Defense counsel had requested the court accept $50,000. The court responded that $200,000 is an appropriate bond for the mother of three.

In April 2011, the woman and her boyfriend had argued. She maintains that he was intoxicated, and that she stabbed him in self-defense. He died 10 days later in the hospital.

The prosecution contends that the woman stabbed her boyfriend as he was leaving their apartment. They had argued about money orders that he claimed were his. He decided to leave when she would neither return the money orders nor leave the apartment.

Defense counsel argued that, because she is a native of Durham and because her children are here, the woman is not a flight risk. He argued, too, that the $200,000 was excessive considering there was still a question about the care the victim received at the hospital and the hospital’s role in his death.

According to the court, county guidelines recommend no bail for suspects charged with murder. If the charges are for second-degree murder, the guidelines recommend a $600,000 bond. And, the court noted that this suspect’s bail had been reduced twice.

Still, defense counsel said, she could afford $50,000, and that amount would get her back with her children.

This is not the suspect’s first experience with law enforcement. In March 2006, she claimed — and claims to this day — that she had been assaulted by members of the Duke University lacrosse team. The charges were dropped in 2007.

Source: News & Observer, “Judge denies request to lower Crystal Mangum’s bail,” Virginia Bridges, Sept. 18, 2012

Our firm handles criminal cases like the one described in this post. You can learn more about our practice by visiting our Raleigh, North Carolina, murder and manslaughter page.