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Duke Lacrosse Accuser Indicted for Murder

Crystal Magnum, the woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape, has been indicted in North Carolina for the murder of her boyfriend, Reginald Daye. She was initially arrested two weeks ago and charged with assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly stabbing him with a kitchen knife. He died from the stab wounds four days ago.

It's hardly her first new brush with the law since the Duke case. In February of last year, she was arrested for the attempted murder of a different boyfriend, and ultimately charged with felony first-degree arson and a slew of misdemeanors, including contributing to the delinquency of a minor, injury to personal property and resisting arrest. [More...]

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Duke LaCrosse Accuser Charged With Attempted Murder

Crystal Magnum, the false accuser in the Duke LaCrosse case, has been charged with attempted murder, arson, and more:

Durham police arrested Duke lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum, 33, late Wednesday after she allegedly assaulted her boyfriend, set his clothes on fire in a bathtub and threatened to stab him.

Authorities charged her with attempted first-degree murder, five counts of arson, assault and battery, communicating threats, three counts of misdemeanor child abuse, injury to personal property, identity theft and resisting a public officer.

The identity theft relates to her giving a false name and age to police when arrested.

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Ex DA Mike Nifong Files Bankruptcy on Day Answer Due in Players' Suit

Ex Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong filed for bankruptcy today. Also today, his answer to the civil lawsuits filed by the exonerated players were due.

In the October lawsuit, attorneys for the three players accused Nifong, the city of Durham, police investigators and others of conducting "one of the most chilling episodes of premeditated police, prosecutorial and scientific misconduct in modern American history."

Nifong listed his liabilities at $180 million. The case is: In re Michael B. Nifong, 08-80034, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of North Carolina (Durham).

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Three Unindicted Duke Lacrosse Players File Massive Civil Lawsuit

Three current and former Duke lacrosse players who were not among those indicted in the failed criminal case, have filed a civil lawsuit against 45 defendants, including Duke University, DA Mike Nifong, the Durham police department and several individual officers, the Duke medical center and the SANE nurses, the DNA lab and its owner in a 400 page complaint filed in federal court.

The introductory paragraph of the complaint states:

This action arises out of a combination of actors and entities that, from time to time, we refer to herein as the Consortium. The Consortium included a world renowned University, its faculty, its police department, its medical center, and a SANE nurse; a city, its city manager, its police department, and a rogue officer; a private DNA lab, its lab director, and its owner; and a prosecutor who was disbarred, and subsequently convicted of contempt and incarcerated for certain of his acts in furtherance of the Consortium’s conspiracy.

The complaint alleges a conspiracy to railroad the team members:

Plaintiffs’ claims arise out of the Consortium’s conspiracy to railroad 47 Duke University students as either principals or accomplices based upon the transparently false claim of rape, sexual offense, and kidnapping made by a clinically unreliable accuser on March 14, 2006. The conspiracy was facilitated by overt acts and by the refusal to intervene on the part of those in the Consortium who knew of the wrongs conspired to be done to Plaintiffs, had the power and authority to intervene, and refused to do so.

The complaint is available in three parts, here, here and here (pdf.)

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Former Duke Lacrosse Coach Sues Duke

Despite settling with Duke University last year over his forced resignation as coach of the Duke Lacrosse team following the barrage of publicity of the unfounded sexual assault charges against some of the team's players, Mike Pressler is suing Duke and trying to rescind the settlement.

His reason: a Senior VP at Duke disparaged him after the settlement.

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Duke Players File Civil Suit Against Nifong and Durham

The three much maligned and wrongfully charged Duke lacrosse players filed their civil suit against ex-DA Mike Nifong and the City of Durham today.

The three former Duke lacrosse players wrongly accused of rape filed a sweeping civil rights lawsuit today against the city of Durham, a host of police officers, former District Attorney Mike Nifong, and the DNA laboratory hired by the disbarred former prosecutor.

The 162-page lawsuit called the case "one of the most chilling episodes of premeditated police, prosecutorial, and scientific misconduct in modern American history, which resulted in charges brought and maintained against three innocent Duke University students and lacrosse players over a period of more than one year. "

Here's what the players want. The copy of the complaint is here (pdf).

The Defendants:

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Ex-DA Mike Nifong Reports to Jail; Players to Seek $30 Mil

Disgraced ex-DA Mike Nifong reported to jail today to serve his 24 hour sentence for criminal contempt of court. He will be put in a single cell for his safety.

A source close to the three wrongly accused players says they are seeking $30 million in damages and reforms to the legal system. If those demands are rejected, the players will file suit next month.

All of TalkLeft's coverage of the Duke case is available here.
I also highly recommend the new book, Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case by Stuart Taylor, Jr. and KC Johnson.

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Ex-DA Mike Nifong Held in Contempt of Court

A North Carolina judge today found ex-DA Mike Nifong in contempt of court for lying to the court about providing DNA tests to defense counsel in the abysmal Duke lacrosse players proseuction.

Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III sentenced Nifong, who has already been stripped of his law license and has resigned from office, to a single day in jail. He had faced as many as 30 days in jail and a fine as high as $500.

Prof. K.C. Johnson live-blogged the contempt trial.

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Duke Lacrosse: "Until Proven Innocent"

I just received a copy of Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case by Stuart Taylor, Jr. and KC Johnson.

Anyone interested in this travesty of a prosecution simply must read this book.

The book gives nice coverage to the blogs, including TalkLeft and Liestoppers.

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Ex-DA Mike Nifong Apologizes to Duke Lacrosse Players

DA Mike Nifong issued an apology to the three vindicated Duke lacrosse players today in court.

A hearing is ongoing as to whether Nifong committed criminal contempt of court. After the apology, the defense lawyers withdrew their request for sanctions.

Contempt of court is an affront to the dignity of the Court. The court is the victim.

The Judge previously found probable cause to believe that Nifong lied to the court at two pretrial hearings.

If convicted, Nifong could be fined and sentenced to up to 30 days in jail. He has resigned as DA and been ordered disbarred.

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State Bar Files Nifong Disbarment Ruling in Duke Lacrosse Players' Case

The North Carolina State Bar today filed its formal opinion in the disbarment of Durham DA Mike Nifong for his actions in the discredited Duke Lacrosse players' case.

The opinion is here.

Nifong also has a criminal contempt hearing on deck for July 26. He has been ordered to appear personally. He also has a new lawyer.

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Judge Suspends DA Mike Nifong Immediately

DA Mike Nifong submitted his resignation letter Monday, to take effect July 13, but that wasn't fast enough for Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson. The Judge ordered him suspended immediately and has appointed a special prosecutor, Wake County attorney Robert Zaytoun, to handle a civl removal case against him.

In February, Durham resident Elizabeth Brewer had filed a civil complaint asking Hudson to remove Nifong under a section of state law. She claimed Nifong had exhibited willful misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the office into disrepute.

Orlando put off action on Brewer's motion then pending the outcome of the Bar action against Nifong, and he did the same against in April when she renewed her request.

The New York Times has more details.

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D.A. Mike Nifong: Disbarment

Bump and Update: (live blogging court ruling now)

The panel has deliberated. Disbarment is the only appropriate recommendation. The root of this case is self-deception arising out of self-interest. We had a prosecutor in a case where his self-interest collided with race, sex and class. If part of a John Grisham novel, it would be too contrived. He was facing a primary and he was politically naive. We can draw no other conclusion but the initial statements he made [to the media] were to further his political ambition.

Then, he refused to change his mind and accept the facts as they developed even in the face of a declaration of actual innocence by the Attorney General. (Even yesterday, on the witness stand, he clung to the mistaken belief that something happened.)

Aggravating factors found: selfish motive, a pattern of misconduct, multiple offenses, refusal to acknowledge misconduct, substantial experience in practice of law.

Mitigating factors: lack of prior record and character.

Finding: Aggravating factors outweigh mitigating factors.

This matter appears to be an aberration in both Nifong's career and the way justice is handled in North Carolina. But we have to recommend the most severe penalty, disbarment.

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Duke D.A. Mike Nifong Resigns From Office

Bump and Update: Embattled D.A. Mike Nifong, while testifying in his ethics trial today, announced on the stand he is going to resign.

Facing the loss of his law license, a tearful Mike Nifong said Friday he will resign as district attorney, more than a year after he obtained rape indictments against three Duke University lacrosse players who were later declared innocent by state prosecutors. "My community has suffered enough," Nifong said from the witness stand at his ethics trial on allegations that he violated rules of professional conduct in his handling of the case.

You can watch the video of his announcement here.

Why make the announcement now? Perhaps because the trial has gone really badly for him, a decision is expected tomorrow and he's hoping for suspension rather than disbarment. If he admits his mistakes and resigns, perhaps he will avoid disbarment and be able to practice law again one day.

Closing arguments and deliberations are Saturday beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Original Post Below:

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DA Mike Nifong on Trial for Ethics Violations in Lacrosse Case

Durham, N.C. District Attorney Mike Nifong faces the music today for his conduct during the debacle that became the Duke lacrosse players' non-sexual assault case.

The ethics trial is being streamed at WRAL.com and you can watch live here.

The bar prosecutor's side:

"This didn't have to happen and the horrible consequences were entirely foreseeable," State Bar Counsel Katherine E. Jean said during her opening statement. "The harm done to these three young men and their families and the justice system of North Carolina is devastating."

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