In a videotaped interrogation shown to the jury today, Crystal Mangum confessed to smashing her boyfriend Milton Walker’s windshield with a vacuum cleaner, slashing his tires and setting his clothes on fire because she says he punched her in the face repeatedly.
The jury could begin deliberating Wednesday after Mangum’s attorney Mani Dexter calls two witnesses and both sides deliver closing arguments. The prosecution rested its case on Tuesday.
Dexter had tried to keep the confessions out of evidence, arguing her client was medicated after a spinal tap for headache treatment and hadn’t gotten much sleep the previous two nights before her interview with Durham Police Det. L.C. Bond.
The interrogation came around mid-day on Feb. 18, just hours after police had responded to a 911 call from her daughter reporting a fight between Mangum and Walker.
Mangum initially denied the arson and vandalism, saying Walker damaged his own things because “he’s crazy.”
But Bond told Mangum her attempted murder charge seemed excessive and pressed her to admit to damaging Walker’s property.
“People can understand being angry,” Bond told her. “If somebody hit me in front of my kids, I’d be pretty d--- pissed too.”
Bond noted minor injuries to Mangum’s mouth and eye but Walker was never charged. In September, Walker tried to confess to starting the fire and damaging his own car, both in writing and on video, but the district attorney’s office did not accept the evidence. Walker’s name appeared on Dexter’s witness list, but the lawyer indicated Tuesday he is not under subpoena. It is not clear whether he will testify.
Based on the fire, scratches on Walker’s arms and Mangum’s initially giving her sister’s name to police, authorities at first charged her with attempted murder, communicating threats, assault and identity theft.
Those charges were dropped, and Mangum is now being tried for arson, injury to personal property, contributing to the abuse and neglect of her children and resisting arrest.