Cleopatra Andreadis and Chris Francescani, ABC News, February 18, 2010
The woman who was at the center of the phony Duke lacrosse rape case was arrested today and charged with attempted murder.
The Durham Police Department told ABC News that Crystal Gale Mangum got into an argument with her boyfriend, Milton Walker, shortly after midnight on Thursday.
The arrest warrant claims that Mangum, 33, scratched, punched and threw objects at Walker before taking all of his clothes and setting them on fire in a bath tub. Firefighters were sent to the home to extinguish the blaze.
Police said they had to evacuate three children, ages 10, 9 and 3, from the apartment because of the fire. It was not immediately known whose children they were.
Mangum is charged with first-degree attempted murder for communicating a threat because she allegedly told Walker in front of officers, “I’m going to stab you [expletive]!”
She was also charged with five counts of arson, simple assault, identity theft, damage to property and resist, delay and obstruction of justice. In addition, she faces three counts of child endangerment.
Mangum triggered a furor in 2006 when she accused three Duke Lacrosse players of raping her while working at an off campus party. Prosecutor Mike Nifong heightened the seriousness of the charges by declaring the alleged assault a hate crime.