Thursday, July 08, 2010

Wilson & Mangum (Updated)

Two recent developments from the Wonderland that is Durham (updated below):

First, ex-DA’s investigator Linwood Wilson was issued a new fugitive arrest warrant, after the AG’s office assumed control of his stalking obscenity case. Court papers revealed that Wilson allegedly had boasted to his wife that “he owned Durham (and) lawyers and judges would do anything he said.” Little in the case to date had contradicted this claim—Wilson was released on a laughably low $1000 bond.

Wilson’s case also was removed from the purview of his cronies on the Durham bench; Guilford County District Judge Thomas Foster oversaw the hearing on the new warrant, and released Wilson on a $10,000 bond, coupled with restrictions on his movement and an order not to contact his estranged wife or her family.

Wilson’s attorney defended the justice of the original $1000 bond, and denounced prosecutors for requesting a $100,000 bond: “I just think $100,000 is outrageous for a man who has served the citizens of Durham to uphold the law," the counsel huffed.

And who is Wilson’s attorney? None other than former Nifong campaign contributor Fred Battaglia, who also was one of the last Nifong apologists. In January 2007, Battaglia fantastically suggested that Nifong could continue prosecuting the fraudulent sexual assault case—and that the State Bar should have filed ethics charges against the defense attorneys(!) for publicly rebutting Nifong’s myriad inaccurate and inflammatory statements.

Only someone who considered Nifong an ethical attorney could make the bizarre claim that Linwood Wilson—the man immediately fired as soon as Nifong left the DA’s office—“served the citizens of Durham to uphold the law.”

A curious passage, by the way, in the Herald-Sun article on Wilson’s new bond hearing. Reporter John McCann writes, “According to Wilson's wife, her husband's treatment of her worsened in 2007 after he was fired from his job in Nifong's District Attorney's Office. It has been speculated Wilson's removal had to do with his role in the case involving exotic dancer Crystal Mangum's since-discredited accusation of being sexually assaulted in 2006 by members of Duke University's lacrosse team. In particular, that he crossed swords with Nifong by raising doubts about the Mangum's credibility and suggested she take a lie-detector test, a suggestion Nifong disregarded.”

It’s true that—well after the fact—Wilson claimed he had wanted to give Mangum a lie-detector test. But no connection exists between the DA’s office firing Wilson and his having “crossed swords” with Nifong at a point in December 2006. Indeed, all evidence suggests that Wilson was fired because of his pattern of unethical behavior in attempting to prop up Nifong’s fraudulent case.

Wilson wasn’t the only unethical lacrosse case figure now on the other side of the law—he’s joined in this status as a criminal defendant by the false accuser herself, Crystal Mangum.

It would be hard to top the strange circumstances of Wilson’s case—the disgraced investigator getting his bond lowered by placing a phone call to a friend in the Durham judiciary—but Mangum was able to do so.

After a court appearance yesterday by the false accuser, her defense attorney, Clayton Jones, withdrew from the case. Jones said that Mangum had refused to follow his legal advice. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine that a competent defense counsel would have allowed Mangum’s bizarre press conference, at which she suggested that Duke and the DPD were now engaged in a conspiracy to prevent her from having a fair trial.

Jones also suggested that Mangum was now taking legal counsel from a handful of pro-Nifong cranks (a group including former Nifong citizens’ committee chair Victoria Peterson) who hold up the disgraced former prosecutor as a paragon of ethics. These are also about the only people (apart, of course, from the Group of 88) who are still on record as saying something “happened” to Mangum.

Perhaps Battaglia can take Mangum’s case as well?

[Update: Jones says he will remain as Mangum's attorney of record, at least through Monday. By phone today, Jones said Mangum has not been following his legal advice. The N&O reports, "He pulled her aside after the hearing Wednesday when he saw her talking with members of the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong, who say the public defender's office can't adequately represent her because they work for the state, which they say is out to punish her because of the Duke lacrosse case. '[Committee member] Sidney Harr has absolutely no clue what's going on with this case,' Jones said. 'I have told him a number of times to stay away from my office.'"]


Anonymous said...

These people deserve each other, nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Is Battaglia a Communist?

William L. Anderson said...

Well, if Battaglia is popular in Durham, then he probably is a commie.

Anonymous said...

Both Linwood and Crystal are being treated, during their current difficulties, with kid gloves, for obvious reasons: They each know a great deal. I still imagine, and wish - if only one of the principals - Nifong, Linwood, Crystal - would talk, honestly! Imagine, the truth about the lax case would come out in droves. Obviously, the powers that be, including the current judiciary at every level, will not allow that to happen. If only ...

Anonymous said...

KC did you happen to ask John McCann about the 'speculation' related to Wilson's firing?

I'm sure privacy laws prevented the reason for Wilson's firing from being made public leading to speculation. It's just very hard to imagine who might speculate that he was fired for crossing Nifong. Of course, John may not disclose who was doing that speculating....

I, personally, speculated that Hardin found more dirt on Wilson than we were already aware of (e.g. the December 2006 "interview" of CGM & his involvement in the harassment of Elmo). He fired Wilson and recommended a federal (or maybe state) investigation. He (Hardin) found something very ugly imo.


Anonymous said...

Re: Linked Nifong donor list

KC, what’s the story behind this donation?

BILL THOMAS (aka William J. Thomas II)

01/17/2006 Personal Contribution $1,000

KC Johnson said...

To the 11.50pm:

As I've noted on a few occasions, Bill Thomas is one of the heroes of the affair. His willingness to stand up to Nifong--someone he knew & once had supported--despite the fact that he practiced law in Durham, and therefore was susceptible to retaliation from the "minister of justice" in a way that non-Durham attorneys were not, took real courage.

RighteousThug said...

Anonymous @ 7/8 10:00 pm:

It's just very hard to imagine who might speculate that he was fired for crossing Nifong.

Especially since Linwood was canned after Nifong was booted from office.

Mark in Charlotte said...

KC - Sidney Harr was interviewed yesterday (July 8) by Tara Servatius on 1110 WBT radio in Charlotte during her 4pm hour. Check out the audio at the attached podcast - minute 27 through minute 35.

skwilli said...

I nominate Johnny Depp to play Wilson in the made-for-tv "Durham in Wonderland".

Anonymous said...

Lest anyone think the Duke lacrosse case is being forgotten out of the area, I read yet another mention just now. Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin writes regarding the ongoing Black Panther voter intimidation controversy:

“In 2007, Shabazz called me a “whore” on Fox News because I called out his racial hucksterism in the Duke lacrosse fake rape case.”

Ah yes, I remember the Black Panther’s visit to Duke very well. Little quips like “Dead Man Walking” should have resulted in outrage, but very little was reported by the liberal media at the time. I suspect that pass gave the Black Panthers the boldness to stand at a voting precinct wielding a club. I still wonder why there wasn't an outrage?

No Justice, No Peace said...

Truth in advertising...transparency...not at Duke.

However, Texas is doing something about this type of fraud.

Transparency law for Texas professors

"A law requiring Texas' public colleges and universities to post detailed course information online will take effect this fall..."

"...State universities will be required to post professors' syllabi, curriculum vitae, published works and salaries. Attendance costs and departmental budget reports also must be posted."

"...bill's portrayal as a measure promoting transparency, it displays "an insulting mistrust of higher education faculty." - no kidding.

Klan of 88, "For whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."

This type of transparency is long over-due with the cost of education exceeding $200,000 at places like Duke.

Anonymous said...

Never could understand why there was no major media outrage or investigating for the truth...why no one still hasn't. There were So many issues to be outraged about. There is no doubt that if it wasn't for the likes of KC and others who blogged..where RCD would be today. Thank heavens someone searched for truth.

Anonymous said...

Noticing a mention of ‘the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong,’ I browsed their website, and it was like a step into the Twilight Zone.

Crystal Mangum reads like an innocent victim, and get this excerpt, “The launch of oppressive and spiteful attacks against Mr. Nifong was borne from Rae Evans’s (mother of Duke Lacrosse defendant Dave Evans) Carpetbagger Jihad call for action…..”

And, here’s another excerpt to blow your mind:
“Because of the anti-Nifong propaganda spewed forth by the media, many sppon-fed media subscribers have developed a visceral hatred for this honorable, gentle, decent man of integrity… Mike Nifong.”

The rest is worse, and leaves me speechless.

Anonymous said...

To skwilli, who nominates Johnny Depp to play the role of Linwood Wilson in the made-for-TV movie of DIW:

Nah, only one actor was born to play Linwood Wilson -- Jeffrey Jones!

Jeffrey Jones mugshot

Anonymous said...

Re: the Justice for Nifong" site and its quote: “Because of the anti-Nifong propaganda spewed forth by the media, many spoon-fed media subscribers have developed a visceral hatred for this honorable, gentle, decent man of integrity… Mike Nifong.”


LOL! Yeah, nothing says "integrity" like being sent to jail for lying to a Judge.

Nothing says "honor" like trying to frame 3 innocent people, so you could get yourself elected to the public office that you abused.

And nothing says "gentle" like trying to imprison an innocent taxi driver who might stand in the way of your lies, by telling the simple truth.

I've seen that site, and doubt very much that most of those people really believe that tripe -- I think they are (mostly) just individuals who enjoy getting a rise out of normal people. The cartoonist, in particular, is almost certainly mocking the people who support the site, in my opinion, more than he's mocking Cooper.

Anonymous said...

-Crystal Mangum's attorney withdraws from case- excerpt:

“They’re trying to get her to plead because the state doesn’t have a case,” said Sidney Harr, a member of the Committee on Justice for Mike Nifong. “They are all charges that are trumped up by the prosecution.”
What is that maxim, and song title? “What goes around comes around.” “Charges that are trumped up by the prosecution,” Harr should be choking on his own words, IMHO.

f1guyus said...

So What is going on with the various trials?