Porn Becomes Evidence For Both Sides During Murder Trial

Frank Crowley Courts Building
Frank Crowley Courts Building
Erin Stone

Around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, jurors filed into court and found their seats for the second day of Daeveion Mangum's murder trial. As they settled in, they were told they would be presented with some "graphic and disturbing" evidence — portions of the three pornography videos that Magnum had participated in when working with the victim, 60-year-old Michael Castagne.

The videos started off pretty much the same: Mangum is seated next to an examination chair and Castagne enters with a robust “Hey, Demonte, how we doin'?" 

“Oh you know, Doc, good, good,” says Mangum, whose stage name for these films was Demonte Magnum. They banter, with Mangum saying “his girl wants his dick bigger” and he wants to ejaculate further so he can make a baby.

“There are some techniques we can help you with for that,” says Castagne, chipper.

And so it begins. Castagne starts checking his chest and lungs, then slowly moves down towards Mangum’s briefs and eventually reaches in. There’s a scene with a penis pump and a tool called a “rectal speculum.”

Each time the prosecution paused or fast forwarded to a new scene, the faces of some jury members look as though they've been violated themselves. A juror took a sip of water daintily, eyes wide. Another twiddled her thumbs. One guy had his hands at his lips, looking perplexed.

Then there’s a scene where Castagne tells Mangum he’s going to insert a tool into his urethra, that this will help with the ejaculation distance. The tool is inserted further; at one point Mangum seems to grimace in pain. As these videos continued, one juror started to look a little nauseated. An older man looked utterly depressed.

Throughout the presentation, Mangum sat next to his attorneys, head in hands.

Then the videos stopped. Relief spilled through the room.

But it wasn't over yet. It’s the defense's turn to show some movies. The videos show Mangum apparently voluntarily participating, but some clips show a blurred line of consent. One clip, during which Castagne is giving Mangum a hand job, Mangum’s face is expressionless. Then, Castagne grabs Mangum’s hand and puts it into his own pants. For a moment, Mangum appears surprised, but complies.

The defense aimed to show that Castagne serially manipulated vulnerable young men into performing acts without consent. Their witnesses will support this theory. The defense called a young man who had moved to Dallas for work in 2012. At a low point in his life, during which he stated he was “lonely and depressed,” he became interested in working in the pornography industry.

“John,” whose testimony made it clear he was a victim of sexual assault and thus his name is withheld, found various options in the Dallas area, all of which seemed somewhat shady. But when he reached out through Castagne’s website, Nu-Face Modeling, he felt that Castagne dealt with him respectfully and professionally.

Castagne interviewed John, who made it clear he was not interested in doing any gay or bisexual porn. Castagne told him that’s fine, but they would do an audition to see how comfortable he was on camera.

“I asked him about women, and he explained to me that this was an audition and after this video we’d bring women in,” John stated.

Castagne said the audition would be a physical exam, including a prostate check.

“So we go in. He asks me to take off my clothes … he had me do jumping jacks to get the blood flowing,” John said. “Then he told me to get on my knees and hands and at this point I was uncomfortable but I did anyways. And then without warning he put I don’t know how many fingers into my anus and it felt like he was twisting. I froze up, I didn’t know what to do or say.”

After that experience, John explained his discomfort with what had happened. Castagne replied that his job as a producer was to push the limits of his clients. He never apologized for making John uncomfortable, John said. John says he never worked with Castagne again.

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When Mangum took the stand himself Wednesday afternoon, his description of his first "exam" was similar to John’s.

He said that when he applied, Castagne told him that he would help him get into the modeling business and straight pornography. First Mangum had to go through these auditions, which Castagne explained to him was a requirement for the pornography industry, Mangum says.

With one young son and a wife pregnant with a baby girl, Mangum need extra money, he testified, so he signed Castagne’s contracts and agreed. “Mike never told me that it was gay porn,” Mangum said. He just said the exams were preparation for straight porn.

He did three videos within a course of a few weeks, but when Castagne pulled his hand into his pants in the third video, “I didn’t know what to think; I was shocked.”

Months after that video, Mangum began trying to avoid meeting with Castagne, missing appointments and lying about not having access to his mom’s car. When Castagne first made an offer to pick him up at his apartment in Fort Worth, Mangum says he evaded Castagne when the older man arrived.

Eventually, Mangum agreed to work with Castagne again, but only doing photo shoots. On November 17, Mangum arrived at the office in Richardson after Castagne picked him up in Fort Worth, as the jury heard in testimony during the trial's first day.

Eventually Mangum and Castagne were left alone that afternoon. Mangum assumed Castagne would take him back home, he says, and went to the bathroom. Though he says his memory is hazy at this point, he remembers that when he exited the bathroom, Castagne, wearing nothing but briefs, confronted him.

“Are you ready?” Castagne asked Mangum.

Mangum said he said no, that he wanted to go home. 

“In my mind, I'm thinking he's ready to try to have sex with me," said Mangum, who is soft-spoken and at times so quiet he had to be told to speak up during the trial. "He called me names, saying you’re a joke,” Mangum said. “He said, ‘I’ma fuck you and put these dildos in your ass.'”

Mangum described Castagne as angry, rocking back and forth, face red when Mangum again said no, that he wanted to leave.

Castagne then allegedly went to the front office and when he came back, he placed a hammer on a table in the examination room, Mangum says.

“I was really terrified,” Mangum says. “He said, ‘You’re gonna do this one way or another.’ I said no.”

That’s when Castagne tried to reach for the hammer, Mangum testified. Mangum got to it first and hit him with it, but claims he doesn’t remember much after that.

Castagne was bludgeoned more than 30 times with both the round and the clawed end of a hammer. The state contends this violence was much more than necessary to subdue a person. After he killed Castagne, he set the body on fire.

This is Mangum’s first arrest. His only trouble with the law has been with traffic tickets, according to the defense and a background check conducted by the Observer.

The judge in this case is excluding some information from the jury. In 1985, Castagne was convicted of fondling a child and sexual performance by a child. Castagne, who had offered a modeling opportunity to a 16-year-old male, then took pictures of his genitals. He completed his sentence of five years probation. He never registered as a sex offender, since the conviction occurred before this was required.

The city of Richardson does give licenses for sexually-oriented businesses, but registered sex offenders are not permitted to run such businesses and those businesses are relegated only to certain areas of the city, the lead detective on the case said. Castagne's office was near a recreational park and a gymnastics studio for children.

Closing statements will occur Thursday morning.

Michael Castagne (left), an amateur gay pornographer, was bludgeoned to death in November 2015 by Daeveion Mangum.
Michael Castagne (left), an amateur gay pornographer, was bludgeoned to death in November 2015 by Daeveion Mangum.
Screenshots from CBS DFW

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