Ingmar Guandique gets 60 yrs for the murder of Chandra Levy ~ 06/04/15: Guandique Will Be Tried Again.

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Normal Ingmar Guandique gets 60 yrs for the murder of Chandra Levy ~ 06/04/15: Guandique Will Be Tried Again.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:49 pm

By HLNtv.com Staff
updated 5:30 PM EDT, Fri October 05, 2012

Chandra Levy's disappearance became one of the most high-profile cases of the decade when she vanished in May 2001

In Session correspondent Jean Casarez covered the story

Editor’s note: In Session correspondent Jean Casarez covered the Chandra Levy case. Here she talks with Nancy Grace Producers about Chandra's disappearance, the discovery of her remains and Ingmar Guandique's murder conviction.

Q: What do you think of first when you hear the name “Chandra Levy?"

A: I think about a family that suffered far too long in finding out what happened to their daughter. Not getting answers for a year…believing she could be alive must have been so very painful for the Levy family. I also think about a young beautiful lady who was just about to leave Washington D.C. for a new life back in her home state of California. She was so close to graduating from my alma mater the University of Southern California and she was prevented from having that future because of one evil person…now convicted murderer Ingmar Guandique.

Q: What were some of the theories about Chandra’s disappearance floating around that summer?

A: There were three main theories floating around that summer about what happened to Chandra Levy. First, it was believed she had just run away. Secondly, investigators looked at the possibility of suicide and thirdly they looked at whether Levy could have been the victim of foul play. Shortly before she went missing, Chandra had told a friend of hers, Sven Jones, a colleague at the Bureau of Prisons that she was having an affair with someone very powerful in government.

In addition, she confirmed with her friend Robert Kurkjian right before she disappeared that her boyfriend was a married congressman who was going to give up his elected office, divorce his wife and begin a new life with her. Those comments to close friends had to factor into their investigation.  

Q: Chandra’s remains were found in a heavily wooded section of Rock Creek Park in May 2002. What do you remember about that day?

A: I remember sitting in my office hearing about the possibility of human remains being found in Rock Creek Park. The speculation was that they could be the remains of Chandra Levy. I remember that it was rather shocking and extremely saddening. I remember thinking that there had been previous searches in this park during the month of July 2001…so why hadn’t she been found at that time? Was the body moved there after those searches or was this a botched investigation?

Q: Police searched the park that summer after she went missing, but didn't find the body -- why did it take so long to find her remains and why did they miss it?

A: Cadets from the police academy searched the extremely large 1750-acre Rock Creek Park during July 2001. Plain and simple, they missed finding her remains because they searched in the wrong area. Searchers were instructed to search by law enforcement 100 yards off the park’s roads. By doing this, they missed Levy’s body which was along the edge of a ravine. They missed the body in July of 2001 by about 79 yards. In other words, they neglected to search the remote areas, focusing on the more heavily traveled trails. It was later determined to be a miscommunication in search orders which was pretty unacceptable in the minds of a lot of people.

Q: What was your reaction when you heard Ingmar Guandique was arrested for Chandra’s murder? Had you heard his name before his arrest?

A: I think the name Ingmar Guandique had been floating around a bit. But it was not until his arrest for Chandra Levy’s murder that the public really began to learn the facts. Guandique had assaulted not one but two different young women in Rock Creek Park close in time to when Chandra Levy had disappeared…but we also learned at that point that investigators had discounted him because they found it hard to believe that he would kill Levy and then go on to let two other young women go free. They also relied on a polygraph he had undertaken where he seemingly passed. It wasn’t until after the fact they realized that a bi-lingual polygraph administrator would have produced a more accurate result.

Q: Why do you think Chandra Levy’s story resonated so much with the public?

A: Good question…there have been many young women who have gone missing and then whose bodies are discovered many months later. I hope the reason that this case was on the front page of newspapers all across the country for months was not because Chandra was allegedly involved with the married Congressman who represented her own district in California, but I am afraid that was part of the reason.

Chandra Levy needs to be remembered as a young woman who was on the eve of a graduate degree with a brilliant future before her. Chandra Levy was a daughter, a trusted friend and her legacy should be remembered as that loving young woman.

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Note: I could have sworn we had a lengthy thread on Chandra. I have done a search and found nothing.


Last edited by Wrapitup on Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:01 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Normal Re: Ingmar Guandique gets 60 yrs for the murder of Chandra Levy ~ 06/04/15: Guandique Will Be Tried Again.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:50 pm

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Normal Chandra Levy's killer gets 60 years/Ingmar Guandique faced minimum 30 years for murdering congressional intern

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:52 pm

updated 2/11/2011 12:20:37 PM ET

WASHINGTON — The man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy nearly a decade ago was sentenced Friday to 60 years in prison.

In November, a jury convicted Ingmar Guandique of first-degree murder in Levy's 2001 disappearance and death, despite a lack of witnesses and no DNA evidence linking him to the crime.

Levy's mother, Susan Levy, asked Guandique directly if he had been responsible for her daughter's death. He shook his head.

"Mr. Guandique, you are lower than a cockroach," Susan Levy told Guandique, before closing her statement by using the F-word.

Guandique, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, told the judge in Spanish that he was sorry for what happened. But, he added, "I had nothing to do with it. I am innocent."

Levy's disappearance became a national sensation after she was romantically linked to then-California Rep. Gary Condit. Police initially focused on Condit as a suspect. But after Levy's remains were found in Rock Creek Park, police shifted their focus to Guandique, who was already serving a prison sentence for attacking female joggers in the park in the same time frame Levy disappeared.

This photo of Chandra Levy was released by police during their search for clues into her murder.
The District of Columbia Superior Court judge also rejected Guandique's request for a new trial. His lawyers had argued Guandique should be granted a new trial because jurors improperly shared notes in reaching a verdict. They also argued prosecutors improperly appealed to the jury's emotions and facts that weren't part of trial evidence in making a graphic closing argument.

In response, prosecutors said the sharing of juror notes, if it happened, was at most a technical violation that did not substantially affect the trial's outcome.

Prosecutors had asked for a life prison sentence, arguing that Guandique showed no remorse and had a history of violence toward women. They said Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, fled his village in that country as a teenager because he was suspected of attacking a woman at knifepoint.

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Normal Re: Ingmar Guandique gets 60 yrs for the murder of Chandra Levy ~ 06/04/15: Guandique Will Be Tried Again.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:53 pm

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Normal Secret court hearings about new information have the potential to undercut the testimony of a prosecution witness.

Post by raine1953 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:11 am

WASHINGTON -- There's a new mystery in a murder case that gripped the nation's capital a decade ago.

Federal prosecutors and lawyers for the man convicted of murdering 24-year-old former congressional intern Chandra Levy have met twice since December for secret court hearings about new information that could undercut the testimony of a prosecution witness. The court has closed off the hearings to public view — on one occasion locking the courtroom doors — and has ordered that legal filings be sealed.

Whatever the problem is, it is serious enough that lawyers for the Justice Department and Ingmar Guandique, the man convicted two years ago of killing Levy, have agreed to put his appeal on hold until it is sorted out. Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher has summoned Guandique to appear at a Feb. 7 court hearing.

Gannett, parent company of USA TODAY, and three other news organizations — the Associated Press, The Washington Post and McClatchy Co. — asked Fisher on Wednesday to unseal the records. The Levy case records should be open to public inspection under the First Amendment, the organizations' lawyer, Patrick Carome, said in a court filing.

Levy disappeared in 2001. But the mystery of what happened to her became a national spectacle when media reports said she had been having an affair with then-congressman Gary Condit of California. Condit was cleared of any involvement in her death, but he was ousted from Congress in a primary election in 2002.

Police found her remains in a Washington park in 2002. Guandique was found guilty of Levy's killing in 2010 and sentenced the next year to 60 years in prison.

Levy's parents, Robert and Susan, said they had not been briefed on the problem with the case, and weren't sure what to make of it. "Our concern is that we are without our daughter," they said. "We hope they don't let a rapist and murder out because of some technicality.''

The U.S. attorney's office in Washington — which asked that the post-trial proceedings be secret — declined to comment on the witness problem. Fisher said in a December hearing that he ordered the secrecy over "safety concerns."

Court records don't reveal what the problem is, or even which witness's testimony could have been undermined. Fisher said in December that prosecutors approached him with the information after Guandique's trial.

The government's star witness was Guandique's former cellmate, Armando Morales, who told a jury in 2010 that Guandique admitted to him that he had killed Levy. He testified that Guandique confided in him "You don't understand. ... Homeboy, I killed the (expletive), but I didn't rape her."

Washington's Public Defender Service, which represents Guandique, has also filed a notice of appeal challenging the secrecy surrounding the case. It's not the first time that secrecy has been an issue; last year, Washington's appeals court ordered Fisher to release copies of jury questionnaires, saying "the value of public trials is undisputed."
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Normal Re: Ingmar Guandique gets 60 yrs for the murder of Chandra Levy ~ 06/04/15: Guandique Will Be Tried Again.

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:57 pm

Chandra Levy murderer's conviction in jeopardy as judge holds secret meetings to discuss 'doubts' over key witness

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Normal Judge grants new trial in death of intern Chandra Levy

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:59 am

Associated Press By JESSICA GRESKO
1 hour ago
CBS Local

Chandra Levy: Man Convicted Of Killing Rep. Gary Condit's Intern Granted New Trial

WASHINGTON (AP) — A judge on Thursday formally granted a retrial in the case of a man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy, a move that had been largely expected after prosecutors dropped their opposition to a retrial last month.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher on Thursday granted a motion for a new trial in the case of Ingmar Guandique, who was convicted in 2010 of killing Levy.

Guandique's attorneys had been pushing for a new trial because they said a key witness in the case gave false or misleading testimony. Prosecutors last month told a judge they believe the jury's verdict was correct but that they would no longer oppose the new-trial request. Prosecutors said at the time that the "passage of time and the unique circumstances of this case" had made opposing a new trial more difficult.

Prosecutors and lawyers for Guandique are scheduled to return to court next week and are expected to set a new trial date then.

Levy's 2001 disappearance created a national sensation after the 24-year-old California native was romantically linked with then-U.S. Rep. Gary Condit. Condit, a California Democrat, was ultimately ruled out as a suspect.

In late 2013, Guandique's lawyers requested a new trial after prosecutors brought to the judge issues with one of their key witnesses, Guandique's one-time cellmate, Armando Morales.

Morales testified that Guandique had confided in him that he was responsible for Levy's death, and because there was no physical evidence linking Guandique to Levy's murder, Morales provided some of the trial's most powerful testimony. But Morales also testified that he didn't know how to come forward with information to law enforcement when, in fact, he had previously provided information.

Guandique's lawyers argued that prosecutors knew or should have known that Morales' testimony was problematic and investigated further. Guandique's lawyers said Thursday they plan to ask for sanctions against prosecutors but did not specify in court what those might be. They also said they intend to argue that Guandique should be released on bond.

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