Guandique Sentenced to 60 Years for Chandra Levy Slaying

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ingmar Guandique, the man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandar Levy almost a decade ago, won't be allowed out of prison until he's 80. Courtroom sketches by Bill Hennessy. (Published Saturday, Feb 12, 2011)

    Chandra Levy's convicted killer, Ingmar Guandique, was sentenced to 60 years in prison today.

    At sentencing, Levy's mother, Susan Levy, spoke passionately. She described him as "lower than a cockroach" for attacking women and killing her daughter. "Tell me, just look me in the eye and tell me if you killed my daughter," she said.

    Guandique shook his head three times. She finished by cursing at him.

    "I only have one thing to say," Guandique said through an interpreter. "I feel sorry for what happened to Chandra Levy, but I had nothing to do with it." He had his head bowed and was crying.

    The D.C. Superior Court judge said he was convinced Guandique was a sexual predator and should stay in jail for a very long time. Guandique is 29 years old. He must serve 85 percent, or 51 years, before he'll be eligible for parole. That would make him about 80 years old.

    Levy, a former intern with the federal prisons system, disappeared on May 1, 2001, when she was 24 years old. Her remains were found a year later in Rock Creek Park. Early suspicions circled around then-Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.), when it was discovered he'd been having an affair with Levy.

    However, Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, had admitted to attacking two other women in Rock Creek Park. A former cellmate claimed that Guandique had confessed to Levy's killing, which Guandique denied to investigators. No DNA evidence nor eyewitnesses linked Guandique to the crime, but on Nov. 22, 2010, Guandique was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder.

    Guandique faced a minimum of 30 years, and prosecutors, citing a history of violence toward women, had sought the maximum -- a life sentence.

    Guandique's lawyers requested a new trial, saying jurors improperly shared notes and the prosecutors' closing argument improperly appealed to the jury's emotions and used facts not admitted as trial evidence, such as "his face that was the last face that she saw as she laid there naked and disabled," but the judge rejected the request.

    Condit’s name came up often throughout the trial. He testified, but refused to answer questions about his relationship with Levy.

    The prosecution said the initial focus on the congressman as a suspect contributed to a botched investigation and the mishandling of evidence.


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