Levy Jury Asks for Legal Definition of Assault

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Bill Hennessy
    Ingmar Guandique in court on the final day of jury selection in the Chandra Levy murder trial. Sketch courtesy of Bill Hennessy.

    The jury in the Chandra Levy murder trial sent out a note asking for a legal definition of "assault" Friday, NBC Washington's Pat Collins reported.

    Judge Gerald Fisher told the jury that any physical injury, no matter how small, could be considered an assault, and the jury returned to deliberations.

    Ingmar Guandique is facing two felony murder charges in the 2001 death of Levy. The jury can also return a second-degree murder conviction.

    Several charges have been dropped, including assault and attempted kidnapping, for which the statute of limitations had expired. But in order to prove felony murder, the prosecution must first proven attempted kidnapping, and in order to prove that, the prosecution must first prove assault, Collins reported. So the assault and kidnapping charges were filed with the understanding the statute of limitations had passed.

    The judge also gave the jury a legal definition of "kidnapping" Friday, Collins reported.

    Levy disappeared in May 2001. Her remains were found more than a year later in Rock Creek Park. The case made headlines when she was romantically linked with Gary Condit. The former California congressman was initially the main suspect, although police no longer believe he was involved.

    Levy's death fits the pattern of two other assaults committed by Guandique in 2001. The defense said there is no hard evidence and Guandique has become a scapegoat for a botched investigation.

    Friday was the third day of deliberations. No verdict was reached.


    Follow @nbcwashington.com on Twitter for the latest information from the courtroom, and check the Twitter widget below for the latest chatter on the trial.