Derrick Ward, Courtroom sketches by Bill Hennessy
Question: Is three-and-a-half days a long time for a jury to deliberate before reaching a verdict?
Chris Gordon: No. it is a heavy responsibility to have a defendant's life in your hands. This jury took their job very seriously. They wanted to go through all the evidence, be fair to all parties and review the law. This morning they took a vote and reached a unanimous verdict, finding Ingmar Guandique guilty of felony murder while attempting to kidnap and rob Chandra Levy. Jurors said they felt the testimony of the two women who said they were attacked by Guandique in Rock creek Park in 2001 was very powerful and moving.
Question: Was the jury asked what they thought about the testimony of Armando Morales, the jail cellmate who testified that Guandique confessed to killing Chandra Levy?
Gordon: They were asked but didn't answer directly. The jury said they agreed not to discuss the specifics of their deliberations when asked if they found the cellmate's story credible.
But logically, since there was no DNA, forensic evidence or fingerprints putting Guandique at the scene of Chandra Levy's murder, one would assume the jury believed Morales testimony that Guandique admitted he attacked Levy.
Question: What happens next?
Gordon: The sentencing has been scheduled for February 11th. Between now and then there will be a pre-sentence investigation and report. prosecutors will ask Judge Gerald Fisher to impose the maximum sentence life in prison. The Judge will hear from Chandra's mother Susan, perhaps some other family members, and will give Ingmar Guandique a chance to speak if he chooses. He faces a minimum sentence of 30 years up to Life In Prison. If he asks for leniency is may be based on his taking responsibility for killing Candra levy and expressing remorse.