Chandra Levy Suspect Wants Trial Moved

Guandique Says Years of Media Coverage Makes Fair Trial in D.C. Impossible

By Nancy Norman
|  Wednesday, Feb 17, 2010  |  Updated 11:00 PM EDT
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Chandra Levy Suspect Wants Trial Moved

Suspect apparently used Rock Creek Park as 'hunting ground'

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Ingmar Guandique, the man accused of murdering intern Chandra Levy, wants his trial moved.

His public defenders filed a motion to change the venue of his trial, citing intense media coverage over the last nine years. They feel it is impossible for him to get a fair trial in the District as the case dominated the media here for months and updates kept her disappearance in the consciousness of the city for years.

The disappearance of 24-year-old Chandra Levy grabbed national headlines in May 2001. It was one of the most famous unsolved murder mysteries Washington has ever seen.

Fueling national attention and speculation as to what happened to the young woman was the relevation that Levy and former U.S. Rep. Gary Condit had an affair. 

Some think the scrutiny of the Levy-Condit relationship hampered the police in finding her real killer, though Condit always maintained his innocence.

A big break in the case happened when Levy's remains were found in Rock Creek Park in May 2002. Later, Guandique was arrested and accused of her death.  He had aleady been convicted of attacking two women at knife point in Rock Creek Park. 

The trial is scheduled for October in D.C. Superior Court. Guandique has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Levy's death.

Guandique's lawyers argue that the District is a "quasi-federal jurisdiction," so they are asking for the trial to be moved to a federal court elsewhere.

A status hearing was scheduled for May 14.

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