"Tunnel Vision" Mars Levy Case: Defense

Prosecutors Point to Inmate's Testimony in Levy Trial

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Closing arguments were delivered in the Chandra Levy murder trial Tuesday. Jury deliberations to begin Wednesday. (Courtroom sketches courtesy Bill Hennessy.) (Published Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010)

    Defense lawyers for the man charged in Chandra Levy's death accused the prosecution of tunnel vision during closing arguments.

    The defense argued Tuesday that the same tunnel vision that caused police to overzealously pursue former Rep. Gary Condit as a suspect in the disappearance of the Washington intern has now been unfairly trained on Ingmar Guandique.

    Earlier, prosecutor Amanda Haines fought back tears while holding a large picture of Levy as she told the jury to bring Levy justice by convicting Guandique, NBC Washington's Pat Collins reported. Prosecutors asked jurors to use their common sense and accept the testimony of a prison inmate to convict Guandique.

    Guandique is accused of killing Levy in 2001. The Washington intern's disappearance made headlines when she was romantically linked with then-Congressman Condit, a California Democrat, who was originally the main suspect. Her remains weren't found in Rock Creek Park for more than a year.

    Defense attorney Santha Sonenberg argued Levy's body was dumped in the park but she wasn't killed there. She also said Condit received special treatment when he was under investigation and has acted like a guilty man -- taking the Fifth Amendment in grand jury testimony in 2002 and trying to cover up his relationship with Levy.

    Prosecutors said Condit simply was trying to protect his reputation, not trying to cover up a homicide.

    But you don't have to believe Condit is responsible to believe the government has failed in to prove Guandique guilty, Sonenberg said.

    Haines acknowledged that they have no eyewitnesses and no DNA evidence linking Guandique to Levy, but Levy's death fits the pattern of assaults committed by Guandique in Rock Creek Park in 2001, she said. And she said Guandique's former cellmate testified to details that only Levy's killer would have known.

    Armando Morales testified that Guandique told him he intended to steal from Levy, not kill her. Guandique was concerned other inmates would think he was a rapist because he was linked to the Levy investigation, Morales said.


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