Witness in Levy Case May Have Lied Under Oath

Armando Morales was prosecution's key witness in Chandra Levy murder trial

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bill Hennessy
    Armando Morales, a former cellmate of Ingmar Guandique, testifed on Nov. 4, 2010, in the Chandra Levy murder trial. (Courtroom sketch courtesy of Bill Hennessy.)

    The government's key witness in the Chandra Levy murder case may have lied under oath multiple times, according to testimony in a court hearing Tuesday.

    Ingmar Guandique was convicted of Levy's death in 2010, partially due to testimony from convicted gang leader and prison inmate Armando Morales.

    However, Morales also testified that he'd never given information to law enforcement agencies in the past. It was revealed Tuesday that Morales gave information to the gang unit at a high-security federal prison in Atlanta about drugs and weapons trafficking inside the high-security federal prison, reported News4's Mark Segraves.

    During Guandique's trial, Morales testified that Guandique told him about the killing of D.C. intern Chandra Levy, who disappeared in May 2001. Her remains were found about a year later near Klingle Road in Rock Creek Park.

    Guandique Retrial Hearing

    [DC] Guandique Retrial Hearing
    News4's Mark Segraves reports new evidence that a key witness may have lied in the Ingmar Guandique trial for killing Chandra Levy.

    "I killed that [expletive], but I didn't rape her," Morales said Guandique told him in 2006, during Guandique's 2010 trial. "He told me he saw her walking in the park. He hid in the bushes... She was alone... She had one of those waist pouches... He told me he ran up, grabbed her from behind, pulled her off the trail... She was fighting. She was struggling."

    Guandique was serving a 10-year sentence for attacking two female joggers in 2001 in Rock Creek Park.

    On Tuesday, his public defender said that Morales lied multiple times under oath, and the prosecution either knew or should have known at the time of the trial that Morales was lying, reported Segraves.

    Judge Gerald Fisher said "there's no doubt" that this information is relevant.

    Another hearing in the case isn't expected until July, and it could take until 2014 before a decision is made on whether Guandique will have a new trial.

    Documents that were unsealed in February show prosecutors asked to seal a Dec. 18 hearing to talk about information they learned about after Guandique was sentenced.

    The Levy murder case grabbed national attention a decade ago because Levy was romantically linked with then-Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.). At one point, Condit was considered the main suspect in the case, but authorities no longer believe he was involved in her death.