United States

Judge Grants New Trial in Chandra Levy Case

A federal judge has formally granted a retrial in the case of the man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher granted a motion Thursday for a new trial the case of Ingmar Guandique, who was convicted in 2010, years after Levy's body was found in Rock Creek Park.

Guandique's attorneys had been pushing for a new trial because they said a key witness in the case gave false or misleading testimony. Prosecutors last month told a judge they believe the jury's verdict was correct but that they would no longer oppose the new-trial request.

"I hate the word closure," said Chandra Levy's mother, Susan Levy, by phone Thursday. "It's such a stupid word. People don't understand. There's no real closure... even if there's a trial conviction."

Chandra Levy's 2001 disappearance created a national sensation after the 24-year-old California native was romantically linked with then-U.S. Rep. Gary Condit. Condit, a California Democrat, was ultimately ruled out as a suspect.

Police searched for Levy for more than a year before her remains were discovered in Rock Creek Park in May 2002.

Guandique was later identified as a suspect, convicted and sentenced to 60 years in prison. The conviction was based primarily on the testimony of Guandique's former cellmate Armando Morales, who said Guandique told him he was responsible for Levy's death.


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Guandique's defense lawyers argued Morales' testimony was unreliable and that there was no physical evidence linking Guandique to the Levy's murder.

Levy's mother said she is not completely certain that Guandique is responsible for her daughter's death.

"Sometimes I have a 93 percent belief, but then as a mother lion, I always have questions about things that happened," Susan Levy said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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